Why banning Riley Emmerson is a dumb move

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That’s a big man in the middle there. (Photo: edinburgh-capitals.com)

Sigh.

It’s way too early in the season to be writing something like this.

The “Department of Player Safety” (who nobody knows really is) of the EIHL came and suspended Edinburgh Capitals blue liner Riley Emmerson 10 games for a two minute minor infraction from last week’s game against Belfast.

Let’s back up a little bit here.

Riley Emmerson was the Capitals key signing for this year. You could say he was the big name to draw some fans to the seats of Murrayfield Ice Rink. At 6’8” this towering presence of a man has already had stints in the AHL, ECHL and CHL and has some impressive opponents on his fight card including Jon Mirasty. He’s not a goal scorer. He’s there for toughness. He’s here to put on a show if you will.

Edinburgh and Belfast clashed last Saturday at home in Murrayfield in what was the Capitals FIRST game of the season and Challenge Cup at that. At 1:04 of the first period, Emmerson was called for boarding on Belfast’s Kevin Phillips and given a two minute minor. Pretty simple and even though fans have said it was a big hit, refs didn’t seem anything more was warranted.

Phillips however did not play in the rest of the game and was later diagnosed with a concussion. Fair play.

The “Department of Player Safety” went to review the altercation but subsequently could not because Edinburgh did not have video of the play.  Now that in itself is uncalled for. Teams should have video of every game that should be sent to the league within a half an hour or an hour of the game ending. At least that’s how it’s done on this side of the pond. The league has fined Edinburgh $1,000 for not having video and rightfully so. Nothing wrong with that.

This “department” also threw down a 10 game suspension to Riley Emmerson for his hit. Correct me if I’m wrong but, how can you suspend a player for a play you’ve never even seen? Not only that, why are you undermining your referree’s judgement? They clearly didn’t think anything more than two minutes was warranted so why step over them? That would put a sour taste in my mouth if I was an official.

Wanting to set a precedent? With what? A fourth liner who has a tough guy reputation but hasn’t even played two games in the league? Come on now. I could point out a million other things that happened in games last season that warranted more of a punishment then this one. Want to really set one? Catch one of your star players in a skirmish then bring the hammer down.

Edinburgh-capitals-logoBasing it on the injury of Phillips? I’m all for protecting player’s safety but if the concussion became an after effect a couple days later then there’s not much to enquire about a suspension. Yes, it could have been caused by Emmerson’s hit but why wait a full week to lay out your suspension? You don’t need video to prove he’s concussed.

Wanting to set a precedent concerning the lack of video footage? By all means, go right ahead. That is definitely warranted. However, don’t take it out on the player. It wasn’t Emmerson’s fault for not having video of his hit. Fine the club more and downgrade his suspension. If anything his ban should be nothing more than two or three games if it was even a dirty hit.

As a new player to the league, this is going to leave one bad taste in Riley Emmerson’s mouth.

Sure left one in mine. Goes to show you that money talks.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. scotsman7 says:

    As a ex official over here, I’m often left scratching my head at some suspensions & sometimes the lack of them, this one has left me baffled !!

  2. James Whitelaw says:

    This is a really shocking decision how can you ban someone for 10 games when you haven’t even been able to review the hit. I was there i saw the hit and was just as surprised as everyone when he even got called for 2 minutes it was a clean check.

  3. Mark says:

    if Phillips concusion was so bad how come he was able to play tonight (friday12 Sept) against the Caps at the Odessey, didn’t look like he was suffering the effects of concussion to me, and surely for his safety he shouldn’t have been allowed to play

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