Just yesterday Patrice Cormier made what I would consider a classy move:
“I fully respect the Quebec Major Junior League’s decision regarding the Mikael Tam incident,” Cormier said in a statement released by his Halifax-based agent Tim Cranston.
“I deeply regret the circumstances surrounding this event and wish Mikael Tam a speedy and full recovery.”
Just over a week ago, Patrice Cormier laid out a vicious elbow on the Quebec Rempart’s Mikael Tam. Tam was left convulsing on the ice and was taken to hospital with head trauma. The
QMJHL suspended Cormier for the rest of the season Monday.
After Cormier’s statement we all thought this nasty incident had come to an end — Patrice Cormier was going to accept his punishment from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Hold on a minute, gang.
Coach and GM Andre Tourigny calls it “excessive” and complains that if Rouyn-Noranda went the whole way in the playoffs, Cormier could serve up to 48 games.
I understand that the Huskies have been screwed in this affair.
They just gave up a boatload of high draft picks (17-year-old forwards Michael Beaudry and Alexandre Mallet, two first-round draft picks in 2010 and first- and second-round draft picks in 2012.) in return for Jordan Caron and Cormier.
But that is the risk this team took when they decided to go for a player like Patrice Cormier. They took the risk that he might do something untimely and stupid.
Many have complained that Cormier is being used as an example. GOOD. Hits to the head have to stop. And players don’t appear to be getting the message. Someone needs to be made an example of.
To make matters worse, Cormier decided to change his statement slightly.
“I respect the decision of the QMJHL even if I find it too severe,” Cormier told The Canadian Press.
The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies look silly. The entire hockey community knew that the QMJHL would serve Cormier no less than the rest of the season. An appeal just further drags hockey, the league, the team and Cormier through the mud.