Today, the AHL announced that Belleville Senators defender Hubert Labrie has been suspended for two games “as a consequence of an elbowing incident in a game at Toronto on Oct. 5.”
The incident is this hit on Toronto’s Kenny Agostino, who left the game:
Agostino was injured after taking a bad hit. Does not seem likely to return pic.twitter.com/pUuarHw9AZ— Kevin Papetti (@KPapetti) October 5, 2019
There is no official word on Agostino’s condition. The Marlies played this one game, the season opener, and will fly out to Winnipeg for two games against the Moose this Friday and Saturday, so he will have some time to recover if the injury wasn’t serious.
There is no question that Labrie raised his elbow deliberately. This is a pernicious form of extra foul the AHL has not done a very good job of dealing with. The victims are nearly always fast-skating offensive players whose crime is not “having their head down” as the apologists like to claim, it’s being too hard to defend against.
Maybe it’s time to bring in mandatory five and game for head contact like in the IIHF rules. Immediate punishment might work, where suspensions, in a league where player rotation is common, won’t even be felt by many of the players who do this sort of thing.
Labrie, 28, has 412 AHL games played over eight seasons prior to this one. He has 12 goals and 51 assists for 0.15 points per game with 461 PIM.
The AHL in the premier development league of the NHL.