• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Tailing the Komets

Leo Thomas suspended for season

From an SPHL press release

HUNTERSVILLE, NC – Following a review, the Southern Professional Hockey League today announced disciplinary action resulting from an incident involving fans at the conclusion of Game #150, Pensacola at Louisiana, played on Friday, January 25:

  Pensacola player Brad Cooper has been suspended two (2) games for his actions.  Cooper sat out Pensacola’s game against Louisiana on January 26 and will miss their game against Columbus on February 1.

  While reports from arena security and eyewitness accounts acknowledge Mr. Cooper did not initiate the confrontation, players cannot become involved with fans for any reason,” stated League President Jim Combs.

  Pensacola player Leo Thomas has been suspended for the balance of the 2012-2013 season and playoffs.

  “Mr. Thomas could have assisted his teammate and helped defuse the incident, but instead escalated the situation and we cannot in any way condone or defend his actions.  Any confrontation with fans is a serious matter, but physically engaging a paying customer, for any reason, must result in a significant penalty,” continued Combs.

From an IceFlyers Press Release

While exiting the ice at the end of the game, Louisiana fans lined the barricade, provoked Cooper and initiated a confrontation as he walked past. Cooper approached the fan and as Thomas saw the interaction between his teammate and the Louisiana fans, Thomas came to the aid of his teammate.

"Leo has been a great captain and a leader on and off the ice all season," Ice Flyers head coach Gary Graham stated. "He made a split-second decision to defend his teammate and unfortunately the decision that the league handed down has cost Leo his season with the Ice Flyers. While we don't agree to the length of Leo's suspension, we have to respect the SPHL's decision. Our team will handle this loss of our captain the best way we know how to, and that is by putting it behind us, moving on and continuing to produce wins."


Tue, 01/29/2013 - 3:33pm

It must have been pretty bad for Leo to jump in like that and risk everything. I wonder if the fan was punching the player or something. If so, the fan should be charged under the full extent of the law. Sometimes minor league fans take things way too far. I.E. LA Dodger game where SF fan was just about killed. (Major league incident I know).

Phil Old Time Hockey Chifley
Tue, 01/29/2013 - 10:57pm

30-35 years ago that would just be another game.

Matt Allen
Tue, 01/29/2013 - 11:33pm

The fan grabed Cooper and Leo came from no where and punched the fan twice. Leo is on the way to Bloomington to play for the Blaze of the CHl. The Blaze are coached by Fort Wayne naive Brian Gratz.


Wed, 01/30/2013 - 11:57pm

In defense to Leo, just like on the ice, that's your brother and your instinct is to react and protect. I would be paying for that fan's hospital bill myslef if it was me.

Chris Carpenter
Sat, 02/16/2013 - 12:47pm

I think Leo did the right thing, punching a fan twice when they grabbed and held his teammate. I blame the home team for lack of security, fans should never be allowed to block players and grab them!


I think it is cool that Leo by getting suspended got promted from an "A" league team to a "AA" team , Bloomington in CHL.


Maybe he can get in another fight with a fan and get to the AHL.