With the start of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League just days away, the league announced Monday that two players on the Creston Valley Thunder Cats have been suspended for an alleged hazing incident.
As well, the Thunder Cats have been fined and placed on two years probation by the KIJHL following a week-long investigation into hazing allegations.
"The KIJHL was notified of the incident by Thunder Cats’ staff on Tuesday, September 13th and immediately suspended team activities, including the cancellation of the team’s exhibition game the following evening, in order to allow time to gather further information," the KIJHL said on its website Monday.
"League staff travelled to Creston on September 15th to conduct interviews with Thunder Cats’ players and coaches. Throughout this process, the KIJHL has consulted with its Safe Sport partner, ITP Sport, and with BC Hockey."
As a result of the KIJHL’s investigation, the following disciplinary measures have been taken:
- The Creston Valley Thunder Cats organization has received a fine and placed on probation for a period of two years. During this time, the Thunder Cats must take proactive steps to ensure a positive team culture free from abuse, bullying and harassment. Any occurrence of a similar incident will result in further sanctions.
- Members of the Creston Valley Thunder Cats will be required to complete training designed to identify and eliminate instances of abuse, bullying and harassment.
- Thunder Cats team captain Clayton Brown has been suspended for 12 games, effective Sept. 16, for violations of the league’s Individual Conduct Policy.
- Thunder Cats alternate captain Campbell McLean has been suspended for 6 games, effective Sept. 16, for violations of the league’s Individual Conduct Policy.
“The KIJHL is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for our athletes, volunteers, staff and fans,” says Commissioner Jeff Dubois.
“What occurred in Creston was unacceptable, and the discipline imposed against the Thunder Cats’ organization and members of the team reflect our zero-tolerance approach to these types of incidents.”
“Our investigation made clear that we have considerable work to do in order to educate our players on the standard of behaviour and leadership expected of them in a team environment. We take this responsibility seriously, and we are taking immediate steps to address this issue.”
The KIJHL said in its media release that the league will not comment further on this matter.