January 19, 2010

Junior Team Canada captain suspended after head hit, faces possible criminal charges: Team Canada (U20) captain Patrice Cormier has been suspended indefinitely by the Quebec junior hockey league after a vicious head-hunting elbow left one of his opponents writhing on the ice. Cormier, a centre who belongs to the New Jersey Devils organization, captained the Canadian squad at the recent World Junior Championships. Now he faces a criminal investigation by Sret de Qubec. Some reports have suggested that it was hall of fame goalkeeper Patrick Roy, coach of the Quebec Remparts, who phoned the police. Cormier came off the bench and made a beeline for Tam, who was skating through the neutral zone after dishing off the puck. In full flight, the 19-year-old Cormier clipped Tam in the head with an elbow. Tam crumpled at centre ice. Within seconds, he was convulsing. (Video of incident is linked in article.)

posted by tommytrump to hockey at 02:00 PM - 20 comments

This is the same guy who gave an elbow to a Swedish player as he came on to the ice and Cormier came off his shift in a warm-up game before the Jr Worlds earlier this month. Seems to have a problem with his elbows.

posted by mikelbyl at 02:50 PM on January 19, 2010

There's no place for that shit in hockey at any level.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:10 PM on January 19, 2010

I've been following this as much as I can. The thing that surprises me the most is the outcry against Roy for (allegedly) calling the police on this matter. Frankly, any single witness (fan in the stand, coach, team follower, whoever) of this atrocity should be morally clear to call the cops when a clear assault like this takes place. "Heat of the moment" or "part of the game" excuses cannot hold when someone deliberately doles out a vicious head shot like this.

Someone please tell me I'm wrong, but watching this clip over and over and over again only leads me to the same conclusion: it was deliberate as all hell.

And to reiterate from previous case after case after case ... it CANNOT matter what happens to Mikael Tam. Whether he fully recovers or is rendered severely brain damaged, it does not matter. What matters is what "could" happen when this type of assault takes place.

Just because it happens on Canadian ice between the boards does not mean that it is outside of the law.

And that's how I really feel.

posted by Spitztengle at 03:39 PM on January 19, 2010

What I saw on that video was an assualt: and until someone gets punished criminally, stuff like this will continue to happen.

The Juniors have a reputation for this.

posted by Tigginator at 04:00 PM on January 19, 2010

That looks pretty criminal to me. Does anyone know if there was a history there between Cormier and Tam, either in that game or an earlier one?

posted by rcade at 05:07 PM on January 19, 2010

The thing that surprises me the most is the outcry against Roy for (allegedly) calling the police on this matter.

I think some of the outcry is because Roy was the center of an incident the last time a junior player was charged with assault.

posted by grum@work at 05:22 PM on January 19, 2010

I think some of the outcry is because Roy was the center of an incident the last time a junior player was charged with assault.

Undoubtedly true. I guess I would have been more accurate to say that I'm surprised by the fact that there was an outcry that "anyone" called the police ... whether it was Roy or not. The fact that it "may have" been Roy only does make it look like he's only doing it because he was involved the last time around ... not because it's "the right thing" to do.

posted by Spitztengle at 06:36 PM on January 19, 2010

Another brutal incident, this one in the Ontario Hockey League.

Windsor Spitfires' Zack Kassian cheapshots Matt Kennedy of the Barrie Colts

Both Kassian and Cormier are under indefinite suspension at this time.

posted by tommybiden at 06:56 PM on January 19, 2010

Michael Liambas was suspended earlier this season (O.H.L.) for the hit in the linked video. He was suspended for the remainder of the regular season, and playoffs, effectively ending his junior career.

Michael Liambas Hit On Ben Fanelli

posted by tommybiden at 07:00 PM on January 19, 2010

There are physical players and then there are players that use hockey to hide their sociopathic behavior.

posted by irunfromclones at 07:33 PM on January 19, 2010

Here is a link to the Kassian/Kennedy hit that tommytrump mentioned.

The term they used in this video, "predatory hit", is very apt.

It wasn't a hit for a play on the puck (it was in the air). It wasn't a fair hit, as the player never made eye contact with the hitter. He leaped at his head with the intent to injure him. If he stays on the ground and simply goes body-to-body, it's a big clean hit.

I'd be fine if Kassian and Cormier never play again this season.

posted by grum@work at 08:34 PM on January 19, 2010

Thanks grum. Here's the link I intended to post.

Kassian cheapshots Kennedy.

posted by tommybiden at 08:43 PM on January 19, 2010

Sweet crackers, what is going on? I can't decide if this is the result of increased media, or if there is a total lack of respect going on at the Junior level.

And that asshole Cormier was Captain of Team Canada. Shame on you, you total asshat. Brutal cheap cowardly elbow.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:55 PM on January 19, 2010

I'd be fine if Kassian and Cormier never play again this season.


On a related note, in SI recently, there was a quote from head asshat Sean Avery after a game between the NY Rangers and his former team, the Dallas Stars. His gem:

"I was getting paid by two teams."

I throw up in my mouth a little, every time I read it. Sickening to know that a player like Avery can not only salvage his career but in some ways, be rewarded for his behavior.

posted by BoKnows at 09:06 PM on January 19, 2010

How does Avery getting booted off the Stars for an ugly remark compare to these two headhunters who are lucky they didn't kill somebody?

posted by rcade at 09:17 PM on January 19, 2010

I think Avery is a cheapshot artist type of player, so are these junior players. The message I believe it sends is that a dirty player can have a future playing hockey at the professional level. And in Avery's case, get paid by two teams.

(I realize that A. the video I linked is nowhere near the seriousness that occurred in the examples above and B. that Avery was released by the Stars because of the '"sloppy seconds" ordeal. However, I have always had a strong dislike for players that do crap like Avery does, Chris Simon is another I could equate those feelings to.)

posted by BoKnows at 09:32 PM on January 19, 2010

I wouldn't be terribly upset if Lou Lamorillo decided that this kid is a liability and severs his ties with the New Jersey Devils while he's still cheap. It would make it a whole lot easier for me to continue cheering for them until Brodeur retires if that punk doesn't wear the same jersey.

And this might be opening a giant can of worms, but it would be absolutely appropriate at this time to point out that an appropriate description of that hit is "thuggish." I don't know his entire history as a player, but it seems that he's made quite a name for himself early in his career with some attempts to injure opponents. I'll go ahead and call him a thug.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:15 PM on January 19, 2010

clipped Tam in the head with an elbow

An interesting description ...

My take is "cowardly thug skates 20 feet across the ice to deliberately throw elbow into unsuspecting opponent's head".

It's a criminal act.

(My Canadian 2 cents)

posted by cixelsyd at 10:48 AM on January 20, 2010

Cormier suspended for regular season and playoffs

posted by tommybiden at 11:55 AM on January 25, 2010

Lou Lamoriello's statement. We will honor the league's suspension, have not considered, and will not explore other avenues for his return this season.

posted by MrFrisby at 03:11 AM on January 26, 2010

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