BOUCHERVILLE, Friday, March 12, 2010 – The Commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Gilles Courteau, today announced that Me Jacques Sylvestre, the independent arbitrator who was mandated to hear the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies’ appeal of the Patrice Cormier suspension, has maintained the Disciplinary Prefect’s disciplinary sanction.
"The ruling of Commissioner Gilles Courteau, who upheld the decision made by the Disciplinary Prefect, Raymond Bolduc, is consistent and logical with the choices made by the League to change its culture and to respect the recommendations set forth by the consulting committee in the matter of gratuitous violence," said Me Jacques Sylvestre. "The QMJHL is committed to the principal of maintaining a zero tolerance policy in regards to gratuitous violence in order to change that culture."
In the case of Patrice Cormier, Me Sylvestre comes to the conclusion that it was indeed a case of gratuitous violence. Moreover, he considers that the League has taken significant steps in regards to eliminating gratuitous violence with the help of its zero tolerance policy.
"Our number one priority will always be to ensure the well-being of our players," commented the Commissioner. "We will only be able to reach that goal by creating an environment in which the players can feel safe. In this regard, we must discourage players from using violent gestures. I would like to reiterate that the QMJHL must be a hockey league in which careers begin and flourish, and not where they end."
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)