Chilliwack Chiefs president Glen Ringdal is praising the British Columbia Hockey League for its response to his team's recent game in Victoria that ended with multiple fights after the final buzzer had sounded.
Six players from each team were handed suspensions following the Jan. 12 game in Victoria. Chiefs assistant coach Brandon Fleenor has also been fined and suspended for five games following a stick incident at the Chilliwack bench.
Ringdal, who was at the game, disputes the characterization of the incident as a "brawl" and called it more of a "skirmish." He praised both the players and the officials for keeping the situation from spiraling too far out of control.
"When things started to look like things could get out of hand, they stepped back," Ringdal said of the players.
And he says he has "no quarrel" with the suspensions handed down.
"It's in keeping with the direction that this league is going. . . . The league is moving forward to a day when it's all about real hockey and it's not the old days of brawling."
Ringdal said much of the trouble started with a vocal Victoria player who was not playing in the game but standing next to both benches and hurling invective at Chiefs players. The BCHL has responded, Ringdal said, by requiring players who aren't dressed for the game to watch from the stands.
"It's a very positive move," Ringdal said.