More suspension controversy this week as Kelowna’s Colton Jobke sits for seven games.
Chilliwack Bruins radio colour-man Jacob Bestebroer tackles the issue in this week’s column, saying it was a missed opportunity for the WHL.
On Monday, the Western Hockey League handed down a seven game suspension to Kelowna’s Colton Jobke for a five minute major penalty he took for interference in last Friday’s game against Chilliwack. The length of suspension was sadly predictable and expected. Yet it was still shocking.
On the play, Jobke targeted an unsuspecting Tim Traber and drove his elbow into Traber’s head. The puck can be seen well away from where the hit took place and Traber had not been in possession of the puck just prior to the hit.
Jobke had built up quite a head of steam and the end result was Traber falling awkwardly to the ice and breaking his leg. He will be out of the Bruins lineup for a considerable amount of time.
If you haven’t seen the hit it can be viewed on the Bruins website at just under the five minute mark of the highlight package from that game.
It is the perfect example of a hit to the head that has no place in the game of hockey. Yet the end result is just a seven game suspension.
This was a perfect opportunity for the league to issue a 20 game suspension so that every player in the league watching this video would know that any hit like this will be met with severe punishment.
A seven game suspension does not qualify as severe.
“Traber didn’t have the puck, and, from what I saw originally — and I haven’t looked at it since — I thought it wasn’t a very good hit,” said Rockets head coach Ryan Huska after the game. “Even though he’s our player, it’s one of the hits where I wouldn’t want to see one of our guys get hit that way.”
Last week in this column I talked about the seven game suspension that Bruins captain Brandon Manning was given for his hit on Kamloops defenceman Austin Madaisky.
I questioned that suspension for a few different reasons. It was a hit that, to me, did not show any intent on Manning’s part to injure the opposition player.
It was a play that we see in the game often, two players making contact with each other before reaching the puck. The end result, Madaisky suffering a season ending neck injury, was horrible.
I’m not sure how that play could have been avoided. That is not to say it couldn’t have been.
Maybe that play needs to be studied closely with a discussion held on what can be changed to keep plays like that from happening.
The same discussion is not needed on Jobke’s hit.
The video evidence is there. There is only one thing that can be done to minimize the number of, or better yet eliminate, hits like this and that is to issue suspensions of much longer than seven games.