The Ontario Hockey League is taking a big swing at its frequent fighters.
Commissioner David Branch announced on Wednesday players who engage in more than 10 altercations during the regular season will receive a two-game suspension for each additional fight up to 15. For fights 16-20, the player will continue to receive two-game bans and his team will also be fined $1,000 and the league also has the latitude to institute further punishment.
In a scrap where one player is deemed the instigator, the other combatant's fighting major will not be counted against his total. A player's total re-sets for the playoffs.
Branch said 92 % of OHL players over the past five years have been involved in less than 10 fights but 25 players reached the 11-game threshold last year and four had greater than 15 with Windsor Spitfire tough guy Ty Bilcke, an Exeter native, leading the way with 37.
“There was a need to make on-going adjustments in this area,” Branch said, “and it'll be very interesting to see what happens in hopefully showing down and addressing what we feel is a concern.”
Kyle Flemington fought 11 times with London last year. He is no longer with the Knights.
New London forward Jack Nevins had 13 fights playing for Sarnia and Kingston last season.