There's a lot of talk today about a hit by North Dakota's Matt Frattin in the second period of Sunday's game against Minnesota, and lots of rumors that Frattin will be suspended for it. Here's the video to judge for yourself...
Frattin was assessed a five-minute major penalty on the play. He later came back to score the third goal in a 4-1 win for the Sioux.
If I had to judge the hit, I'd agree with the five-minute major--though probably for charging, since he leaves his feet--and would have tacked on a game misconduct. I'm surprised the officials didn't go for that, because it's easier to hand out the game misconduct and then look at the tape after the game and make a determination on upping it to a game disqualification, and that probably would have drawn less controversy than the WCHA having to put out a press release saying they're giving him a suspension. Mark it down as PR Fiasco #87 on the year for the WCHA.
All politics aside, I'd be fine seeing that hit be called just a five-minute major and game misconduct. He tried to hit a guy hard, and went a little overboard by leaving his feet. That said, the idea of equitable, or even logical discipline decisions went out the window long ago for the WCHA. If Aaron Marvin's hit on Blake Geoffrion was worthy of missing 8 games or whatever it was that the WCHA originally wanted, I don't see how Frattin can get less since his hit looks worse. Granted some of Marvin's suspension--ok, let's be honest, all of it--was because of what happened earlier in the year with Chay Genoway. Additionally, I'm sure the WCHA has received 10,000 whining emails from a certain fanbase over the course of the season saying that those types of hits deserve more than a one-game suspension.
So there you go, Frattin could either be in the lineup on Thursday night, or he could be done for the duration of North Dakota's season, and into next season. It's difficult to tell when the league has shown no semblance of consistency when it comes to additional discipline.