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Sam Jones suspended for one game

Flyers' defenseman receives suspension

An incident occurred in Nottingham on Sunday 2 February involving Fife Flyers' #14 Sam Jones on Nottingham Panthers' #43 Mathieu Tousignant, for which 5 minute Major penalties for fighting were assessed with an additional 2 minute penalty to Fife Flyers' #14 Sam Jones by the Referee. The recommendation of penalties that should have been assessed is: 5 minute majors for fighting for each player, and 5 minute + game misconduct to #14 Sam Jones for elbowing.

The incident was reviewed by the EIHL Department of Player Safety which determined supplementary discipline is required under Category 1 – ‘Careless’ – insufficient attention or thought to avoid harm or error. It is liable to happen as a consequence of, or by intending to, affect an opponent through a reactionary or accidental motion; or the incident is deemed careless caused by negligence.

As the video shows, both #14 Sam Jones and #43 Mathieu Tousignant are skating towards the end boards in pursuit of a lose puck. Both players were aware of each other’s presence. A mutual body contact occurred between the two players, which is deemed a battle for the puck and nothing illegal or worthy of a penalty. Immediately following the contact, it appears Jones takes exception to being bumped in the corner and made a choice that he would take a retaliatory type action on Tousignant. After the retaliatory action, a fight ensued, which is deemed started and caused by the body action and intent of Jones.

The reason for supplementary discipline is the action Jones used in raising his elbow and directing it at the head area of Tousignant. There is never a time where a player is permitted to target a player's head through the use of an elbow. In this case, it is not deemed a body check 'gone bad' or an accidental action. It is deemed to have intent and be targeted through a retaliatory-type action.

Jones must accept body to body contact does and will occur in the game. Considering Jones altered his skating position in pursuit of the puck to his right and towards the skating lane of Tousignant, it is deemed Jones is the first to engage in the battle for the puck. Tousignant stood his ground in a protective type of body action, which he is permitted to do. Jones must refrain from actions deemed illegal and/or targeted at the area of the opposing player's head.

Effective immediately, Fife Flyers #14 Sam Jones fined and suspended for one game.

Key References: 

  • Elbow
  • Directed at the head area of opposing player 
  • Category 1 – ‘Careless’

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