Yes. You read that correctly. Fighting in junior hockey will soon be coming to an abrupt and permanent end. At least the end of the team wastring roster spots on useless donkey’s will end anyway.
The QMJHL took the first step by banning fighting with rule changes.
In a statement released Thursday, the QMJHL announced new safety regulations that will be put in place ahead of the 2023-24 season, including the elimination of fighting from the one of top Canadian league’s.
“In order to prevent physical and psychological violence that may result in minor or serious injury, or in extreme circumstances, death, the QMJHL is responsible for establishing rules of intervention when a fight occurs between two or more people during a game, regardless of whether they are players or other team members,” the statement read.
The revised rules detailed that those participating in a fight will be automatically ejected from the given game, and the player who instigated the bout will receive a one-game suspension.
The person identified as “the aggressor” in the fight will be dealt a two-game suspension, at minimum.
If a player later gets in a second fight, he will receive an automatic one-game suspension on top of the initial game misconduct.
“Rule 47 of the Playing Rules, starting with the 2023-24 season, provides for fights being prohibited with more restrictive and dissuasive sanctions in order to emphasize a safe quality of play conducive to the development of players participating in QMJHL activities,” the league wrote in the statement.
The suspensions are part of the major effort from new QMJHL commissioner Mario Cecchini to instill a “culture change” in the league, as he emphasized back in March. The elimination of fighting along with hazing is a priority effort being made by the league.
While some people are complaining about the removal or extended punishment for fighting, the reality is that it is a long overdue change.
That small group of people are usually the old school hockey fan who really doesnt grasp the skill of the game, old school fighters, and anyone who has never really been in a hockey fight on the ice.
The goon, or donkey, is no longer needed to take up a roster spot. When another skilled player is left off the ice for the donkey, then it is counter productive to development. The NHL isn’t drafting these dumb dumb’s any more, so why would teams waste a spot on their roster?
The excuse of needing to sell tickets in the CHL or any other top junior league no longer holds water. It wont be long before the rest of junior hockey follows the QMJHL lead.
They should be celebrated for being the first to make this move that will save lots of young men from CTE in the coming years. If you havent dealt with CTE, I hope you never will. It is terrible to watch a friend decline later in life for no other reason that the brain damage sustained by fighting, hitting your head on the ice, or the impact off the glass.
The occassional fight will still happen. That is how it is suppossed to be. Every player can and should protect themselves. If you cant protect yourself, then you better stop cirping and swinging your stick aound. The removal of fighting will speed the removal of some stupid behavior and bring more player respect back to the game.
Lets hope the rest of junior hockey takes notice and makes the change to protect all players from not just fighting, but a lack of self control with stick play, and dirty hits. Bringing more player respect back to the game is simply the best thing for the game.