EIHL set the tone with stiff suspensions.

Friday, 12th September 2008

Following unsavoury incidents in both the Nottingham Panthers vs Hull Stingrays and Cardiff Devils vs Sheffield Steelers games last Sunday, the bmibaby Elite League have meted out severe punishments on Hull forward Rick Kozak and Cardiff captain Brad Voth.

Kozak has been suspended for a total of ten games for Sucker-Punching an opponent and Bringing the game into Disrepute with a further ten games suspended for a repeat offence, while Voth has received a twelve-game ban for Sucker-Punching an opponent and Slashing to the back of an opponents legs with a further twelve suspended again pending a repeat offence.

A league spokesman commented, “Ice hockey is a very physical sport as everyone is well aware, and occasionally tempers flare and there are flashpoint incidents. However, the games last Sunday saw incidents that we feel are beyond what is the normally acceptable in terms of physical contact and we felt the need to adjudicate strongly.”

“A lot of discussion took place over the summer recruiting period about teams bringing in players to ‘entertain’ and we have no problem with that philosophy. We are a professional sport however, also acknowledge that we are all in the entertainment business but, there are limits to what is and what is not acceptable. After extensive video review, the incidents involving both Rick Kozak and Brad Voth have been deemed as being unacceptable, and it is our duty to ensure that we send a message to all the clubs, the coaching staff and all the players as to what will not be tolerated.”