Should It Have Been A Suspension?

If you're here reading my blog then you'll probably already know what hit I'm talking about, but in case you don't I'll set the scene below.

Now that we're all caught up, I want to start this with a preface. I know full well that some people might stop reading my blog and unfollow me on Twitter and dislike my page on Facebook. I can deal with that. I just feel that I have to speak my mind, and it's my blog anyways so that's what I always do.


One of the reasons I love writing this blog is because it's helped me rediscover my love for hockey. When I'm covering hockey for work I always have an impartial, objective hat on which kind of takes away the fun. Here, I'm just a fan writing about the game I love. That being said, I think my journalist side always being there is what's helped me come to terms with the EIHL's decision not to suspend Masi Marjamäki.


I admit I got swept up in the storm of everyone calling for Masi's head and for the DOPS to drop the hammer, but that was me well...being me and being a fan. I have the right to do that from time to time.


I 100% believe that there should have been a suspension. Marjamäki, whether intentionally or not, made contact with Goodwin's head. In my opinion, the video that would have been looked at shows the primary point of contact is the head, and that's not okay. He never takes his eyes off of Goodwin, and Goodwin didn't come back to the game. I think that'd probably be a suspension nine times out of ten in the NHL.


THAT BEING SAID.


I've talked to the EIHL and I both accept and understand the decision that was made and the reason that the DOPS didn't issue any statement on the matter directly.


Another brief disclaimer: when I say something it's from me speaking as someone learning the league and is excited to share it with the world. I'm not trying to talk down to anyone or tell long-time Giants or EIHL fans how the league works.


With that out of the way...


The decision was made following the protocols set out by the league, which were voted on by the teams. The independent DOPS (which is based outside of the league, and is the same used in other leagues like the CHL) looked at the hit, and as was explained in the Belfast Telegraph article came to the conclusion that it didn't justify a suspension in their eyes.


The second part of that has to do with communication. I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to this, but the DOPS don't have to make an announcement if there's no suspension. I thought they did based on the rules set out online, but I misunderstood what was there. As much as there was fans from many different teams (and countries) calling for action to be taken, the EIHL followed the rules, again as laid out by the member clubs, to the letter.


As to why no one was talking about the decision until today? (Well, other than as I explained above) No media had reached out to ask for an explanation from the EIHL until today when both the Telegraph and I did. There's not much the league can do about that.


I hope I haven't lost all my readers after this, but I wanted to at least speak my mind. Again, I personally think there should have been a suspension, but the decision was made to not give one.


I guess this is just one of those moments where I think we need to, to quote my five-year-old niece's favourite movie....


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©2020 Stuart Walter. Pictures provided by the Stena Line Belfast Giants.