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When a lack of etiquette puts an end to handshakes in minor hockey

Normally, in minor hockey, when a game ends, there’s a handshake between the two teams.

I say in minor hockey, but it’s even true in the NHL at the end of a series, for example. You don’t see that in other sports, and it’s part of the hockey culture.

The handshake means you respect your opponent. It’s normal to do that.

That’s why, when I saw that in Newfoundland, the handshake after minor hockey games was cancelled for the time being because of a few incidents, I didn’t find it funny.

Recent suspensions to some players and coaches (!) led to such a decision.

I don’t find it funny that because the younger generation doesn’t know how to react to opponents anymore, we’re suddenly changing the rules of the game.

At the same time, when you see some coaches being suspended for this, you think the apple doesn’t fall far from the apple tree…

The handshake is a way of saying that, despite the battle on the ice, you respect your opponent. And now, all of a sudden, we’re no longer forcing youngsters to learn respect for the other team?

It’s ridiculous – and I’m not the only one saying so.

It’s really disappointing.

If I was coaching a team and something like that happened, it wouldn’t fly. – Alan Letang, ÉCJ coach, when informed of the situation

I know it hasn’t been completely eliminated because there will be greetings at the start of the game, but it’s not the same thing. Before the match, there’s none of the emotion of what happened during the match.

Respect has to be taught. And we’ve just missed out on something in Newfoundland.

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