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Youth hockey coach gets 10-year ban for punching player in back of head

Cam Charron
Buzzing The Net

I dunno, the headline is pretty self-explanatory.

When we last checked in on André Harvey, a house league hockey coach in Jonquière, Quebec, we were suspecting he might get a lifetime ban for quite clearly trying to punch an opposing player in the back of the head during a melee near his bench.

Today, we learn that the Quebec Ice Hockey Federation has not only issued just a 10-year suspension to Mr. Harvey for striking the Chicoutimi player in the head, but that Mr. Harvey also said that the punch was accidental:

The volunteer coach has admitted to the incident, and apologized, but he says the landed punch was an accident.

Hockey Quebec says that apology isn't enough. It says the coach has a responsibility to set an example and that his behaviour violates the basic principles of amateur coaching.

"the landed punch was an accident"

Not to editorialize here, but is Mr. Harvey aware that there is a video online? I posted it above. Presumably, the coach charged with the ban is the one who was caught on camera punching a player, quite purposefully.

See, here is the melee around the Jonquière bench. One of the coaches is wearing a baseball hat on the left side, just sort of minding his own business.

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punch 1

In this second still, you can see the coach cock his fist back. There is a helpful white arrow pointing at his fist, just in case the viewer is not immediately clear as to what is happening.

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punch 2

In this third still, you can see not only the coach swing his fist down onto the head of the Chicoutimi player in red pants behind the scuffle, but he appears to also make contact with his own player and the referee.

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punch 3

Again, the headline to this story is pretty self-explanatory. But the punch itself was quite purposeful. QMI expected a lifetime ban, I expected a lifetime ban, I think a lot of people expected a lifetime ban. He did not get a lifetime ban, despite Hockey Québec saying that the action was clearly deliberate ("délibré, second paragraph). The punishment doesn't seem to fit the crime or the rationale for it.

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