The footage of Damian Bourne's illegal check from last week that resulted in a 10-game suspension for the Mississauga Steelheads forward says a lot about how the Ontario Hockey League has changed since it began handing out double-digit-games length suspensions for contact to the head three seasons ago.
It's not so much the hit itself. It's more the acceptance — the lack of protest from the Steelheads bench, as Rogers Television play-by-play announcer Roger Lajoie notes, after seeing Bourne receive a major and game misconduct. The play crossed the line, period full stop. Oshawa Generals rookie defenceman Mitchell Vande Sompel, who needed to be stretchered off the ice, was in what the league called a "disadvantaged position." Bourne made contact with the head and that resulted in an injury.
In the OHL of 2013, that's going to be 10 games in the blink of an eye. It's not known yet if this is the solution to reducing the risk of brain injuries, but it's what the league is going with for the foreseeable future.
Owen Sound Attack overage wing Cameron Brace also received an eight-game ban for a blindside check to the head of Plymouth's Danny Vanderwiel in a game on Oct. 25.
Brace, a 35-goal scorer, would not be eligible to rejoin Owen Sound until its Nov. 15 game. The 20-year-old has been the subject of trade rumours, since Owen Sound has one extra overage and is not likely to contend.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to email@example.com.