I never heard of Reitz biting anyone last year? It would have made some news because he would have gotten a suspension at least.
As for Taffe saying Reitz checked him into the goaltender. I think Taffe is a little soar at Reitz for beating the crap out of him. Everyone I talked to who was at the game and saw it, saw Taffe gunning for Harding.
I wouldn't take what Taffe, Harding, or Reitz said because well, they are looking for themselves.
The recap at www.aeros.com called it a "vicious elbow to the head" -- that seems pretty specific, and usually team sites avoid the hyperbole when it comes to describing things like this. Instigatoralley.com had some first-person descriptions of the play as well. Everything I've read that was written by people who saw it live describes an intentional hit.
Reitz makes a handy excuse for a guy who lost control a bit and threw a hit he'd take back if he could.
"Those who didn't see the play also didn't see Eric Reitz. Reitz is the same guy that bit Casey Hankinson in a fight last year. According to Taffe, Reitz checked him into the goalie and there was no intent to check the goalie or elbow him."
So did anyone on the board actually see the play?
FYI, I was there and saw the play. Reitz did not cause Taffe to run Harding. That is blatantly a misrepresentation of the facts. However, I have not seen a replay of the hit and from the angle I was at cannot say that Taffe raised an elbow to intentionally try to injure Harding. I'm not saying that Taffe did or did not try to injure Harding. What I am saying is that Taffe initiated the contact. It appeared that he had an opportunity to avoid hitting Harding directly but did not attempt to avoid a collision. The only part of this whole thing I'm uncertain about is the elbow. It would take a replay for me to comment on the elbow. Evidently, the league saw some misconduct on Taffe's part or they would not have suspended him at all.
Reitz had the best angle of anyone. His reaction was immediate. I have seen Reitz in multiple situations where he was defending a fellow teammate. Reitz has never gone after a player like he went after Taffe. He had no doubt that Taffe attacked Harding with intent to injure. Reitz went after Taffe before Reitz could possibly know the extent of Harding's injury.
The league apparently looked at game footage. Perhaps like my viewpoint, they could not determine whether Taffe actually tried to injury Harding as viciously as has been described by some. But the league apparently saw enough to conclude Taffe ran Harding.