A brutal sting-swinging brawl erupted during a men’s recreational league game in Toronto.

The game, held Monday night in York, devolved into an all-out battle. CTV’s Adrien Ghobrial described the scene with players “swinging their hockey sticks over their heads like a group of lumberjacks.

The Adult Safe Hockey League (ASHL) called the on-ice violence ‘shocking and unacceptable’. The league has suspended both teams indefinitely and is investigating the incident with plans to issue additional supplementary discipline, up to and including permanent expulsion from the league. 

“There was no concern at all for safety of the either their teammates or the opposing team it was a war,” referee Bruce Tennant told CTV. “In 45-plus years of refereeing I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Tennant said that players on both teams were ‘known as a problem’ within the ASHL.
Amazingly, there were no serious injuries from the melee. The police were not called about the incident.



The ASHL issued a statement about Monday’s incident: 

The Adult Safe Hockey League (ASHL) is aware of an on-ice incident that occurred during an ASHL game on September 11th, 2023, at Canlan Sports York. The violence of the incident is shocking and unacceptable, and we are grateful that there are no reports of injuries at this time.

The safety of our players and staff are paramount to the ASHL. The conduct from participants on both teams in no way aligns with the core values of Canlan Sports and the ASHL, the rules of the game, or the expectation of mutual respect between players that is the cornerstone of a safe and fun recreational hockey experience.

While we acknowledge that the total prevention of incidents like this is not possible with over 1,000 ASHL games being played each week, Canlan Sports aims to create the safest possible environment for our players, including:

▪ On-ice and off-ice game officials present at all ASHL games
▪ On-site Canlan Sports staff who are trained in First Aid and the application and use of AED’s.
▪ Real-time on-site video to assist in investigations.
▪ The most comprehensive rule book in adult recreational hockey, which includes annual reviews, and a designated committee to review and administer supplementary discipline.
▪ Supplementary sport accident insurance for all registered participants.

We take this matter very seriously and have completed a thorough investigation of the incident.
As a result, the following disciplinary measures are being enacted:

▪ Both participating teams have been suspended indefinitely from the ASHL, pending the completion of the investigation.
▪Multiple individuals will be permanently expelled from any ASHL league, tournament, or sanctioned programming effective immediately.
▪ Additional participants from both teams will receive supplemental disciplinary suspensions in-line with the ASHL Rule Book, and will need to comply with several conditions prior to returning to any ASHL league, tournament, or sanctioned program.