Key members of a North American Hockey League (LNAH) franchise have been suspended until the end of the 2016-17 playoffs following a hot-tempered brawl during the pre-game warmup on Sunday.
The Laval Predators, who play in the infamously fight-happy LNAH, were involved in a melee before the puck drop on a game against the St-Georges Cool-FM. Predators co-owner Eric Lajeunesse, CEO Lucien Paquette and assistant coach Dannick Lessard all received two-season bans on Tuesday.
A total of 114 penalty minutes were handed out in the 6-3 Laval victory, according to the online game sheet.
However, only a two-minute penalty — a minor cross-checking penalty given to Laval’s Chris Cloutier — was assigned to the time of the opening faceoff (0:00 of the first period). Cloutier, a 31-year-old defenceman for the Predators, led all players with 21 penalty minutes. In 61 career LNAH games, Cloutier has racked up a remarkable 490 PIM. The eight-team, Quebec-based LNAH, which is considered a “low-level professional league”, is known for its outrageous behaviour, with footage of a bizarre on-ice scene going viral seemingly every other month.