QMJHL approves stiffer punishments for fighting

LONGUEUIL, Quebec (AP) — The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League approved stiffer punishments for fighting Wednesday, a day before the start of the regular season.

All players involved in a fight will receive a 10-minute misconduct and 5-minute major. Previously, players were assessed only the 5-minute major. Anyone deemed to be an instigator also will get a 2-minute minor.

The amended rules will see players automatically handed a one-game suspension after their third fight, plus another game suspension for each additional skirmish.

Representatives from the league’s 18 teams in Quebec and the Maritimes voted on the rules in a video conference.

The stiffer penalties come after Isabelle Charest, the minister responsible for sport in Quebec, called on the league to ban fighting. The league is seeking $20 million in government assistance to help cover revenue lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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