So the other I wrote a blog titled, “Florida Panthers’ Prospect Owen Tippett Has Been Suspended In The OHL For–Wait For It–Flipping A Foam Puck Into The Crowd”. Now in that blog, I mentioned that there’s a rule in the OHL against players sending pucks up into the crowd like you’d typically see at points throughout an NHL game where players like to toss some souvenirs over the glass to the fans. I can only assume the OHL has this rule in place because they don’t want any fans to accidentally take a puck to the head and sue the league considering the OHL’s legal team probably isn’t as strong as the NHL’s. Sending a puck into the crowd will land you a 5-game suspension in the OHL but this particular incident with Owen Tippett involved a foam puck that was thrown onto the ice by a fan. Tippett then sent that foam puck back over the glass.
Now considering it’s a foam puck and can’t hurt anybody, the original report was that the OHL was still going to suspend Owen Tippett but they’d reduce it to just 1 game instead of the standard 5 games that usually carries. Is a 1-game suspension for flipping a foam puck over the glass already going overboard? Absolutely. But I guess the OHL has their rules and I can’t fault them for enforcing them. But here’s what I said when we thought the suspension was originally just for one game.
Good news is that it’s only 1 game for Tippett. I don’t exactly know how the rules work here but if Tippett was suspended the 5 games for flipping a puck into a crowd, that means the final game of his suspension would be on Friday December 28, which is after the start of the World Juniors. I’m assuming that if you’re currently suspended in the OHL, you can’t play for Team Canada at the World Juniors. But imagine if he got the full 5 games and had to miss out of the WJC all because he flipped a puck into the crowd? A 2017 1st round pick who has scored 19 goals and 33 points through 23 games this year couldn’t play at one of the biggest international tournaments of the year all because he sent a puck into the crowd? I’m actually a little disappointed we won’t get to see all the chaos that would ensue if that were the case.
Well, folks, it looks like my wish has now been granted.
Like I said before, I’m not 100% sure how the rules work here but I’m pretty sure that OHL suspensions carry over to the World Juniors. Meaning that Owen Tippett’s suspension in the OHL will not be completely served until after Mississauga’s game against Oshawa on December 28th. Team Canada plays against Denmark on December 26th and against Switzerland on December 27th. Tippett would probably be good to join the team for Canada’s games against Czech Republic on the 29th and Russia on New Years Eve, which are both bigger games than Denmark and Switzerland. But still. The fact here is that Owen Tippett will have to miss games at the World Juniors all because he tossed a foam puck back up into the crowd after it was tossed onto the ice by a fan in the first place. A 5-game suspension for a foam puck when last season, Andrei Svechnikov was only suspended 4 games for hitting another player in the head.
So what the OHL is saying is that protecting their own ass from a potential lawsuit stemming from a foam puck being tossed into the crowd is more important to them than taking head shots out of the game. Cool. Got it. Great work, OHL, ya fuckin’ pigeons.