QMJHL planning to ban fighting starting next season

QMJHL commissioner Mario Cecchini. (Ryan Remiorz/CP)

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is planning to ban fighting starting next season, but it still needs to finalize the exact details of the move.

At a press conference introducing new commissioner Mario Cecchini on Thursday, Richard Letourneau, president of the QMJHL’s board of members, said the league plans to confirm the terms at a meeting in June.

“At the member assembly last February 23rd, the member assembly endorsed a ban on fighting,” he said. “So, yes, fights are banned, now there are some terms left to finalize. Indeed, we have an expanded hockey committee formed of (league directors) to figure out how to apply this rule, get it accepted by the minister, and get it all endorsed by the member assembly in June.”

Cecchini says he plans to have a meeting with Quebec sports minister Isabelle Charest to discuss the issue.

Cecchini says there will need to be more discussion regarding the “how” fighting will be banned and what sanctions will follow for players who chose to fight, saying the sanctions would have to be “severe.”

“That will be determined with the committee and announced I think later in June. I don’t have the whole calendar in my head yet but I know there are some sittings in June, and it’s at that time we’ll probably make it public,” he said

The Ontario Hockey League and Western Hockey League have not announced any plans to strengthen rules against fighting this season.

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