The topic of fighting in hockey has been a hot topic, but now a professional league has decided to put an end to it.
New Quebec Major Junior Hockey League commissioner Mario Cecchini announced a fight ban beginning next season.
The QMJHL is one of the three junior leagues in Canada.
It remains to be seen how the other two leagues, the Western Hockey League and the Ontario Hockey League, will react to the QMJHL’s decision.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
“Of course we have to improve these situations and in some cases even eliminate them,” Cecchini said of the fighting and bullying.
PRELIMINARY FLYERS GM ‘SHOCKED’ TO SEE SON’S ACTIONS IN BAR; COLLEGE HOCKEY PLAYER EXCUSED
He also expressed his belief that the rule change is critical to changing the culture of the league.
“How do you make a culture change? With a lot of determination, with a lot of conviction and with a lot of precision and clarity in what is expected of everyone,” said Cecchini. “For me, that will be of the utmost importance.”
Cecchini replaced Gilles Courteau, who announced his resignation in early March after intense scrutiny of provincial politicians over harassment and initiations.
Courteau, 65, announced his departure after 37 years at the top of the junior hockey league and just a year before his planned retirement in 2024.
The QMJHL Governors recently voted on a new rule that would penalize players involved in a fight. Players would be subject to game misconduct. Officials noted that a player defending against an apparent attacker could escape punishment.
QMJHL Executive Committee President Richard Létourneau later confirmed that the league would proceed with a fight ban.
“Yes, fighting is forbidden,” said Létourneau. “Now the details have to be determined. We have an expanded hockey committee made up of general managers, coaches and owners to find a way to apply this rule and have it accepted by the Minister and ratified at our June General Meeting.”
In September 2020, the QMJHL changed its rules of combat. Violators faced a 10-minute misconduct instead of the usual five minutes for a fight penalty. If a player was involved in three fights in a single season, they were suspended for one game.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The rule change was in response to the Quebec Minister of Education’s threat to withhold financial aid from the league’s Quebec-based teams.
Source : www.foxnews.com