Comment: DOPS’ verdict packs bigger punch than any thrown by Jay Rosehill

Jay Rosehill, Manchester Storm, restarined by an official after his outburst in the Ne'er game versus Fife Flyers which led to a six-game ban (Pic: Steve Gunn)
Jay Rosehill, Manchester Storm, restarined by an official after his outburst in the Ne'er game versus Fife Flyers which led to a six-game ban (Pic: Steve Gunn)

Jay Rosehill’s love affair with Fife Ice Arena may be waning after his New year outburst left him with a hefty six-game suspension.

The former NHLer had previously spoken of how much he revelled in the red-hot atmosphere when playing against Fife Flyers, and going head with head with his most vocal critics.

‘’At the end of the game the guys who are ruthless as they yell at you are the ones who clap you. ‘’You look back and say ‘that was fun – let’s do it again next week!’ he told The Forecast, Manchester Storm’s podcast.

For Rosehill, next week is on hold after a withering assessment by the Department of Player Safety (DOPS) of his actions which saw his first footing last a mere 14 minutes.

And their summation that he take the time to ‘’consider his ability to play hockey in a legal and meaningful manner in the EIHL’’ hit harder than any punch he has ever thrown in the heat of a scrap.

Rosehill’s outburst against Fife came when his side were listing. You could see the red mist starting to descend as it struggled in the face of Fife Flyers’ momentum.

Fife Flyers v  Manchester Storm - game over for Jay Rosehill   (Pic: Steve Gunn)

Fife Flyers v Manchester Storm - game over for Jay Rosehill (Pic: Steve Gunn)

James Isaac’s tasty check on the plexi was the spark that lit their fuse.

One Storm player had a jab at him with his stick and then Rosehill entered the fray with a slash and a hook before levelling the wrong player. Not his finest hour ...

Realising it was game over he trashed his stick on the ice, hammered the boards as he left and was last seen storming down the tunnel, all to the glee of a Fife crowd that had been cranking up the noise all night.

Rosehill’s penalties were a wrecking ball which hurtled straight through his own bench. Storm’s discipline disintegrated, the goals stacked up and they were, mentally, out of this game long before the final buzzer.

Fife Flyers v  Manchester Storm - Jay Rosehill smashes his stick on the ice after being thrown out  (Pic: Steve Gunn)

Fife Flyers v Manchester Storm - Jay Rosehill smashes his stick on the ice after being thrown out (Pic: Steve Gunn)

DOPS’ near 700-word assessment of the situation didn’t just mark Rosehill’s card, it also put coach Ryan Finnerty on probation with a clear ‘control your team’ message.

The review body expressed its concern at Storm’s response to what it called ‘’a perfectly clean and legal body check.’’

Rosehill and team-mate, Linden Springer both went after Isaacs ‘’for no justifiable reason.’’

DOPS continued: ‘’As the play develops further, Rosehill, having already made slashing and hooking attempts on Isaacs, ignores the puck and decides to use a more aggressive action on an opposing player.

Fife Flyers v  Manchester Storm - Jay Rosehill punches the boards as he leaves the ice pad  (Pic: Steve Gunn)

Fife Flyers v Manchester Storm - Jay Rosehill punches the boards as he leaves the ice pad (Pic: Steve Gunn)

‘’What is most concerning about this action from Rosehill is that the opposing player that Rosehill ultimately endangers is not Isaacs, who was the player he was originally targeting, but another member of the Fife Flyers.

‘’Rosehill makes aggressive contact with an unsuspecting opposing player, which suggests he is either not aware of which player he was originally going after, or which player he was targeting with this additional aggressive action.

‘’This action also shows how out of line with the rules of the game the incident was.’’

Rosehill’s stick-chucking, board-thumping exit wasn’t overlooked either.

‘’This response ...is not something which should be tolerated in professional hockey.’’

With three previous suspensions behind him – the most recent on December 30 – Rosehill must have known he was going to be hit hard by DOPS. The review panel takes a stern approach to repeat offenders, much in the same way an exasperated parent responds to a wilfully naughty child pouring water all over the kitchen for the third morning in a row.

DOPS said it was ‘’imperative that the suspension reflect the need for Rosehill to take some time to consider his ability to play hockey in a legal and meaningful manner in the EIHL.’’

While he cools his heels for the next six games - in effect three weekends on the sidelines - coach Finnerty has some thinking to do as well.

DOPS made it clear that ‘any further actions by any Storm player similar to those of Rosehill will also leave him liable to suspension ‘’for inability to control his players.’’

It said: ‘’The EIHL should tolerate this kind of behaviour by players, especially the abuse of official and throwing of a stick. This has to be addressed with the coach and his ability to control his players. The onus is on Ryan Finnerty and his team to adhere to the EIHL’s standards, and not the other way around.’’

Perhaps sensing what was coming, the coach’s immediate post-game interview did focus on discipline, and a pledge to sort things out.

He has six games to do it. Minus his captain ...