A major junior hockey disciplinarian is going to have to decide, after the QMJHL indefinitely suspended Moncton's Ross Johnston for this play. Johnston's stick struck Halifax's Brian Lovell in the face, breaking his jaw, and requiring surgery that will keep him out the rest of the season. But is it possible that such a violent blow could be completely accidental?

Johnston and Lovell tangled against the boards during Saturday's game, and Johnston's stick got wedged between the glass and the divider. As Lovell rose to his skates, Johnston wrenched the stick free‚ÄĒright into Lovell's mug. No penalty was called on the play, but Halifax sent video of the incident to the league, and an indefinite suspension was announced today.

There'll be a review and hearing, and Johnston's suspension is sure to be reduced from the current "forever." But how much? It's fairly clear that Johnston wasn't trying to hit Lovell. At the same time, he know Lovell was nearby, and his stick is his responsibility. Moncton has 13 regular-season games remaining.

Update: Here's what Lovell's face looked like yesterday:


[Buzzing The Net]