Recently, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada general manager Joël Bouchard suspended one of his own players for one game for a dangerous check from behind, believing the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's one-game suspension was too light.
That message might have got through, but it was apparently misplaced momentarily on Friday when Armada captain Xavier Ouellet hammered league scoring leader Josh Currie of the P.E.I. Rocket from behind into the boards. The Twitterati watching the broadcast were quick to predict a suspension for the 19-year-old Ouellet, who's a Detroit Red Wings second-round pick, but keep in mind the QMJHL has yet to give out a multi-game suspension this season for checking from behind. (Remember Moncton's Ivan Barbashev got nothing for this play.)
Cue the jokes about how the OHL has already issued a 10-game suspension to Ouellet even though he plays in another league. You know, just to be on the safe side.
Checking to the head obviously gets more attention these days, but this is also dangerous. Credit Currie for continuing; he ended up collecting three points although the Armada won 6-5.
When Ouellet's teammate, Stefan Matteau, was shelved for only one game for a check from behind, Bouchard tacked on a team suspension voluntarily. The Armada GM should not have to take that step with his team, especially with his 19-year-old captain and No. 1 defenceman.
It's up to the league to reinforce the idea of playing with respect. This isn't coming from someone who follows the QMJHL closely enough to play judge and jury, but it's had a couple checking-from-behind incidents where it was surprising that the player wasn't disciplined more severely.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (video: Telus).