Just a short commentary today on how the OHL got it wrong with the Brett Ritchie suspension. Sure if you strictly interpret the law, it is a slam-dunk automatic suspension. However, rarely in our legal system do we strictly interpret the laws. There is always room for mitigating, or aggravating circumstances.
When Nick Czinder felled Aaron Haydon with a hit from behind, Ritchie did what good leaders do. While the hit by Czinder was not vicious by any stretch of the imagine, the towering leader did what he had to do He saw a wrong being dealt out to a rookie by a veteran, and jumped in to protect Haydon, felling Czinder after a good exchange of punches. . He was assessed two for instigating, five for fighting and an automatic game misconduct for instigating a fight in the last five minutes of a game. Again, interpreting the rule to the T, the OHL got it right. However, you have to leave room to interpret the circumstances beyond the actual infraction. The OHL did not, and that is why, in my opinion they got it wrong.
Tonight the Ice Dogs, sans Ritchie will take on the high flying Barrie Colts. The Colts have owned the IceDogs for the bulk of the season, and even without Mark Scheifle are a tough bunch to deal with. With no Brett Ritchie and a largely youthful line up the Dogs will have to be at their best to deal with Barrie.
Catch the game tonight on TV Cogeco in HD, and on the OHL Action Pack starting at 7pm. Al Galloway, Ed Burkholder and I will lead you through the action.