Minor League Hockey Coach Suspended a Year
Apr. 10, 1996
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) _ A minor league hockey coach on Tuesday was suspended for a year and fined $1,000 for his part in assailing two referees after a playoff game last month.
Bryan Maxwell, coach and general manager of the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League, also faces criminal charges of assault and uttering threats.
Referee Brent Reiber and linesman Jeff Klick were cornered by Maxwell, assistant coach Reid Williams and a number of Hurricanes players after the team lost 6-5 to the Regina Pats on March 23.
The incident stemmed from two late penalty calls that ultimately led to the winning goal by the Pats.
Maxwell has been barred from attending any of the team's games until Feb. 1, 1997, the league announced. Hearings were completed last week.
``Any time you have interference with the duties or the ways a referee carries out his function, it's going to be dealt with seriously to protect the integrity of the game,'' said league commissioner Dev Dley.
``This is very much an isolated incident ... it certainly isn't the kind of behavior that occurs in this league.''
Williams, who also faces a criminal charge of uttering threats, has been suspended from coaching during the first 36 games of the 1996-97 season. The league termed his conduct ``abusive and menacing.''
Maxwell and Williams are scheduled to appear in court May 8.
Hurricanes winger Mike Josephson received a five-game suspension, while the team has been fined $1,000 for not having proper security at the Sportsplex arena.
Hurricanes president Herman Elfring said the club is disappointed in the length of Maxwell's suspension. He said no thought has been given to who will take over the coaching.
The incident came within weeks of another junior hockey altercation in Charlottetown, New Brunswick, where members of the University of Moncton Blue Eagles swarmed a referee following an Atlantic Universities Athletic Association game.