Liambas Suspended for Balance of Season

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The Ontario Hockey League announced Wednesday that 20 year old Erie Otter's forward Mike Liambas will be suspended for the remainder of 2009-10 season, including the playoffs, for his hit on the Kitchener Ranger's Ben Fanelli. It was intriguing to see some of the reaction to the league's decision, which effectively ends Liambas' OHL career. Many, including the NHL on TSN panelists, felt the decision to be much too harsh. If this was the players only transgression, I might just be inclined to agree. But Liambas' history tells otherwise. He was suspended a number of times and, if you happen to type his name in YouTube, his hit on Fanelli is not the only questionable play you will find. Hockey's physical aspect makes it one of the world's greatest sports, but part of its culture is due for a change. These head-checks and dirty hits need to be addressed and a stiff penalty is needed to start setting the right example. Hopefully, the rest of Major Junior and the NHL will follow suit with new rules and harsher, as well as more consistent, disciplinary measures.