This is what a penalty for checking too hard looks like. On Thursday, Patrick Sieloff, the Calgary Flames second-rounder who plays for the OHL's Windsor Spitfires, caught the Kitchener Rangers' Justin Bailey skating with his head down in the neutral zone.
The result was a massive collision, a fight and a controversial charging major and game misconduct for Sieloff on what many felt was a legitimate check. Last but not least, there was a debate over whether this is just a reflection of how the OHL veers too far to the side of caution when it comes to penalizing heavy contact. As Windsor Star beat writer Jim Parker put it, if this is how the OHL is going to be officiated, then Sieloff, a U.S. national team development program graduate, might not get to use all of his physical tools.
One strains to remember an OHLer trucking a player with that much oomph since then-Owen Sound Attack captain Mike Halmo drilled future NHL No. 1 overall pick Nail Yakupov late last season. Halmo ended up receiving a 10-game suspension.
In Sieloff's case, this was a textbook check, hardly what pursed-lips pundits will call a "predatory hit." The referees didn't make a call immediately, but assessed the charging major after consulting with the linesman. That led to a Rangers power play and a tying goal, but Windsor went on to win 4-2 after their most highly regarded rearguard earned an early shower.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (videos: TV Cogeco Ontario).
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