Coaching suspension fits the crime

  • Hockey violence has long been an ugly part of the game.
    Hockey violence has long been an ugly part of the game.
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You may have heard of the minor hockey coach who was recently suspended 10 years for punching a 16-year-old player during a midget A game in the Saguenay.

Hockey Quebec came down hard on the coach, effectively ending his coaching career.

The question is: Do you think the punishment fits the crime?

The public is often outraged when a coach or a hockey parent takes matters into their own hands and resorts to violence at a minor hockey game.

But hockey violence has existed since the game was invented.

Often the violence is directed toward a referee, who makes for an easy target.

In this case, however, the coach’s anger was directed toward a teenage player on the opposing team during a late-game melee.

Because the incident was captured on video, it quickly caught the eye of media and drew attention from Hockey Quebec officials who made an example of André Harvey, the Jonquiere Pumas midget A coach.

I happen to believe Hockey Quebec got it right on this one.

Ten years is a long time, but it’s about time hockey officials took a tough stance on ugly disciplinary cases.

Hockey Quebec has sent a strong message to all coaches that they must ensure the health and safety of the players – not jeopardize it through their own acts of irrationalism.

I’d like to believe the punishment in this case will deter other coaches from losing their cool at the rink.

But, alas, my cynical side tells me differently.

After all, hockey is an intense and emotional game and far too many coaches and parents, and occasionally players, often get caught up in the emotion of the game and go ballistic.

It’s what we call rink rage.

Only afterward, upon sober reflection, do the culprits ever regret their actions.

Let’s hope HockeyQuebec’s stiff punishment makes coaches think twice before raising a fist to a player next time.


  1. As the referee in chief in Montreal West, we had a referee (16 years old) punched by a visiting coach and all that coach got was 10 games. Even 10 years is not enough, if you are punching minors or officials as a coach, lifetime ban from the sport, including arenas.

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