Former NHL tough guy Enrico Ciccone made millions of dollars by using his fists during his playing days, but now he's aiming to end fighting in hockey as a politician.
For those who don't remember Ciccone, he racked up 1469 career penalty minutes in just 374 games split between the Minnesota North Stars, Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning, Chicago Blackhawks, Carolina Hurricanes, Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens. After his NHL career came to an end in 2001, Ciccone pursued a career in politics in his native Quebec. He's currently a member of the national assembly of Quebec after winning his position with the Quebec Liberal Party back in 2018.
In his latest bill, Ciccone is targeting fighting in the QMJHL and is hoping to establish rules that would prohibit fighting in any sport with athletes younger than 18 years old.
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“Of course some people will say ‘look at this guy, he’s a hypocrite. He made a bunch of money and now he wants to change things.’ Of course I do. And I’m probably the best guy to do it,” Ciccone told the Montreal Gazette earlier today. “I’ll raise that flag for the safety of our kids, any time of the day. I don’t care.”
Ciccone's bill was unanimously received, but as a member of the opposition party in Quebec it remains to be seen whether or not Ciccone's bill will become law. It's worth noting however, that the QMJHL itself has instituted newer, stricter rules with regards to fighting.
While the QMJHL still permits fighting, it has increased its punitive measures for this upcoming season. Any player who fights is assessed a 15-minute penalty, which includes a 10-minute misconduct. There’s also a two-minute minor for the instigator. The amended rules call for an automatic one-game suspension following a player’s third fight, with an additional game suspension for each subsequent battle.
It's Ciccone's contention thought that the QMJHL hasn't gone far enough.
“I want to make sure, here in Quebec, we protect our kids,” Ciccone said. “This is the fastest sport in the world, which has walls for boards. It’s one of the only places in the world that still accepts fighting with your bare fists. To kick somebody’s butt when he’s (a teenager) … it doesn’t happen often, but why is it still there?”