Recent Suspensions Not Part of Wider Trend
by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor
The one-game suspensions handed down from the respective commissioner's offices so far this season, is not part of a larger crackdown or point of emphasis, according to the commissioners.
Three players, in three different leagues, have each received "supplemental discipline" of one-game suspensions this season — Kai Kantola of Bowling Green (CCHA), Nathan Gerbe of Boston College (Hockey East) and Derek Patrosso of Colorado College (WCHA).
"They're all isolated," said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna, who suspended Gerbe for reported butt-ending incidents that he had been warned on before. "We may share notes after the fact, but it's not a concerted effort to crack down. There's no rhyme or reason to when they happen."
CCHA commissioner Tom Anastos concurred.
"It's purely a coincidence in timing," Anastos said. "It's nothing coordinated at all. In fact, it's not unusual either, as there are typically a couple to a few cases a year that we deal with."
In Gerbe's case, it was happening away from the play, and had not been penalized. In the case of Patrosso and Kantola, the suspensions were additional penalties from the ones imposed on the ice, each check-from-behinds.
Bertagna said that all the leagues, each with slightly different procedures, have the discretion to tack on that type of penalty. But the commissioners are careful to avoid charges of "officiating from the office," where they call penalties all the time just because a referee missed something.
"We're sensitive to that," Bertagna said. "But if there's certain behavior that could result in injury, you want to clamp down on that. Everyone has their own style. Some give warnings. In the past, I've gone to coaches and said I heard such and such, and the coach said, 'We already took care of it, the player's not playing Saturday.' If a school acts, I don't have to be a big shot. But other times, I want it to come from me because of the impact."