The Quality Foods Oceanside Generals are appealing the punishment rendered by BC Hockey on Westshore Wolves player Jacob McQuillan for a slashing incident on Jan. 27 that resulted in Generals’ forward Max Creighton getting 12 stitches for a gash on the side of his nose. Creighton will require plastic surgery during the off-season, said Peter Creighton, the player’s father and a director with the Oceanside Generals Hockey Club.
McQuillan was handed a six-game suspension by BC Hockey, the non-profit organization and member branch of Hockey Canada in charge of governing amateur hockey at all levels in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. The Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League slapped another six-game suspension on McQuillan for a total of 12 games.
But Generals president Gerry Bickerton said he feels the punishment does not fit the crime. He said they have expressed their disappointment to BC Hockey and governors of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.
“The length of the suspension, just to me, isn’t sufficient enough,” said Bickerton. “It’s not harsh enough. I know in most cases 12 games seems like a death penalty, but for this case it’s not sufficient. I think for the bare minimum, he should not be able to play again for the rest of the year. For my personal opinion, he should not be allowed to play in our league anymore.”
Bickerton stressed that there’s no place in the game for what happened to Creighton, who, during the game, was skating past the Westshore bench following a whistle when McQuillan swung his stick at him from the bench. Bickerton added that the injury could have been much worse if the stick had struck Creighton slightly higher or lower.
“The injury is substantial but Max is still lucky,” said Bickerton. “A couple of inches lower and he could have lost a bunch of teeth, probably a broken jaw and required reconstructive surgery. Another inch higher and we’re talking about major vision damage. We’re talking about potential life-altering injuries.”
The Generals plan to pursue this issue further with BC Hockey, said Bickerton, who strongly feels the suspension does not fit the act.
“They need to take care of this properly,” said Bickerton.
Peter Creighton said he has no plans of filing any criminal charges or suing. He said he’s relieved to see his son spared a more serious injury. But he is upset with McQuillan’s action.
“You expect guys to come at you on the ice, but not from the bench,” the elder Creighton said. “It’s about respect. There’s a lot of people who are disgusted that he did not receive a stiffer penalty, which I am hoping he still will. The fact that the kid is going to be allowed to play again this year is a bit of a black mark on our game. The VIJHL matched the suspension handed out by B.C. hockey and I applaud them for that.”
This is not McQuillan’s first major infraction this year. The game in which he injured Max Creighton was his first back on ice following a six-game suspension for a head contact penalty and resulting gross misconduct.
“He is a repeat offender,” said Peter. “I don’t like being hard on kids, because they’re kids. But that’s where the adults need to do the right thing. Everything has to be some kind of a teaching moment.”