Two minor hockey coaches in Gatineau, Que., have been suspended for life by Hockey Outaouais after an alleged violent altercation earlier this month at the Slush Puppie Centre.
The coaches from the La Lièvre de Gatineau Minor Hockey Association allegedly fought with a third coach after a stormy under-15 A game between Jets 1 La Lièvre and Remparts Gatineau on Nov. 20.
An independent disciplinary committee made its decision Nov. 27. The two suspended coaches can no longer coach minor hockey anywhere in the country.
One man suffered minor injuries in the altercation and did not need to be taken to hospital, according to Gatineau police. Police confirmed to Radio-Canada by email that they're investigating the alleged incident, but have not formally laid charges.
Suspended coach 'confused' by decision
One of the two coaches, Patrick Groulx of Jets 1 La Lièvre, told Radio-Canada by phone that he had been involved in an altercation, but deplored the way the disciplinary committee made its judgment.
"I feel confused. I feel betrayed by the Hockey Outaouais committee. They never came to see me, to talk to me. They made decisions on facts [which rest] on just one side of the coin… I did not even have the right to explain myself to these people who made decisions," Groulx said in French.
Radio-Canada/CBC is not naming the second coach because it could not independently verify his involvement.
Hockey Outaouais declined to comment, but did confirm a police investigation is underway.
In an email to CBC, Hockey Canada said it's aware of the incident, and that the bans imposed by Hockey Outaouais extend to any minor hockey association within the purview of the sport's national governing body.
"Hockey Canada will recognize and enforce that disciplinary penalty, subject to any appeal rights that the individuals may have," Hockey Canada wrote.