Belfast Telegraph

Keefe is furious after Belfast Giants star Goulakos punished with a three-game ban

 

By Stuart McKinley

Angry Belfast Giants coach Adam Keefe has branded the decision to slap defenceman Spiro Goulakos with a three-match ban as an 'outrage'.

And he is now calling for the Elite League's Department of Player Safety - who imposed the suspension - to be overhauled.

Goulakos will miss the next three games for his part in an incident with Sheffield Steelers' Colton Fretter last Sunday, but the ban is largely irrelevant as doctors have ruled him out for the next two weeks anyway because of a concussion suffered in the hit.

The Giants ace was thrown out of the game for a kicking offence on Fretter, who has been banned for one game for a check from behind. Video replays show that the contact with Goulakos - who himself had served a penalty for a hit on Fretter earlier in the game - came a full three seconds after the defenceman released the puck and Keefe is furious that his man has come out with the longer ban.

"This is a disappointing decision for the league and for ice hockey in the UK," said Keefe. "People around the world will see this - it's a small world in ice hockey - and they will be amazed that a hit like that on Spiro Goulakos is a one-match suspension.

"It's why this league has a reputation for being dangerous. Questions need to be asked of the Department of Player Safety. Who is running it, who is making the decisions and who are they making them for? And maybe things need to be changed.

"It's an outrage and the decision to ban one player for three games and another for one is baffling."

The Giants are unlikely to appeal as Goulakos won't play either this weekend or next.

"I don't think Spiro's was a kicking offence either," said Keefe. "All he did was try to put some distance between himself and someone who was attacking him."

Belfast Telegraph

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