John Craighead has been handed a six-year suspension from BC Hockey.
Craighead, the coach and general manager of the junior B Langley Knights, was given the stiff suspension for his behaviour during a game last September.
Craighead confronted the Mission City Outlaws coach on the visitors’ bench during a game at the George Preston Recreation Centre in late September. The confrontation occurred while an on-ice brawl was happening and Craighead said at the time he felt his players were in danger.
The on-ice incident sent several Langley players to hospital.
The suspension was announced in late January (Jan. 30) and will last until September 2021. Craighead had been on an indefinite suspension from the league since the incident.
“BC Hockey is about delivering a safe environment from our players, coaches, officials, parents, fans and administrators, which includes respect for opposing teams,” commented BC Hockey chief executive officer Barry Petrachenko in an emailed statement to the Langley Times.
“This is a necessary step we are taking to ensure we send a clear message to participants that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.
“We expect our coaches to be leaders and empower players with on and off ice lessons that are inherent to hockey and life skills, including respect, teamwork, leadership and positivity,” said Randy Henderson, the BC Hockey board chair.
“This coach’s actions are contrary to everything BC Hockey wants members to gain from playing hockey.”
After the incident, Craighead had said he took full responsibility for his actions that night and that he had gone to the opposition’s bench for an explanation about why Mission’s older players were targeting the Knights’ youngest players.
Five Langley players and four Mission players were suspended while Outlaws’ coach Brad Veitch was given a 10-game suspension.
Neither Craighead nor the Knights had responded to requests for comment from the Times as of our press deadline on Thursday.