by Brandon Sudeyko (@intheoradio)
The video has made the rounds and everyone is just ‘WOW!’ over the hit that newest New York Islanders prospect, current Owen Sound Captain, Mike Halmo threw on Nail Yakupov. This hit has been around forever, not just in the OHL but in the NHL, AHL and any hockey league that allows hitting. Player comes across the middle and runs into a brick wall. Many will remember that former Kitchener Ranger, New Jersey Devil and Hockey Hall of Fame member Scott Stevens made a living making hits like that. Unlinke Stevens, Halmo is a forward. Have a look at the footage before we dissect the hit.
Many questions and statements will be and have been said already. But lets look at the factors involved:
Yakupov decided to cut across the ice. He lost the handle on the puck, and reached to regain possession. Halmo already made his decision to go for a hit on Yakupov. And the most important factor… Yakupov had his head down and put himself in a vulnerable position.
Will Mike Halmo receive supplemental discipline for this hit on Nail Yakupov?
The Owen Sound captain was only given 5 and a game for the hit. The referee’s did not throw up their arms when this hit happened.
If Halmo is suspended, how long will his sentence be?
As an overage player, there is no point in handing out a 20 game suspension. If the Attack were to lose out of the first round of the playoffs, his sentence will not be completed. The probable answer to the question of length of suspension will be 10 games. Based on the fact if you hit the head, and it is similar to the Billigsley/Prince hit from last season.
There was a clear ‘intent to injure’…
I don’t buy it at all. I have talked to many players and none of them want to cause a concussion. You cannot judge intent as you cannot get into the player’s head. You may think you can determine that Halmo wanted to decapitate Yakupov. But you truly cannot answer this statement.
The bottom line of this hit is that there is no clear-cut solution. Will everyone be happy if you give Mike Halmo a suspension of 10 games? No, it doesn’t matter what the ‘solution’ that David Branch hands out because of this hit. Everyone will still debate x or y. who is to blame? The hitter or the hitted? Let the debate rage on.