P.E.I. hockey group warns players, coaches about aggressive handshakes
Team Cherry's Nathan MacKinnon, right, and Team Orr's Seth Jones shake hands after the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game in Halifax on Wednesday, Jan.16, 2013. (Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, March 1, 2013 3:39PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, March 2, 2013 2:18PM EST
CHARLOTTETOWN -- A hockey association in P.E.I. has warned players and coaches to shake hands appropriately with their opponents after receiving complaints of aggressive behaviour during the traditional post-game show of sportsmanship.
Rob Newson of Hockey P.E.I. said Friday that the organization sent a letter to minor hockey presidents in January following three complaints concerning the way players on three separate teams were shaking hands after games.
"They're not major issues, but it's something that we don't want in the game," he said.
"We just put a warning for everyone that conduct that may be deemed inappropriate could always be subject to discipline, if we saw fit."
Newson said inappropriate language was used in at least one case, while the others involved what he called aggressive taps of the players' gloves.
No one was hurt in the incidents. The complaints came from coaches or team managers.
The letter from the chairman of the organization's minor hockey council states that the long-standing tradition of shaking hands post-game is sullied when players abuse it.
"Unfortunately, some players have lost that respect for their opponents," says the one-page note, dated Jan. 15.
It says anyone found to be disrespectful while shaking hands will be dealt with by the organization's discipline and ethics committee. It added that if the council continues to receive complaints, it will consider adopting a provincewide policy for all leagues to shake hands before games.
The incidents involved three different teams and players in both the midget and peewee divisions, the latter of which includes 11 and 12 year olds.
The letter comes after a coach in British Columbia was sentenced to 15 days in prison for tripping a 13-year-old player during the post-game handshake.