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Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson issued an open letter Wednesday about the team's controversial decision to draft Logan Mailloux, who apologized for taking and sharing an intimate photo of a woman, and said the defenseman would not be permitted to join the team for rookie camp and training camp.
Molson, addressing the fans of the organization, apologized for the selection in the first round of Friday's draft.
"I understand that you expect more from us and we let you down," Molson wrote in the letter. "The Montreal Canadiens are more than a hockey team. Logan's actions do not reflect the values of our organization and I apologize for the pain this selection has caused."
Molson said that the Canadiens "do not minimize" what the victim has had to experience and that the team's selection of Mailloux was not intended to be disrespectful toward victims of similar offenses and that it was not intended to be an endorsement of a culture of violence against women.
"No one, especially not an 18-year-old, should have to suffer through a traumatic experience like this," Molson wrote. "We are there to support her and her family and respect their privacy."
Mailloux had asked that teams not to draft him. He was fined in Sweden and convicted for the incident, which Molson labeled in his letter a "serious transgression."
In his letter, Molson then listed three actions that the Canadiens organization would undertake in light of the controversial selection. The first was a commitment to develop "a comprehensive plan to raise awareness and educate young men and young women about this serious issue."
The second was a pledge to support Mailloux's desire to become a better person.
Finally, Molson said that Mailloux would not be allowed to participate in the organization's rookie camp or main training camp.
"Being a player in the NHL is a privilege that is earned — not a right that is granted," Molson wrote. "As the year progresses, we will reassess Logan's readiness to be part of our organization."
Mailloux was criminally convicted in Sweden last year for taking and sharing the photo without consent. While playing for SK Lejon, a professional hockey team in Sweden, Mailloux took the photo and circulated it among several teammates. In December, he was issued a summary fine for offensive photography constituting an invasion of privacy and defamation. Mailloux, who is currently 18, was a minor at the time. The Daily Faceoff first reported the news of the incident.
Prior to Montreal's drafting him, Mailloux's plan had been to play for the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League next season so that NHL teams could "reassess" his character before the 2022 draft. Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, however, took him with the 31st overall pick on Friday.
There was nothing preventing any team from drafting him.
"The player remained eligible for selection," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told USA TODAY Sports by email. "Montreal was free to do what it did."
In a statement before the draft and in a news conference after his selection, Mailloux had said he regretted his actions and hoped that the victim felt his apologies were sincere.
"We gave Logan a second chance but in doing so, we failed to properly assess the impact of our decision on the victim and on anyone who have suffered in similar circumstances," Molson wrote. "Once again, I want to apologize to everyone impacted by our decision.
"I repeat, our actions will speak louder than our words. We will work to continue proving we are an organization this community and our fans can be proud of."
Contributing: Emily Adams and Mike Brehm
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Canadiens' Logan Mailloux barred from training camp