The limits of the law for a gesture during a match | You have seen?

In an interview with Radio-Canada Sports, Me Brunet first looked as a sports fan on Scheifele’s gesture towards Jake Evans.

I didn’t have a legal reflex. In this case, I saw that it was obviously a vicious blow that was landed in the course of the game. With the covers, I saw that it was not a mistake. So I hope the league will crack down on him, said the lawyer.

When asked whether Scheifele’s charge may constitute an assault, the law clerk defers to the Manitoba Director of Public Prosecutions who would be responsible for deciding the matter.

I do not think it is an assault. It is different from other cases that we have had in the past where there has been fighting on the ice, where a player has started the fight, but his opponent does not respond. In the Criminal Code, it is an offense if only one of the two parties is beaten.

A quote from:Me Patrice Brunet, sports lawyer

He specified that if blows were struck on both sides, the criminal aspect then gives way to a possible civil suit. He adds that in the case that interests us, it must also be understood that the criminal law requires proof as to the intention of the attacker.

The lawyer also specifies that the fact that the incident which commands all the attention took place within the framework of a hockey game implies the acceptance of the inherent risks on the part of all the participants.

It’s not like someone is pushing someone on the street with violence. Here, we are in a hockey game where the fact of pushing the other is part of the context of the game. I would therefore be very surprised if charges were brought against the player.


From a civil point of view, Me Brunet believes that it is still too early to know if legal action will be taken.

In terms of civil proceedings, we have to show that there is damage, and for the moment it is too early. Of course, if the player (Evans) returns to the ice in two days, we can conclude that there is no damage. If that ended his career, there could be civil lawsuits. But the player’s precondition (previous concussions) will work against him unfortunately, he added.

As for the thinly veiled threats made during his post-match press briefing by defender Joel Edmundson, the lawyer suggests that if the player were to walk the talk, the Director of Legal Proceedings could be tempted to bring charges. accusations.


Finally, Me Brunet believes that the Players’ Association has a role to play in what must constitute acceptable limits for its members in terms of risks.

It belongs to them. It is a question which is more political than legal. It is up to the union to know what part (of responsibility) they take. This is all part of a larger debate where the finger is pointed at the NHL.

Other sports such as football or soccer, where the rules are very strict and very clear in terms of violence in sport and its consequences, there is very little debate in the application of the rules. In hockey, it seems like an eternal restart.

A quote from:Me Patrice Brunet

With information from Antoine Deshaies

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