On Sunday 10.02.2019 an incident occurred post game between the Fife Flyers and Manchester Storm. The incident has nothing to do with the spirit of hockey, fair play or the EIHL goal of speed and skill. The incident occurred after the handshake had concluded and is deemed disrespectful to the sport.
There are no previous case studies or examples that the DOPS department can use as a reference, therefore this incident will be dealt with in a ‘move forward’ perspective, which is what the EIHL has been working towards this entire season.
The first issue is one that the league must deal with immediately. In the view of the DOPS panel, there is no excuse to have players change ends, cross paths and create even the slightest element of doubt to which end they are to be in at the conclusion of the handshake. Moving forward, the EIHL will mandate a post game process that teams must follow, which will clearly set out which end belongs to which team.
Considering the responsible party(s), it would automatically be assumed that the coaches, being the responsible people to control their respective teams, would be considered responsible. The DOPS panel however feels that the coaches, although responsible for their team, had no direct influence on the incident starting or continuing. The responsibility is being put directly on the players involved and the teams as a whole.
For both the Fife Flyers and Manchester Storm, who are both active participants and responsible for their team actions, each team is fined £3,000.00. The £3,000.00 fine to each team is the maximum fine the DOPS is able to enforce as per the EIHL Rules and Regulations, such is the severity of the incident on the image and reputation of the EIHL and the sport.
Fife Flyers #56 Evan Stoflet – 6 game suspension.
With a gathering of players occurring, it has been determined that the first incident of severity is when Evan Stoflet threw a right hand punch to an unsuspecting opposing player. The right hand punch accelerated the entire incident and was the direct cause of the fight that immediately followed. From a player safety stand point, it was considered that Evan Stoflet did sustain an injury, as a result of not having his helmet on. However in the opinion of the DOPS panel, Evan Stoflet made a choice to start a fight, and he is 100% responsible for participating in the incident.
Manchester Storm #2 Harrison Rupp – 3 game suspension.
Being an active and willing participant in a fight at the conclusion of the game and hand shake is not an acceptable practice. Harrision Rupp is considered a willing and active participant in the fight.
Manchester Storm #27 Linden Springer – 5 game suspension.
With the Fife Flyers’ player being held from behind by a Manchester Storm player, Linden Springer threw a left hand punch directly at the opposing player who is unable to defend himself. The reason for a five game suspension is Springer then threw a second third forceful punch directed directly at the head of the opposing player.
Categorised in: EIHL Department of Player Safety