Boucherville, Monday January 30th, 2017 – The Director of Player Safety of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Raymond Bolduc, suspended Drake Batherson of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles for 4 games. The suspension was handed out following an incident that occurred on January 28th against the Quebec Remparts.
Here is the rationale that led to the decision:
- The play was in the neutral zone and the puck was near the boards.
- The opponent made a half turn towards his zone watching the puck move between his 2 defensemen.
- At the same time, the player at fault turned in the opposite direction towards the opponent.
- When he got near him, he hit him with his arm and shoulder.
- We can see that the player at fault looks towards the opponent.
- He was not in possession of the puck and his eyes were looking in the direction of his defensemen.
- He did not have to be hit.
- The player at fault raised his arm to make contact with the opponent’s head.
- It was a free and dangerous move.
- The opponent was not injured on the play.
- This is the first offense of the player at fault.
The Director of Player Safety took this decision after having viewed videos of the incident, considered the officials report, spoken to the players and organizations involved and after consulting the Advisory Committee for disciplinary action.