There is so much hockey action taking place this month with a tight race in the National Hockey League, the tournament just started at the Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is still on the way, approaching the postseason as well. And last night, despite loads on action across the NHL and in South Korea, it was the latter that caught the attention of fans across the world.
And, of course, not for the right reasons...
Gabriel Bilodeau of the Gatineau Olympics is a strong defenseman, standing tall at 6 foot 1 and already weighting 180 pounds at just 19 years of age. He had a short night on Friday as his team faced the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. After a short four minutes of play in the first period, Bilodeau was ejected from the game for one of the most reckless and dangerous hit you will see all year. And yes, this includes whatever can take place in the NHL.
As one of Gatineau's best defensemen, Bilodeau was sent off after serving a brutal check on Ivan Chekhovich's head. Players gather to fight after the collision, as D'Artagnan Joly looked to defend his poor teammate, but the battle did not last long as they seemed more worried about the condition on the 19-year-old forward. Joly is also coming back from injury and might not have wanted to aggravate his ailment by dropping the gloves with a much bigger Bilodeau.
Take a look at the hit, in the video below, and heads up, the hit is a brutal one. Unfortunately for Chekhovich, heads up meant meeting face first with Bilodeau's entire body:
The most unbelievable thing following the hit, besides the fact that the poor kid survive - is that Chekhovich did not miss one shift following the incident. The Drakkar did not manage to win the game, losing 2-1 to the Olympiques, but many wonder why Chekhovich was not taken out of the contest, at least for a short period of time, to get evaluate for a concussion or head injury.
Chekhovich was selected in the seventh round, 212th overall, by the San Jose Sharks in last summer's NHL Entry Draft, as they used a pick acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in the Andrew Desjardins trade. In 52 games with the Drakkar this season, Chekhovich has tallied 21 goals and a total of 40 points. The Russian forward also represented Team Russia internationally at the Under-18 World Junior Championships.
There is still no update on whether Bilodeau will need to serve a suspension for his hit. But one thing is certain: the hit is one of the most brutal we have seen so far this year in the hockey world.