A lifetime ban for hockey player who punched 15-year-old referee

By Michael Boriero
A lifetime ban for hockey player who punched 15-year-old referee

Hockey Estrie has handed down a lifetime ban to the 16-year-old Sherbrooke hockey player who assaulted a 15-year-old referee during an under-18 hockey game on March 13.

According to Hockey Estrie General Manager Rémi Meunier, it was a difficult decision, but after an independent review of the physical altercation, it was determined to be the only solution. The hockey player will not be allowed to play minor hockey in Quebec or across Canada.

“The decision comes from the regional disciplinary committee. It’s a completely independent committee, and so it was the committee members that met with different workers, gathered the facts, reviewed the file and concluded that a lifetime ban is appropriate,” said Meunier.

Although it’s not the first time a hockey player has swung at an on-ice official, Meunier believes the committee made the right call. Unfortunately, the player has been made into an example for other would-be offenders. And while it’s a harsh decision, he noted, it sends a clear message.

“You have to effectively send a message to the players that these actions are not acceptable. You have to also send a message to the spectators that we can’t solicit or encourage these actions, either,” Meunier said, adding the banned player can play in a garage league.

He told The Record that he hasn’t had any contact with the player, the referee, or members of the independent committee since he didn’t want to influence the final verdict. This will set a precedent, Meunier explained, and remind everyone in the arena to control their emotions.
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