Many Quebec League followers have looked forward to seeing Moncton Wildcats' forward Ivan Barbashev, but they might have to wait a while to do so.
The Russian newcomer plays a rough-and-tumble game that's a good fit for North American hockey, but took it too far with a brutal check from behind on Halifax's Austyn Hardie in the opening minute of a game on Wednesday night. Hardie turned and skated directly toward the end boards to retrieve a dump-in when he was clearly checked from behind by Barbashev, the No. 1 overall pick in the Canadian Hockey League import draft. Barbashev was ejected with a major penalty and game misconduct; there really is no way to conclude that there won't be a suspension. It's a dangerous play where nothing but the opponent's back was in his line of sight.
Hardie did finish the game, fortunately for all concerned.
The QMJHL hasn't handed out anything more than a four-game suspension yet this season. Halifax defenceman Steve Gillard has not been suspended for a checking-to-the-head major on Oct. 5, but there seems to be very little gray area with something as reckless as a check from behind.
(Stick tap: Chris Phillips.)
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.
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