A B.C. provincial court judge has ordered a junior hockey team owner from Campbell River to keep the peace and stay away from the owners of a rival team in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, following a series of confrontations.
Judge Ted Gouge ordered a peace bond be put in place to ensure Campbell River Storm owner Kevin Spooner stays away from Marsha and Dave Webb, the owners of neighbouring Comox Valley Glacier Kings.
'Civilized society does not live by the standards of the hockey rink.' - Ted Gouge, provincial court judge
Court documents reveal a dispute between the owners of the teams began a year ago, after the Webbs recruited a former Storm player to play for the Glacier Kings.
Spooner was angry and felt his team should be compensated, according to the documents.
In January of last year, Spooner confronted Dave Webb in the concourse of the Campbell River arena, shouted profanities and behaved aggressively before striking Webb with a "trifling blow" on the head, the judge said.
Later the same day, Spooner challenged the coach of Webb's team — Joey Ewing — to a fight.
The judge noted Spooner is a "large man," and Dave Webb and his wife are in their sixties and of small stature, and honestly believe Spooner might harm them if they meet again. The Webbs no longer attend hockey games in Campbell River.
Gouge found Spooner believed his conduct was defensible because "this is hockey and feelings run high." The judge also pointed out that a propensity for violence and "a gift for physical intimidation are highly valued qualities among hockey players."
Peace bond imposed
The peace bond requires Spooner stay at least 10 metres away from the Webbs — so they can attend games in Campbell River — and not go within 500 metres of their home.
"Mr. Spooner would be well advised to bear in mind that he committed a criminal assault of Mr. Webb by striking him, and of Mr. Ewing by pushing him, and that he would probably have been convicted of those assaults if the Crown had chosen to charge him," Gouge wrote.
"Civilized society does not live by the standards of the hockey rink, where such assaults are an accepted part of the game."
Spooner's lawyer responds
According to defence lawyer Jay Havelaar, Spooner acknowledges he may have crossed the line in some of his dealings with the Webbs, but his actions "have always come in the context of heated, two-way arguments."
"Mr. Spooner's motivation has always been his passion for the game of hockey and his commitment to the best interests of the kids who play on his team," Havelaar said in an emailed statement.
Havelaar said Spooner's disputes with the Webbs have been in situations where he believes the rival owners haven't acted in the best interest of the hockey players on the Glacier Kings and Storm.