Sunday, November 3, 2013

Expansion, Changes to Policy Discussed at Latest MHL Board Of Governors Meeting

Press Release

The MHL held its latest Board of Governors meeting this afternoon at the Dieppe Rotary Lodge in Dieppe, New Brunswick. Several topics were discussed, with particular emphasis on three specific issues relating to potential expansion, league and CJHL policy.

Three people fronting a group from St. Stephen, New Brunswick interested in admittance to the MHL as an expansion franchise made an appearance before the board. The potential ownership group was represented by John Hyslop, Mike Horne and Chris Horne, with Hyslop speaking on behalf of the group. This group from Southwestern New Brunswick first approached the MHL in the spring of 2013 and since then have constructed a thorough and impressive business plan. Hyslop in particular stressed his former involvement in the game, particularly with Jr.B and Senior teams in the area. The topic of a new rink being built in St. Stephen was also discussed. When completed, this rink will accommodate a seating capacity of 1,049 with an overall capacity of approximately 1500. An exact completion date was not given though construction is well underway. After hearing the proposal and a question period by the board to the prospective owners, it was decided that membership into the league would be dependent upon certain financial contingencies. “I felt that the St. Stephen presentation for membership was detailed and comprehensive,” remarked John Lynn, Chairman of the Board of Governors for the MHL. “The board has asked for further information regarding financial stability that will be received and considered by the board at their next meeting.”

The MHL discussed the motion to adopt the CJHL endorsed addition of the “one fight rule” as well as supplemental discipline guidelines effective for next season. This rule would lead to a revision on the current MHL rulebook by which an initial fight results in a five minute major penalty, while a second fight results in the same penalty as well as an automatic game ejection. The “one fight rule” would see any player penalized for fighting be assessed with an automatic game ejection after just one fight. In addition, a set standard of guidelines in relation to in game behaviour was included in the motion, as it was in the CJHL endorsement, to continue to promote proper player behaviour as well as safer game management. These rules have already been implemented in five CJHL sanctioned leagues across the country. The motion to adopt the “one fight rule” and supplemental discipline guidelines was approved by the board. This amendment to the current rulebook will be formally implemented during the annual board of governors meeting in June and will become effective with the first exhibition games of the 2014-15 season. “After thorough discussion, the MHL endorses these changes,” said John Lynn. “This will improve the quality and discipline practises of our league and we will amend our rulebook accordingly.”

Finally, the MHL has adopted a new harassment policy that will target any inappropriate behavior and help maintain a respectful, inclusive environment for all key stakeholders and participants in the league. Any written allegations of acts of disrespect, harassment, discrimination or humiliation will be investigated by the president of the league. If any allegations are proven, harsh sanctions will be imposed that shall provide a constructive remedy to any issues. “The board believes (this policy) will result in a more positive development experience for players within the MHL,” remarked John Lynn. This new policy is effective immediately and will be officially included in the MHL constitution at the annual board of governors meeting in June.

 (Nathan can be reached at

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