The hockey governing body in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador has banned postgame handshakes in the minor leagues after a string of altercations.
Hockey NL announced the move last week. Gonzo Bennett, chair of Hockey NL’s minor council executive committee, wrote in a memo that the organization has had “issues” following games that led to suspensions of both players and coaches.
Instead of handshakes, officials will now direct teams off the ice after the game, according to The Canadian Press. The visiting squad will instead skate by the home team’s bench and offer a glove tap or handshake before games.
“Disappointing,” said Canada head coach Alan Letang, who played 19 professional seasons in both Europe and North America. “There’s a respect and camaraderie in sports. You can go out and compete hard against someone, but at the end of the game it’s, ‘Great game, great job.’ Respect goes both ways. If I was coaching a team and stuff like that happened, you wouldn’t put up with it.”
Teams at the world juniors, which features players 19 years of age and younger, shake hands after every game and it is a common feature for youth games all the way to the National Hockey League.