Tuesday, October 11, 2011

If it's good enough for the NHL, it's good enough for the QMJHL

The NHL's use of video to explain player suspensions has spread to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

League commissioner Gilles Courteau said videos will be posted on its website of all suspensions of three or more games. They will include video of the incident along with explanations in English and French of the decision.

Suspensions of fewer than three games and all fines will be published on the website.

The NHL began using video to explain suspensions during the pre-season. New director of player safety Brendan Shanahan appears on the videos to show the infraction and explain why it merited supplementary discipline.

The NHL hopes the videos will help educate players and the public on what constitutes an illegal hit. It is especially aimed at a new rules barring many types of hits to the head.

The QMJHL opted to do the same for its most severe suspensions.

''We want to be more transparent and explain the reasons behind the disciplinary decisions,'' Courteau said in a statement. ''With video becoming increasingly prominent, we must take the necessary steps to make sure that our process is better understood.''

League disciplinarian Raymond Bolduc said the videos ''will also be good educational tools for those who want to have a better idea of the disciplinary process.''

The system will be put in place immediately.

The move follows one of the toughest suspensions of the early season.

Last week, the league banned Rimouski Oceanic defenceman Etienne Boutet for five games for a hit to the head of Moncton forward Thomas Flynn. The incident occurred away from the play and was not called on the ice, but was reviewed by the league.

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