January 26, 2010
Patrice Cormier's(notes) hockey reputation has already been desecrated, after he violently laid out Mikael Tam and earned a subsequent season-long suspension from the Quebec Major Junior League. Now, he's not even a man of his word.
Here's Cormier from Tuesday morning, in a statement released by agent Tim Cranston:
"I fully respect the Quebec Major Junior League's decision regarding the Mikael Tam incident. I deeply regret the circumstances surrounding this event and wish Mikael Tam a speedy and full recovery."
Done and done, right? Not so much. Cormier's team, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, announced this evening that they were appealing the suspension. From Canwest:
Huskies general manager Andre Tourigny said Cormier's elbow was "unfortunate," but stressed the league went too far in their punishment. "We were fully aware that the gesture had to be severely sanctioned. According to us, the sanction delivered by the QMJHL (Monday) is not severe . . . it is excessive," Tourigny told a news conference in Rouyn-Noranda in Quebec's Abitibi region.
Dozens of Huskies fans who packed the room where the news conference was held burst into applause when Tourigny said his team is going to fight the decision.
Applause? Hope Tam can hear that over the ringing. Anyway, now it was Cormier's turn to release a second statement after his team decided to appeal, and perhaps "fully" doesn't carry the rhetorical weight it once did. From the Canadian Press:
"I respect the decision of the QMJHL even if I find it too severe. I deeply regret the circumstances surrounding this event and I wish Mikael Tam a speedy and full recovery."
Now, we all wait to see if the QMJHL adjusts the suspension (not likely) and if Cormier means a "fully" full recovery or just one that's full for about a dozen hours. Meanwhile, check out this interview with New Jersey Devils President Lou Lamoriello about his troubled draft pick in which he said Cormier never indicated he was going to appeal. His bitter, championship-contending team on the other hand ...