Violent Melee Attack During Hockey Game Leads to Major Suspensions

Published September 17, 2023 at 2:03 PM

A shocking and wild brawl unfolded during a men's recreational league game in Toronto, leaving spectators stunned by the sheer ferocity on display.

The Melee Unleashed

The game, which took place on a Monday night in York, quickly descended into chaos, with players brandishing their hockey sticks like something out of a lumberjack showdown, as described by CTV's Adrien Ghobrial.

ASHL's Swift Response

The Adult Safe Hockey League (ASHL) wasted no time condemning the on-ice violence, labeling it as "shocking and unacceptable." In response, the league has suspended both teams indefinitely. An ongoing investigation is underway, and the ASHL is prepared to mete out further disciplinary measures, including possible permanent expulsion from the league.

Referee Bruce Tennant, who witnessed the brawl, expressed his disbelief, saying, "There was no concern at all for the safety of either their teammates or the opposing team; it was a war." Tennant, with over 45 years of refereeing experience, admitted he had never witnessed anything of this magnitude.

Tennant revealed that players on both sides were already known within the ASHL for causing problems.

The league issues statement

The Adult Safe Hockey League (ASHL) is aware of an on-ice incident that occurred during an ASHL game on September 11th, 2023, at Canlan Sports York. The violence of the incident is shocking and unacceptable, and we are grateful that there are no reports of injuries at this time.

The safety of our players and staff are paramount to the ASHL. The conduct from participants on both teams in no way aligns with the core values of Canlan Sports and the ASHL, the rules of the game, or the expectation of mutual respect between players that is the cornerstone of a safe and fun recreational hockey experience.

While we acknowledge that the total prevention of incidents like this is not possible with over 1,000 ASHL games being played each week, Canlan Sports aims to create the safest possible environment for our players, including:

▪ On-ice and off-ice game officials present at all ASHL games
▪ On-site Canlan Sports staff who are trained in First Aid and the application and use of AED's.
▪ Real-time on-site video to assist in investigations.
▪ The most comprehensive rule book in adult recreational hockey, which includes annual reviews, and a designated committee to review and administer supplementary discipline.
▪ Supplementary sport accident insurance for all registered participants.

We take this matter very seriously and have completed a thorough investigation of the incident.
As a result, the following disciplinary measures are being enacted:

▪ Both participating teams have been suspended indefinitely from the ASHL, pending the completion of the investigation.
▪Multiple individuals will be permanently expelled from any ASHL league, tournament, or sanctioned programming effective immediately.
▪ Additional participants from both teams will receive supplemental disciplinary suspensions in-line with the ASHL Rule Book, and will need to comply with several conditions prior to returning to any ASHL league, tournament, or sanctioned program.

Remarkably, despite the intense skirmish, there were no reported serious injuries, and the incident did not escalate to the point of involving law enforcement.

September 17   |   101 answers
Violent Melee Attack During Hockey Game Leads to Major Suspensions

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