NHL News : Coach convicted in Ontario court for assaulting a referee.

Coach convicted in Ontario court for assaulting a referee.

Assistant coach found guilty.

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A hot headed coach has just been a tough blow in the Ontario courts system.

According to a report from the York Region Media Group an assistant coach for a minor midget double-A team, the TNT Tornados, has been convicted in a Newmarket court of an assault in a Newmarket arena back in December of 2017. Tyler Smokler of Beeton stood accused of abandoning his position behind the bench of his team and punching a 21 year old on ice official and the court determined that he was guilty of those charges. 

Smokler will get a relatively light sentence all things considered, he was given a conditional discharge as well as 12 months probation for the assault on the unidentified official.  Outside factors like a lack of a previous criminal history could have also worked in Smokler's favor here, but that is only speculation on my part. Given the severity of the injuries though I have no doubt that there will be many who feel this unruly assistant coach got off too easy.

The young referee is reported to have suffered numerous injuries and those injuries were severe enough that he was transported to Southlake Regional Health Centre following the attack on his person. There he was treated for what is described as lacerations, an injury to his jaw, as well as a concussion. Based on this description it seems like Smokler gave him a pretty good shot, but I doubt he feels it was worth having his name and reputation dragged through the mud.

His troubles however may not end and merely the criminal repercussions for his actions though,.The Ontario Minor Hockey Association has moved to suspend Smokler for the entirity of the 2018-2019 season as is their polixy in such incidents, however this recent criminal conviction could very well lead to an even longer ban for Smokler. The Ontario Minor Hockey Association has been patiently waiting to conduct it's own investigation into this matter and now with a criminal conviction, as well as their apparent on behalf of the OMHA desire to conduct this investigation, I suspect they are looking to give Smokler an extended ban.

“Based on the court findings and the subsequent criminal code conviction, this individual will not be eligible to hold the position of team official, referee or any other association position for the 2018-19 season based on our organizational policies,” OMHA executive director Ian Taylor said in a statement as per YRMG. “With the criminal proceedings now concluded, we are able to conduct our investigation and determine further discipline.

“The OMHA is committed to providing a safe, respectful, and fully inclusive environment for players, parents/guardians, staff, and volunteers, where everyone is treated with respect.”

At this time there has been no indication regarding whether or not the 21 year old victim in this case will be looking to pursue Smokler in civil court but with a criminal conviction in this case it wouldn't surprise me to see him move in that direction. One thing is certain, Smokler will be dealing with the consequences of this poor decision for a long time.

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Photo Credit: Philippe Bouchard/CSM/Zuma