For the second time in less than three weeks, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has suspended one of its players indefinitely for elbowing an opponent in the head.
And for the second time, the incident involves a former member of Team Canada's silver-medal-winning 2010 world junior team.
Val d'Or Foreurs defenceman Marco Scandella has been suspended pending a disciplinary investigation into an elbow he dished out against Rimouski Océanic forward Alexandre Durette during the first period of a game Wednesday night.
Replays show the two converging on a loose puck when Scandella catches Durette - who was lunging forward - with his left elbow and arm.
The impact reportedly shattered Durette's protective visor and left him with a concussion and deep cuts to his face.
No penalty was called on the play, but the Océanic sent a video to the league after the game.
"Durette was almost disfigured … we shouldn't have to wait until someone dies," Océanic coach Clement Jodoin told Quebec City's Le Soleil, likening the incident to the elbow that former Team Canada captain Patrice Cormier raised into Quebec Remparts defenceman Mikaël Tam's face during overtime in a Jan. 17 game between the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the Remparts.
Tam was concussed on the play and began convulsing on the ice. He is recovering in Quebec City and it's not known when or if he will return to action.
Cormier, a second-round draft choice of the New Jersey Devils, later said he never intended to injure Tam. He has been suspended for the remainder of the season and the playoffs, a decision the Huskies are appealing.
Scandella, a 19-year-old Montreal native who was the Minnesota Wild's second choice in the 2008 draft, didn't comment yesterday.
Foreurs coach Marc-André Dumont pleaded Scandella's innocence, telling a newspaper in the Abitibi region that his player did nothing wrong and was clearly trying to check Durette off the puck.
"Both guys were skating for a loose puck, and Marco got there first. He was trying to protect the puck … both his skates stayed on the ice, his knees were bent, and his elbow was parallel to his body," he said.
It remains to be seen if that explanation will wash with the league, which cracked down on violent play by introducing new rules and sanctions in 2008, and sought to send a strong message with the Cormier suspension.
"After having learned of the infraction, I believe [immediate suspension]is the right decision while the disciplinary process follows its course. I'll reiterate our position: we have responsibility to protect our players, their security is our most important priority," QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau said in a statement.Report Typo/Error