Saturday, December 20, 2014
AJHL Player Gets One Year Suspension
The Fort McMurray Oil Barons will be without forward Danton Ayotte for the foreseeable future.
After being ejected from the first period of the team's Dec. 6 game against the Brooks Bandits for an incident with an official, Hockey Alberta came down on Ayotte Wednesday, levying a calendar-year suspension on the 1995-born forward from Wetaskawin as announced by the team's Twitter account.
When approached for comment by the Calgary Sun regarding the decision Thursday night, MOB head coach and general manager Curtis Hunt repeated the team’s statement, released through the team’s Twitter account just moments earlier.
“Hockey Alberta has ruled on Danton Ayotte’s match penalty for Dec 6 in Brooks, giving him a calendar year suspension,” the MOB tweeted.
“The club is considering all options on this ruling, which may include an appeal, and has no other comment at this time.”
Ayotte was one of the MOB’s top rookies in the 2013-14 Alberta Junior Hockey League season, scoring 16 goals and 26 points in 51 games along with 78 penalty minutes. Ayotte had struggled to find that same offensive game this year though, recording just four goals and 10 points in 27 games with the club.
Ayotte also had 82 penalty minutes on the year, though this was just his second game misconduct since entering the league.
Brad Lyon, Hockey Alberta’s senior manager of communications, explained that match penalties on an official are considered “the most serious infraction in the rule book” and divided into three different levels: threaten or attempt to strike, intentionally touches, holds or pushes and intentionally strike, trip or body check. Lyon added that Ayotte’s penalty fell into the third category, though the incident in question itself isn’t clear on the game’s official broadcast.
“In this situation when there’s a match penalty on an official assessed, it’s reported by the referees and that comes directly to Hockey Alberta to be considered from the discipline perspective,” Lyon said.
Lyon talked about the process that went into the ruling, saying both Ayotte and the official in question would’ve been interviewed at a hearing by the committee and had their statements and available evidence used in determining the length of the suspension.
Adding to that, Lyon said that for the type of infraction that was committed, the year-long penalty was the “recommended minimum penalty” under Hockey Alberta’s rulebook.
The chair of Hockey Alberta’s disciplinary committee, Sherry Haarstad, did not return calls as of press time.