QMJHL | Quebec wants automatic suspension of brawlers

The Quebec government is asking the leaders of the Major Hockey League of Quebec to be stricter in dealing with brawlers.

Posted at 10:05 AM

Alexander Pratt

Alexander Pratt

Currently, players involved in combat are punished for 15 minutes. The Minister in charge of Sports, Isabelle Charest, wrote in a letter to LHJMQ Commissioner Gilles Courtaut that Quebec wants to “expel the warring parties from the meeting to a minimum, and that they receive additional comment”.

“There should also be more consequences when it comes to the instigator, the aggressor, or pre-planned fights,” the minister adds. “Unfortunately, this year we can see an increase in the number of games per game in the league. This is worrying, and it is further evidence that leads me to believe that we must act quickly and make the necessary changes.”

Of the three divisions in the Canadian Junior League, it is the QMJHL that penalizes brawlers the most. In Ontario and Western Canada, players are ejected for only five minutes. The minister wants the QMJHL to become the ‘leader of the culture change movement’. “I am asking for your help in persuading the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League to follow suit. This unifying force will be able to change mindsets, and become positive examples for the next generation players.”

This letter, sent on April 7, is part of an update to the unions’ security regulations. The government will also present in a few days the findings of its expert committee on the future of hockey in Quebec.

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