Diamonds and Ice

USHL will look into new fighting rules
January 19, 2009, 8:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Talked with United States Hockey League Executive Vice President Gino Gasparini today, and he said the league is evaluating its fighting policy.

All of this comes on the heels of the accidental death of Canadian junior player Don Sanderson in an on-ice fight recently. Sanderson had his helmet knocked off in the altercation and hit the back of his head on the ice after he and an opponent threw each other to the ground.

In response to the death, the Major Junior Ontario Hockey League has changed its rules to issuing a game misconduct and automatic one-game suspension who remove their helmets or undo chinstraps during a fight. The previous penalty was a $100 team fine.

The USHL penalty is a five-minute major for all fights, though it’s a game misconduct (and subsequent one-game suspension) for fights in the final five minutes.

“That’s hard to say (if the USHL rule will change),” Gasparini said. This league has been very proactive on items with regards to safety. So when you talk about an issue like this, it’s always a concern.

“We’ll look at it, we are looking at it.”

Gasparini said when the USHL adopted a 5-minute major penalty fighting rule instead of an automatic game ejection roughly 10 years ago, the number of fights actually decreased. More importantly, he said, so did stick fouls (high-sticking, cross-checking).

Gasparini would not comment on what appears to be the imminent sale of the RoughRiders. He was asked if he sees Cedar Rapids in the league in the future.

“Why wouldn’t they be?” Gasparini said. “Cedar Rapids has a very bright future in this league. No question.”


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