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Panthers prospect Owen Tippett suspended for harmless act

Hits to the head, slew-footing, and blindside checks are all plays that could have serious health ramifications for their victims and have no place in the sport of hockey. Therefore, naturally, they should be met with a hefty suspension.

But for the Ontario Hockey League, there is another concerning trend stretching across its 20 teams which has also been dealt with in the same manner by the league: Flipping pucks into the crowd.

Recently, Mississauga Steelheads star forward and Team Canada World Junior hopeful Owen Tippett committed the vile act of shooting not a hockey puck, but a foam puck that had made its way onto the ice back into the stands.

His punishment? A suspension. It’s the only punishment that fits the crime (obviously).

All sarcasm aside, this is completely and utterly ridiculous.

The situation itself was mishandled by the league. It was originally reported that Tippett would face only a one-game suspension for the act, which was followed up by another statement declaring that he was staring at a five (5) game penalty. As a reminder, this is for shovelling a foam hockey puck over the glass.

Now though, it has been labelled as a one-game ban once again, and that’s where we can only hope it stands.

Although the Florida Panthers prospect is forced to miss one match too many because of the act, he actually got off easier than most.

Riley Damiani of the Kitchener Rangers was given the full five-game punishment for this.

As a result, the Rangers’ centre who committed the infraction on Dec. 9 will not be able to return to action until early in 2019.

Making the game better and safer for both players and fans is important. However, is that really happening by forcing players to miss a substantial amount of games because they shot a puck over the glass?

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