STAR STAFF WRITER
CORNER BROOK, N.L. — A newly formed disciplinary committee means West Coast Senior Hockey League players will have more than protective gear keeping them safe on the ice.
Dave Bruce said the league established the committee to curb dangerous behaviour and make game play more safe.
“Reckless and over aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated,” said the public relations director for the league.
The committee will be made up of representatives from the three communities with teams: Corner Brook Royals, Deer Lake Red Wings and Port aux Basques Mariners.
Bruce said this committee, working with the league president, will be able to impose sanctions and suspensions if actions taken by players is deemed to be serious.
“These players are amateurs who are just out for a game of hockey. Nobody wants to end up injured out playing the game,” he said.
He said this type of committee was discussed at the last couple of meetings of the West Coast Senior Hockey League and it was unanimously agreed it was time to make the game more safe.
Bruce, who is also a member of the Corner Brook Royals executive, recognized the fact ice hockey is a physical game and checking is fine. They want to curtail players who really “cross the line” with stickwork and illegal checks.
Perry Compton, general manager of the Deer Lake Red Wings, said he welcomes the disciplinary committee.
“If the league feels there’s an infraction that needs a second look and a committee could impose a larger suspension, that’s fine with me,” he said.
Compton said this is all meant to try and take some of the nasty stuff out of the game and he welcomes that. He said having to sit out multiple games in a 12-game schedule should be a deterrent.
“All teams are on side and they have to be if this is going to work,” he said.
Mark Lawrence, general manager of the Port aux Basques Mariners, said this disciplinary committee should have been in place long ago.
He said there have been instances where he personally thought some players should have been suspended but weren’t, and others where players were suspended and should not have been.
“In the end, this is a non-paid league and we’ve never wanted a ‘goon’ league,” Lawrence said.
He said the dirty work needs to be cleaned up and the teams themselves must be part of enforcing that, with the disciplinary committee having the final say if dirty play occurs.
“We don’t want players stepping back from playing in the league because of that type of play taking place, so we must take steps to encourage potential players to come out,” Lawrence said.
He also said there haven’t been too many bad incidents.
He believes all home games should be videotaped and available to this committee for perusal if there is an incident in question.
Lawrence said the league should accept videotape for review as it is accepted at most higher levels of hockey.