Next season will be a difficult one for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as it decides whether it wants to hold games without anyone in attendance. Gate revenue is the biggest source of revenue for the QMJHL and, without it, owners stand to lose millions of dollars. As part of its efforts to hold the season without going in the hole, the league has asked the Quebec government for a subsidy worth around $20 million. The government seems open to that amount, but with a condition: it wants more rules to combat the number of fights in the league.

According to Alexandre Pratt of La Presse, QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau met with Quebec’s minister of education Isabelle Charest last week to ask for about $20 million to cover lost revenues for next season for the 12 teams located in the province. According to La Presse, the minister was open to the idea, but only if the league did something to curtail fighting. There are 18 teams in total in the Q League, once you count those outside of Quebec. There were 323 pre-season and regular season fights last season.

According to La Presse, Courteau brought the idea to owners of a 15-minute penalty rather than a five-minute major for fighting and a player would be suspended for one game after five fighting majors in a season. Five players had more than five fighting majors in the QMJHL last season. The league’s board of governors voted 10-8 in favor of adopting the new sanctions, but in order for a rule change to pass, it needs to be endorsed by at least 12 teams. Therefore, Courteau's idea has died on the voting table. La Presse states another vote may be held soon but there's no guarantee the new rule will pass.

“What we’d like from the league is that the active leaders in this matter show some good faith because we think we’ve shown good faith in the whole process,” a spokesperson for the Minister told “And since February, the minister’s position on this matter has been very, very clear. We’re very open to discussing with the league, but we do want to see some good faith on their part.”

SEPTEMBER 23, 2020  (10H35)