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Ice Chips

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Les Reaney, circled left, begins to line up Sean O'Connor, right, for a check into the boards.

Frame by frame; thought by thought

Reaney drives O'Connor into the boards.
More of O'Connor into the boards.
O'Connor would return to the game. Reaney got a major penalty and a fine.

Now that you've been able to absorb the events of the day -- a three-game suspension for the Komets' Sean O'Connor and only a fine for Rapid City's Les Reaney -- let me chime in with some thoughts.

  • Despite what the league said -- click here -- it appears to me that Reaney targeted the head and even left his feet.
  • As I pointed out in a blog yesterday -- click here -- I'm really not sure how I feel about the league entering injury into the equation. If O'Connor had broken his neck on this play, and believe me, he could have, would the league then have changed its mind and given Reaney some very hefty suspension?
  • Video of the O'Connor hit is here (it's the second clip). I wish I had video of the Reaney hit, but Pointstreak failed us on that one. These screen shots are the best I could find.
  • I have asked people I trust about this -- some of them with no dog in this fight -- and they are equally appalled Reaney got nothing but a fine.
  • I'm really not sure how much validity whether a player gets a penalty in the game should have on suspensions. If we're already saying that the severity of injury is in play, then how can the penalty given at the time of the infraction appropriately be deemed fitting punishment?
  • What if O'Connor hadn't been the one hit by Reaney? If that were Guy Dupuis, not the guy who had been in the fray of this game, would the ruling have been the same? I sure hope so.
  • I cannot believe none of the Komets went after Reaney for this hit, just as Scott Wray appropriately did when O'Connor hit Ryan Menei.
  • I can't figure out if we're taking into account intent. O'Connor might have had intent. It sure looks as if Reaney did.
  • What about track record? O'Connor had none. Reaney has already been suspended this season for a hit to the head: Click here.
  • While I don't agree with it because I'm a little more old school, taking the O'Connor hit on its own, I can see the point of view of the Rush and the league on that suspension. It just looks bad when you compare the two, and that they were in the same game.
  • I have to question the consistency of the league. Where was the suspension for Evansville's Jeff Christian for elbowing Frankie DeAngelis, arguably the top defenseman in the CHL, who then missed weeks because of it?
  • Despite the disgust Fort Wayne fans have about this decision, the Rush are without maybe their best player -- Menei -- while the Komets lost a second-line forward. If you are judging the trade off, the Komets win that one. Except, they have to play a man short now.
  • Yes, if the Komets are eliminated Wednesday, O'Connor's suspension carries over to next season.
  • I don't buy that there's any sort of conspiracy theory at play here. If there was, the league would want this series to go as long as possible, and they would want the highest-drawing team in the league (Fort Wayne) to not be on the short end of it. So let's bury that. Jim Wiley is a respected guy; that didn't enter into the equation.
  • Despite all this, let's not forget the reason the Komets lost Game 2: Bad penalties and coughing up the puck at the blue line on the power play. One of those could have been prevented, the other is just one of those things.
  • In more positive news, click here to see today's story on Komets defenseman Mike Ratchuk.
  • Greg Rajan chimed in on the day's events: Click here.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at