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Responses from CHL and Rush

Here is the response from the CHL and the Rapid City Rush, in regards to the information I gave you in this blog post from earlier tonight.

CHL commissioner Duane Lewis had this to say:

"The discipline to players does not always match the length of time the player is injured, in any league. The issue here is that the player violated Rule 48 with primary contact to the head in a lateral/blindside check, and it clearly caused injury and received an automatic suspension. The injured player missed almost the entire length of game 2 and all of game 3.

"The injury factor is a part of the disciplinary process outlined to all teams prior to the season, but is not the sole reason for discipline. Had the player not been injured, based upon the fact that the Fort Wayne player violated Rule 48 implemented into professional hockey this season, a suspension was still clearly going to be issued, and any missed time from such a hit, in this case 2 games, means the player was injured due to this improper hit and typically a longer suspension is warranted as in the 3 games issued in this instance.

"Obviously in the time frame that disciplinary measures need to be taken, you rarely know the extent of the injury sustained. We understand emotions run high in the playoffs, and understand frustration by any club, but we believe too much emphasis in this instance has been placed upon length of time missed by a player over the fact that any injury occurred."

This is from Rush coach Joe Ferras, after the Komets won 4-1 on Friday, bringing the best-of-five Turner Cup semifinals to a 2-2 tie, with Game 5 coming Sunday:

"We don't have any say. With the (Professional Hockey Players' Assocation), the union, you don't have any say when a guy comes back. That's all done under medical and the doctors. If he gets cleared, and gets his baseline (testing) done, we've got nothing to do with anything.

"If he sees the doctors, and they let him play, then that's it. (Komets coach) Al Sims and I would like every player to play, but we've got no say."

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 jcohn@jg.net.

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