Fights prohibited in the QMJHL: it was about time!
Gilles Courteau may have left a fine legacy before leaving. Because the decision of the QMJHL to adopt deterrent measures to ban fights had been taking shape for two and a half years.
In September 2020, the owners had rejected 10 to 8 a proposal aimed at radicalizing the measures against the brawlers.
But Minister Isabelle Charest did not intend to let things stop there. She had asked Courteau to return to her duties before applying for financial assistance from the government.
About ten days later, the QMJHL complied with Ms. Charest's request by toughening the penalties on fights.
A misconduct penalty was to be added to the major penalty imposed for having beaten.
The first story of yesterday's announcement was given two weeks ago.
Patrick Roy then declared that fighting had no place in hockey.
That said it all!
Ironically, his opinion ran counter to the position of his former Canadiens teammate, Bobby Smith, who then owned the Halifax Mooseheads.
Smith has since sold his shares to an American businessman.
The QMJHL becomes the first circuit member of the Canadian Hockey League to ban fighting.
It was about time!
The new regulations will not suit everyone. There will still be those who say that fighting is part of hockey.
But it never was.
Fighting has always been penalized, a sign that it was not allowed.
Will we see more dirty blows?
No, if the officials crack down on the culprits and that the QMJHL imposes severe penalties on the culprits.
In any case, the belief that battles served to reduce the number of dirty blows has always been false.
< strong>System to be adopted
It now remains to adopt a code for the application of sanctions.
The rules could be similar to those in effect in Canadian university hockey.
Let's take the example of the eastern Ontario division of which the Patriotes of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières belong, the McGill Redbirds and the Concordia Stingers.
A fight results in automatic ejection and a one-game suspension for both sides.
A player guilty of a first recidivism finds himself in the shade for three games. When there is an instigator, the same rule applies for him, but his opponent only receives a major penalty.
The rules are essentially the same in the NCAA.
Does that diminish the spectacle?
Those who watched the matchup between the UQTR Patriotes and the Stingers on Sunday night on Facebook will say no. It was a game of anthology!