A Western Hockey League season is 68 games long.
Alex Edwards, a 19-year-old winger for the Victoria Royals, will miss over one-third of those games after being handed a 25-game suspension following a reckless and dangerous hit from behind on Dexter Whittle of the Everett Silvertips.
The incident occurred this Saturday in the WHL game, and the brutal hit from behind sent Whittle to hospital. The second period was just less than two minutes old when a fore-checking Edwards drove his opponent into the boards.
Edwards was assessed a match penalty for intent to injure. Whittle was sent to the hospital but was released on Tuesday and will now be sidelined for some time to come.
“He will be out indefinitely with no set timetable to return. Our thoughts are with Dexter and his family during this difficult time,” the Silvertips said in a statement, per Times Colonist.
It’s not the first time Edwards has been suspended in the WHL. Last year, he served two suspensions.
“In addition to the severity of Edwards’ actions, other key factors considered in the decision include the severe injury to the opponent on the play and the fact Edwards is a repeat offender,” the WHL said in a statement.
Edwards won’t be able to play a game until Dec. 1 this year, and his team, the Royals, won’t challenge or appeal the decision.
“The entire Royals organization continues to have Dexter Whittle in our thoughts and we wish him a full recovery,” the Royals said in a statement.
According to Times Colonist, Edward’s 25-game suspension is the longest in team history.