While the NHL hands out minor wrist slaps for their suspensions, the OHL is determined to make their punishments much harsher in order to crack down on injuries. 90% of the time these penalties are related to fights or head injuries, but in the case of Josh Ho-Sang a simple broken leg has him sidelined for 15 games.
The OHL has suspended the Windsor Spitfires forward for 15 games at the beginning of next OHL season for his hit from
behind in game 4 of the Spitfires playoff series against the London Knights. Ho-Sang hit defenceman Zach Bell from behind, causing him to crash hard into the boards and subsequently break his right fibula.
Bell was taken from the ice on a stretcher and Josh Ho-Sang was given a 2-minute minor penalty on the play. Obviously the OHL saw the incident a little differently and decided it was worth a 15 game suspension.
Ho-Sang is predicted to be a first round pick in the upcoming NHL draft and expected to play for team Canada at the upcoming IIHF U18 tournament. The incident shouldn’t have an effect on either situation as he was not named to Canada’s original invitee camp.
It was an awkward play that earned Ho-Sang his 15 games. The two players were far enough from the boards that most wouldn’t consider it a hit from behind. However, Ho-Sang gave his opponent a shove, right in that vulnerable place which caused Bell to lose his balance and crash into the boards. Had Bell not lost is balance, Josh Ho-Sang skates away with just a 2 minute minor penalty, because he did fall and break his leg Ho-Sang is obviously sitting for longer.
Josh Ho-Sang gives Bell a little shove, however, one could argue it was the loss of balance by Bell that caused him to fall awkwardly into the boards. Interesting to note and something that must be taken into consideration is how hard the 233-pound Bell went into the boards after a slight shove from a 166-pound Ho-Sang.
Earlier in the series Josh Ho-Sang was involved in more controversy after the Knights goaltender swung his stick and struck Ho-Sang in the head. The goaltender received a 8-game suspension, Ho-Sang will serve almost double that.
It’s fairly safe to say that the OHL penalized Josh Ho-Sang based on the outcome of the incident. Ho-Sang barely touched Bell and can’t be blamed for how he hit the boards. There will be no appeal of the suspension as it falls just short of the 20 game mark for which appeals can be made. For now, Windsor Spitfires forward Josh Ho-Sang will be sitting out the first 15 games next season.