Players battle for the puck during the Ice Hockey World Championships Group A match between Russia and Denmark, in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, May 12, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Ivan Sekretarev

Hockey players in PEI warned of season suspensions for online trash talk

Any minor league player who violates social media policy will be suspended for rest of season

The governing body for organized hockey in Prince Edward Island is taking a tough stance on the issue of online harassment.

Hockey PEI has sent a letter to several minor leagues warning that any players who violate the organization’s social media policy will be suspended for the rest of the season.

“We have seen repeated behaviour in violation of the social media policy — threats, derogatory behaviour such as pictures, and that sort of thing,” executive director Geoff Kowalski said in an interview.

“We’ve continuously warned members, and we’ve warned teams. We want to get a harsher message across that this stuff is not acceptable. Hopefully our members will realize the impact that it has — not only on them as individuals, but also the people around them.”

Kowalski would not talk about any specific incidents, and said there have been no issues since the new penalty was announced last week.

He said the online activity has more to do with society than hockey, but it’s up to organizers to react to it.

“It’s so convenient for kids to communicate with each other now. In the past in hockey, you might see a player on a team every few weeks and you have time to let the feud stay on the ice. Now they’re able to message each other the second they’re off the ice,” he said.

He said Hockey PEI will look to provide some education as a way to help prevent such harassment in the future.

The issue came up for discussion when hockey executives from Atlantic Canada met last week in St. John’s, N.L.

Nic Jansen, executive director of Hockey New Brunswick, said incidents in his province are examined on a case-by-case basis, and punishments range from warnings to suspensions.

“Essentially every player … has access to social media accounts, whether it be Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. I’d say the majority of the members are aware of the risks involved and act professionally and use proper judgement, and then there are a few that post things they shouldn’t,” Jansen said.

READ MORE: 13-year-old B.C. hockey player quits team over bullying

“I think the key is educating the membership of the risks involved of posting inappropriate things on social media,” he said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

hockey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

Vandals cause damage estimated at $3,000

“It was just malicious, stupid, drunken behaviour” - Thwaites

Confusion surrounds terms of RCMP withdrawal from pipeline construction area

B.C. Deputy Commissioner clarifies terms of agreement following minister’s statements

Stop checks, searches of Wet’suwet’en pipeline opposers unlawful: Watchdog

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs file complaint

Wet’suwet’en pipeline supporters speak up

“Protesters get one side of the story and they stand up with their fists in the air.”

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Most Read