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If I were the NJ Devils I’d be a little concerned…

Patrice Cormier has never been a particularly disciplined hockey player.

But in the past two months, it’s getting downright unimpressive.

Rewind to December 2009 at the World Juniors. Despite wearing the captain’s C, Cormier took several extremely dumb penalties in the preliminary exhibition round.

Including an elbow on Sweden’s Anton Rodin leaving him with a bloody nose. Didn’t Canadians hang Jack Johnson out to dry when he did that exact thing to Steve Downie in the 2006 World Juniors?

Sure, in this case it was prelims, but an elbow’s an elbow.

These games are supposed to be treated like a real game. And leading by taking, untimely, dumb, retaliatory penalties is no way to lead.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon’s game in Rouyn-Noranda. Before you hit play on the video below, a warning: it’s ugly. It’s real ugly. The hit occurs just after the 1 minute mark.

The hit on Quebec Remparts defenseman Mikael Tam occurred in overtime. There was no immediate provocation. No reason to throw up an elbow into someone’s face. Cormier had just come off the bench.

If you keep watching, Tam was convulsing on the ice. He was eventually taken off the ice on a stretcher. He’s in hospital in stable condition, however he has trauma to his skull and brain and lost several teeth.

For what?

Seriously Cormier, Keep. your. bows. down.

The QMJHL released a brief statement on the brutal hit Monday, “The incident which occurred during yesterday’s game between the Quebec Remparts and the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and which involved Patrice Cormier and Mikael Tam is under review by QMJHL authorities.”

Quebec Rempart coach Patrick Roy filed a complaint with Quebec Provincial Police, and really, I don’t blame him. His son was taken through the legal system after his fight, and I would consider this much worse. (edit: despite reports in the Canadian Press that say Roy was the one to file the complaint, reports are now that a representative with the team say no one from the team initiated the complaint, they only provided statements)

This Cormier elbow is sickening on so many levels. I have never been so discouraged about the game of hockey as now,” said TSN’s Bob MacKenzie on his Twitter account.

Quite frankly I think Cormier should be out for the rest of the season — Including playoffs.

I would think this is a very likely outcome as well. Considering the precident the OHL set in November when they suspended 20-year-old Michael Liambas of the Erie Otters for the entire season.

It’s incredible that Cormier would risk such a fate on something as dumb as an elbow to the face, especially considering what the Huskies gave up in trading for Cormier and Jordan Caron (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.)

Cormier is a New Jersey Devils prospect, and I’m sure they’re wondering if a tiger can change its stripes.

Jennifer Casey was born and raised in Halifax. She loves all sports but tries to stick to writing about hockey for sanity purposes. You can follow her on twitter @jenncaseyhfx

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