A junior B hockey league operating in B.C.’s Interior has fined a club and suspended two players — including a 20-year-old team captain — as a result of an "unacceptable" hazing incident.
The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League will also require the Creston Valley Thunder Cats to “complete training designed to identify and eliminate instances of abuse, bullying and harassment,” according to a statement from the league issued Monday.
KIJHL league officials began investigating a report of hazing within the Thunder Cats last week. The league said it was notified by team staff on Tuesday last week. Investigators then travelled to Creston to conduct interviews.
No details of the allegations have been made public.
As a result of its investigation, the KIJHL announced four disciplinary measures on Monday: The Thunder Cats have been fined an undisclosed amount and placed on probation for two years, with a requirement the club takes “proactive steps to ensure a positive team culture” in the future; Thunder Cats players will be required to undergo abuse, bullying and harassment training; team captain Clayton Brown will serve a 12-game suspension; and alternate captain Campbell McLean will serve a six-game suspension.
“The KIJHL is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for our athletes, volunteers, staff and fans,” league commissioner Jeff Dubois said in the statement.
“What occurred in Creston is unacceptable and the discipline imposed against the Thunder Cats organization and members of the team reflect our zero-tolerance approach to these types of incidents.”
Dubois said the incident and the subsequent investigation showed the league still has “considerable work to do” educating its players.
“We take this responsibility seriously and we are taking immediate steps to address this issue,” he said.