After postponing the vote on the abolition of fights last February, the governors of the QMJHL have again opted for the status quo in a vote held Thursday evening and which aimed to increase the penalties imposed on players who throw the gloves , learned the Journal .
The proposal discussed Thursday within the framework of the Members' Assembly aimed in particular to add to the major penalty of five minutes already provided for in the rule book of the QMJHL, an additional ten minutes of misconduct which would have ensured that each player who throws the gloves should have spent 15 minutes in the dungeon, rather than five.
However, after a close vote, the status quo was decided.
“Although a majority of teams voted in favor of the proposal, it did not obtain the two-thirds of the votes necessary for a modification of a game rule. The rules of last year will therefore be the same in force for the current season, ”commented QMJHL communications director Maxime Blouin yesterday.
There therefore seems to be a long way to go for the QMJHL to have its plan for the complete and definitive abolition of fights, presented last February, to be adopted.
“I am very surprised that it is not moving faster than that. But on the other hand, we live in a community and there are 18 owners in the QMJHL. We can not blame anyone other than the owners because they are the ones who passed the vote, ”lamented the president of the Remparts de Québec Jacques Tanguay, one of the strong voices in favor of the abolition of fights in hockey.
Tanguay is however delighted to see a “progression in the dialogue”.
“On the other hand, you can see that there is still a hard majority whose mentalities will have to change, some of which are on the other side of the province …”, he dropped, referring to the Halifax Mooseheads owner Bobby Smith, who has been on the side against the abolition of brawls in the Courteau Circuit from the very beginning.
Mr. Smith declined our request for an interview yesterday for family reasons. Last February, however, he explained his position in an interview with the newspaper Le Nouvelliste in Trois-Rivières.
“I always believe our league is safer when brawls are tolerated. Concussions are inflicted by body checks from behind, vicious hits and body checks to the head. If we remove the fights completely, will there be more hits like this? I think so, ”he pleaded.
Fights have been declining in the Courteau circuit for ten years, going from 0.78 fights per game during the 2010-2011 season to 0.25 during the last season, shortened by a few weeks due to the pandemic.