BOUCHERVILLE, Friday, February 19, 2010 – The Commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Gilles Courteau, today announced that he is upholding the decision rendered by the League’s Disciplinary Prefect, Raymond Bolduc, regarding the suspension of Rouyn-Noranda Huskies forward Patrice Cormier.
The sanction was announced on Monday, January 25. A few days later, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies decided to appeal the decision by sending an official letter to the League office before the deadline. Under rule 1.05.08, appeals are heard by the Commissioner.
"During the hearing, which was held on February 11, I had the opportunity to read the Disciplinary Prefect’s report and to hear his explanations while he was cross-examined by the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies’ legal counsel. Moreover, I heard the testimonies of Head Coach and General Manager André Tourigny and Patrice Cormier as well as listened to the position and arguments of the organization and their legal counsel," said the Commissioner.
"After hearing the testimonies, examining the evidence and meticulously analyzing the facts, I believe that Patrice Cormier’s gesture was very violent and susceptible of inflicting severe damage to the victim. The decision rendered by the Disciplinary Prefect follows the principals outlined by the League’s Board of Governors in the fall of 2008 regarding the elimination of gratuitous violence. Furthermore, the decision is consistent with the need to establish new and more severe disciplinary standards to dissuade players from taking these actions."
"Consequently, I declare that the Disciplinary Prefect’s decision to suspend Patrice Cormier is justified, reasonable and consistent with the League’s new policy."
The Commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will make no further comment.
Of note, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Constitution permits the organization to appeal to an independent arbitrator.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)