48-year-old Martin Tremblay of Vancouver has been sentenced to 15 days in jail and 12 months of probation, according to the National Post, after tripping a child during a postgame handshake.
The resulting crash toppled two children, ages 10 and 13, the latter injuring his wrist as a result.
“The tripping of the boys was akin to a cowardly sucker punch on an unsuspecting victim,” Richmond provincial court Judge Patrick Chen condemned.
Local reports indicate Tremblay had been antagonizing the 13-year-old throughout the game, calling him “twinkle toes” and insulting his skating ability to the point the child was in tears.
After being tripped, the child reportedly got up and tried to swing his hockey stick at the coach, starting a minor brawl. Tremblay left the ice after flipping his middle finger to the crowd.
Here’s video of the trip:
Tremblay’s attorney says his client has paid dearly for the incident, losing his wife and a number of construction contracts since originally pleading guilty back in November.
“I think we can take away that adults get carried away with minor hockey and the intensity, it’s way too serious,” attorney Bob Bellows remarked. “He put in years and years coaching hockey, he put in years and years as a scout master, and that’s all over because of one incident when he was off his antidepressants for three weeks.”
But the judge wasn’t buying it: “Win or lose, this was just a game…This was the last place anyone would have expected an assault to take place, and the very last place one would have expected an adult to assault a child.”