By GREGG DRINNAN
Daily News Sports Editor
The WHL has suspended defenceman Brandon Manning of the Chilliwack Bruins for seven games after his hit ended the season of Kamloops Blazers defenceman Austin Madaisky on Friday night.
Madaisky, 18, suffered a C-7 fracture (a fractured vertebrae) when he was spun by a hard-charging Manning, 20, and went back first into the boards during the third period of the Blazers’ 2-1 victory at Interior Savings Centre.
The extent of Madaisky’s injury was discovered when he was admitted to Royal Inland Hospital on Saturday morning. He later was fitted with an Aspen Cervical Collar and now is at his family’s home in Surrey.
Madaisky said Wednesday that the length of a suspension really didn’t matter to him.
“Not really,” he said, “but that seems fair. I don’t think he meant to hurt me but, at the same time, the league kind of needs to . . . make a statement. As much as he didn’t mean to hurt me it was still a dangerous hit.
“When there’s a dangerous hit resulting in an injury like a broken neck, I don’t think you can let him off with a two- or three-game suspension. They have to set an example.”
Earlier this week, Manning sent a text message to Madaisky, apologizing for the check.
“It was a nice gesture to reach out and apologize for the hit,” Madaisky said. “I’m sure he didn’t mean to hurt me. I’m pretty good friends with some of the (Bruins) and they said he felt pretty sad after the hit.”
As for Madaisky, he said he is gradually getting used to the collar but still is in pain.
“I’m pretty sore,” he said. “I didn’t really sleep too much (Tuesday) night.
“But I’m OK. . . . I’m hanging out.”
Manning will be eligible to return Feb. 25 when the Bruins are scheduled to visit the Vancouver Giants. The Blazers are scheduled to play in Chilliwack on March 5, the last meeting of the season between the teams.
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