Donnelly owned up to the damage, saying that he "lost his balance and dropped it" on his Twitter account. Given the amount of damage to the rim of the Cup, this isn't a particularly likely explanation, and one that teammate Vincent Arseneau is not buying.
Arseneau, the soon-to-be-overage player who was scheduled to have an event with the Cup on August 6, will now no longer be able to bring the Cup to his home on Îles-de-la-Madeleine. Frustrated, Arseneau took to his Facebook page to scold Donnelly:
Unfortunately, it will not be possible to bring the Memorial Cup to the islands... due to a gang of savages who don't know how to behave... thanks boys I really appreciate that! For the people on the islands who wanted to show up on August 6 something will surely happen just not with the Cup. I apologize and promise you another one...
"Gang of savages" may be a good nickname for next season's incarnation of the Cataractes.
"Given its state, it surely didn't just fall on the ground," complained Arseneau in the comments section of his posting. If you can read French it may be good to click on his publicly-visible page for a few laughs.
Like Arseneau, the Cataractes weren't too impressed by Donnelly and don't buy his explanations. Via Steve Turcotte, not only will Donnelly be suspended by the team until September 3rd (holy smokes, the QMJHL pre-season starts in 23 days!) but he'll also be required to write a letter of apology to be submitted to the three CHL commissioners.
Dillon Donnelly suspendu jusqu'au 3 septembre par les Cataractes pour le bris de la Coupe Memorial. Il va donc rater le camp d'entraînement.
— steve turcotte (@steveturcotte) July 25, 2012
Finalement, Donnelly doit rédiger une lettre d'excuses aux 3 commissaires de laLCH ainsi qu'à ses coéquipiers... — steve turcotte (@steveturcotte) July 25, 2012
He'll also be 100 per cent on the hook for the cost of repairs.
Donnelly's explanation, via Turcotte's story in la Nouvelliste, sheds a bit more light on the accident:
"I feel real bad, but it was an accident. The Cup was on a table outside at my place at a gathering with friends after dinner with my family. I wanted to pick it up, there was a chair behind me that made me lose my balance and I dropped it off the terrace onto cement," said Donnelly, who admit he had been drinking that night.
"There wasn't anything intentional. It's a Cup that honours the memory of war veterans, and my great uncle served for Canada. It's not my style to break things for fun. It was an accident. My fall meant that something very important got very damaged. But it was already in a bad place before we got it."
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- Shawinigan Cataractes