Junior player suspended 20 games for violent hit

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The Ontario Hockey League announced today that Niagara IceDogs forward Tom Kuhnhackl has been suspended 20 games for his hit on Kitchener Rangers defenseman Ryan Murphy.

The play in question occurred Friday after Murphy, 18, went back to retrieve the puck behind the Kitchener goal and didn’t see Kuhnhackl, 19, charging towards him.

The 20-game suspension was handed out with the following rationale:

—-Contact with head

—-Vulnerable unsuspecting player

—-Speed and considerable distance traveled

—-Kitchener player injured on the play

Murphy, who suffered a concussion on the play, was selected 12th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2011 draft. In an ironic twist, the ‘Canes sent him back to junior partly because they felt he wasn’t physically ready to play against bigger, stronger NHL players.