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Junior player suspended 20 games for violent hit

Nov 8, 2011, 5:21 PM EDT

The Ontario Hockey League announced today that Niagara IceDogs forward Tom Kuhnhackl has been suspended 20 games for his hit on Kitchener Rangers defenseman Ryan Murphy.

The play in question occurred Friday after Murphy, 18, went back to retrieve the puck behind the Kitchener goal and didn’t see Kuhnhackl, 19, charging towards him.

The 20-game suspension was handed out with the following rationale:

—-Contact with head

—-Vulnerable unsuspecting player

—-Speed and considerable distance traveled

—-Kitchener player injured on the play

Murphy, who suffered a concussion on the play, was selected 12th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2011 draft. In an ironic twist, the ‘Canes sent him back to junior partly because they felt he wasn’t physically ready to play against bigger, stronger NHL players.

  1. sippindasyzurp - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    I cannot emphasize how important a mouthguard is in contact sports… If nhl made it mandatory to wear a mouthguard and actually wear it properly instead of hanging it out of the mouth all the time, they might be able to reduce the severity of the concussions… Again this won’t eliminate them but the severity can be reduced significantly.

  2. bcisleman - Nov 8, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Tom Kuhnhackl is a Pitt draft pick. If he wants to be Matt Cooke, Jr., he’ll need to learn how to do this without injuring himself as well.

  3. carol6645 - Nov 19, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Get off Matt COOKE!!!
    He would teach this Kuhnhackl how to play hockey! This kid needs a Matt Cooke to really get through to him the utter waste of killer hits.
    He is a Lucic and it would be disaster if he went to the
    Good for him if he is hurt! Pain can be a great teacher!!!

    I don’t follow the OHL but the best to Murphy.

    That hit resembled a hit I saw recently on Ryan Miller! Umm!!!

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