Friday, March 12, 2010

Commissioner upholds Marco Scandella suspension

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, Friday, March 12, 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 Val-d’Or Foreurs defenseman Marco Scandella.

The Disciplinary Prefect had suspended the Foreurs’ defenseman for fifteen games after a hit to the head of Rimouski Océanic winger Alexandre Durette. The incident occurred on February 3rd at the air Creebec Center.

A few days later, the organization decided to appeal the decision by sending an official letter to the office of the Commissioner before the deadline. Under rule 1.05.08, appeals are heard by the Commissioner.

"During the hearing, which was held on March 8, I heard the testimonies of several parties, including those of our Disciplinary Prefect, Raymond Bolduc, the club’s General Manager, Mario Carrière, and of Marco Scandella," said the Commissioner. "After hearing the testimonies, I watched different video sequences of the incident and analyzed the arguments of the player and his representatives. I believe that the player should have changed tactics on the play in order to avoid hitting his opponent on the head, who, at that moment, was vulnerable. The gesture was violent and susceptible of causing serious harm to the player. Sanctions for hits to the head, which can cause devastating injuries, must be severe enough so that they may act as a deterrent. The decision rendered by the Disciplinary Prefect follows the standards that the League outlined to eliminate gratuitous violence. The League must continue to act as a leader and positive role-model in the fight against gratuitous violence, especially for young minor hockey players. Consequently, I declare that the Disciplinary Prefect’s decision to suspend Marco Scandella for fifteen games 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 enables the Val-d’Or Foreurs to appeal the decision. Appeals are heard by an independent arbitrator.

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

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