The Director of Player Safety of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Raymond Bolduc, suspended today Gabriel Verpaelst of the Baie Comeau Drakkar for 5 games. The decision was taken following an incident that occurred on October 17 against the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Here is the rationale that led to the decision:
The Sagueneens players stole the puck from an opponent at the blue line of his territory, and headed with speed towards the opposing zone.
At the right circle level, facing an opponent, he took a slap shot.
The puck hit the opponent and remained near the Sagueneens player.
The player was bent over and was trying to retrieve the puck.
The player at fault was backchecking from the opposing blue line, turned towards the targeted player and stretched his arm and body to hit him.
The player was in a vulnerable position and didn’t see his opponent coming.
The contact was to the head.
The player at fault was at his first offense.
The Sagueneens player was injured on the play.
The Director of Player Safety took this decision after having viewed video of the incident, considered the officials report, spoken to the players and organizations involved and consulted with his senior advisor, Sébastien Bordeleau.