Violence Being Weeded Out of the Game Under CJHL Pilot

Gone are the wild stick swinging days of Ogie Ogilthorpe and the Hanson Brothers. Or Ted Green and Wayne Maki, if you prefer truth being stranger than fiction.

But it may not be long before there is no more Georges Laraque or Tie Domi in the game of hockey either.

The debate over the role of fighting in the modern game of puck is a legitimate one coursing through boardrooms of every major hockey organization.

Hockey Canada, in an effort to curb violence on the ice, brought its “one-fight rule” to the junior and senior levels of amateur puck in 2010 (fight once and it’s a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct), down from the usual “two fight rule” most had been operating under.

At that time, the Canadian Junior Hockey League lobbied Hockey Canada to come up with its own plan of deterring violence in the game, which grew into a two-year pilot project encompassing five leagues — the Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Maritimes junior hockey loops.

What has resulted is one of the most successful models in existence for curtailing what CJHL president and chairman Kirk Lamb likes to call “predatory players.”

“We’re trying to get rid of the player that’s a predatory player without impacting the type of fighting some have argued has a benefit to the game — protecting a star player … or where a vulnerable player is getting taken advantage of,” explained the Calgary-based Lamb, who became the CJHL’s first full-time leader in September.

The data doesn’t lie. Their plan is working.

Full Story from The Calgary Herald