Everything Josh Ho-Sang does gets magnified due to his skills and the New York Islanders first-round pick's refreshing willingness to speak his mind about how hockey culture can be rigid about dealing in unique personalities.
Which is to say, with players on a good 50 of the other 59 Canadian Hockey League teams, a coach could keep a player from going over the boards in the final seconds of the last game of the season and it might not escape notice from the commentators and not end up on YouTube.
Regardless of that, during the Niagara IceDogs' season-ending loss to the Oshawa Generals in the Ontario Hockey League playoffs last Friday, Ho-Sang took a goaltender interference penalty with 2:42 that led to Cole Cassels scoring the climax goal in a 4-2 Gens win. In the final seconds of the game, Ho-Sang had both legs over the boards to go into the game and IceDogs interim coach Dave Bell pulled him back into the bench. It happens around with 38-second mark in the clip below, which also shows the penalty.
In a broad, not-sure-what-happened sense it's regrettable that happened since it means everyone, present company included, will revisit everything that's been said and written about Josh Ho-Sang since he came on the scene in the OHL. It's hard to believe this wouldn't have been the first time that a strong-willed, top-end forward didn't try to go into the game during a desperate situation where time was running out on a team (if you really wanted to be hyperbolic, you might point out the most famous goal in hockey history was scored by someone, Paul Henderson, who whistled for a teammate to come off during Game 8 of the 1972 Canada-Soviet Union series; again, that's if you really want to be hyperbolic).
Bell is also a good coach who had the task of taking over the IceDogs' bench mid-series after coach-GM Marty Williamson had to take time off due to a heart issue. It's his prerogative to decide that a player shouldn't be on for the final seconds after his penalty essentially decided the game. On the replay, it doesn't look like Ho-Sang tried to interfere with Oshawa goalie Ken Appleby, but he did cut a little closely through the crease and cause incidental contact. That violates the leave-no-doubt principle, and Appleby wisely called the referees' attention to by falling backwards.
It's also regrettable since this becomes the last impression of Ho-Sang's playoffs instead of the fact he was Niagara's top scorer with 16 points over 11 games. The 19-year-old also managed to somehow dish out 15 assists in the post-season, which seems to put the lie to the notion that he has the puck too much. At his peak, Ho-Sang might be the most brilliant attacker in the OHL who is not named Connor McDavid.
Either way, it does burnish the image of Josh Ho-Sang as junior hockey's Prince Hal, trying to retain something of himself while receiving his destiny. He'll have one more year in junior most likely, with an IceDogs team that could do big things next season, and it will be fun to watch.
(Video: Rogers Television.)
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.