Posts Tagged ‘QMJHL’

Making Hockey Safer Means Introducing Body Contact Earlier

August 28th, 2011

Of course when you go months without anything interesting happening in hockey, news and stories are bound to be rough. The only thing to really talk about, as far as hockey stories go, is concussions. Unfortunately. I’ve even fallen into that trap. And not that I want to turn into a concussion blog, but after reading about Hockey Canada’s desires in this TSN article, I needed to weigh in. Again.

The TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) version of the link above states Hockey Canada’s desire to see more non-contact minor hockey leagues developed. I see why Hockey Canada wants this. It makes sense. I get that some kids (and/or adults) aren’t interested in rough, body contact sports. But the reality is this: you won’t ever eliminate body contact and aggressive plays from hockey, especially in competitive/top leagues around the country.

In its simplest form, I believe there are two reasons why players sustain concussions in hockey:

1.  The player making the hit does something wrong.
2.  The player getting hit does something wrong.

I’d estimate that roughly 40-50% of concussions are the fault of the player getting hit. Yes, nearly half of the time it’s the fault of the player getting hit. Too often we see players putting themselves in vulnerable positions. Even in the NHL. I don’t think the players means to do this, but they do and it’s alarming.

» Read more: Making Hockey Safer Means Introducing Body Contact Earlier

8 alternative punishments for Patrice Cormier

January 21st, 2010

On Wednesday, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League revealed while they don’t yet have a punishment for Patrice Cormier, they expect to have one at some point next week.

While it seems odd the QMJHL would make an announcement to announce another announcement on Cormier’s punishment is forthcoming, it’s probably something they should take their time with to ensure the right form of discipline is handed out. Cormier’s punishment presents an interesting dilemma for Commissioner Gilles Courteau and the QMJHL. Courteau needs to send a strong message to Cormier, the league, and the hockey world that this type of play cannot and will not be tolerated. However, this needs to be done in a way that doesn’t make OHL Commissioner David Branch and his previous punishments look insignificant or over the top.

Since decisions like these can be tough, I’d like to offer some suggestions to Courteau and the QMJHL, should they require additional help or advice. Below are the top 8 alternative punishments for Patrice Cormier, courtesy of

  • Have Cormier use his elbow to iron and flatten all of Sean Avery’s clothes. Even the sloppy seconds clothes.
  • Send Cormier back to the World Junior Championships next year to learn how to properly captain a Canadian hockey team. While he’s there, maybe he can keep Pierre McGuire from ‘unleashing’ any more Taylor Hall-ice cream quotes.
  • Have Cormier deliver a similar elbow-shot to the President of NBC for extending Jay Leno’s career after we thought he might finally retire.
  • Have Cormier play for the Toronto Maple Leafs so he can learn how true pugnacity is played. Fact: I had as much trouble typing that as you did reading it…
  • In a cross-promotional effort, have Cormier deliver another similar elbow-shot in a WWE fight to help promote Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s new hockey movie, “The Toothfairy”.
  • Have Cormier watch the world’s worst movie once a day, every day for as many days as Mikael Tam takes to fully recover. Of course, the movie I’m referring to is Garden State.
  • Have Cormier deliver two more elbow-shots to Alex Burrows and Stephane Auger for making hockey fans hear more crying and moaning from sports “professionals” than found in an episode of Jersey Shore.
  • Immediately promote Cormier to the NHL to play for Pat Quinn and the Edmonton Oilers. That in itself should be punishment enough.

Stay classy, Gilles Courteau and the QMJHL.

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Patrice Cormier’s “Killshot”

January 18th, 2010

In case you haven’t seen this horrific headshot (or killshot as Kyle Roussel put it on twitter), check out the clip below. The most recent captain of the Canadian World Junior team, Patrice Cormier, delivers an elbow to Mikael Tam in a QMJHL game this weekend.

This was Cormier’s third game with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. He was recently traded from the Rimouski Oceanic to the Huskies earlier this month to help with their playoff drive and Memorial Cup chances. It’s probably a safe assumption Comier’s season is over as a result of this hit, however, no punishment has been announced yet.

According to KuklasKorner and other various reports, Tam is in stable condition with no brain damage and a few missing teeth. Patrick Roy, the owner and coach of the Quebec Remparts (Tam’s team), has reportedly filed a complaint with the local police.

** A quick update- 4:30pm
There are some unconfirmed reports that suggest Tam might have suffered serious brain trauma after all. At this point, I personally have no additional knowledge of the  situation. I’m only reporting what I’ve heard/read. I hope Tam recovers soon and quickly.

** Suspension update- Jan 25, 2010
Cormier was suspended for the balance of the season and playoffs (including the Memorial Cup) – a maximum of 48 possible games.  This is the longest suspension in QMJHL history.


When we see headshots and nasty hits like this in Junior hockey leagues, more often than not, it’s from players who are in their final Junior years (generally speaking – not always the case). Punishments usually ends up as suspensions for the remainder of the year and that’s it. How about having a punishment that affects these players future? In Cormier’s case, he’s a New Jersey Devils draft pick. How about delaying his pro career by a number of games or months, etc…? Perhaps this isn’t realistic, but something else needs to be done – the punishment can’t end once the Huskies season concludes. Cormier’s actions affect the Huskies (who traded talent/prospects to acquire his services), the Remparts, the life of Tam, and possibly the New Jersey Devils.

I believe Junior hockey needs to deliver punishments that follow these players around for longer than a year ending suspension plus a bad reputation. This would serve as a good opportunity for the NHL and Canadian Junior leagues to ensure a strong message about player safety is sent. Another suggestion would be for Cormier to spend time with minor hockey programs to ensure they understand safety and the do’s and don’t of the game. Consider it community service or something. Let’s make Cormier the poster boy for everything the game doesn’t need. This hit was anything but classy and it should be Cormier’s job to make as much of a positive contribution to hockey as he’s made negative contributions from this hit.

Stay classy, Mikael Tam. Hopefully you have a speedy recovery.

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Has Guillaume Latendresse turned it around in Minnesota?

January 16th, 2010

What were you doing on November 23rd? If you were Guillaume Latendresse, you were probably going through several different emotions like excitement, confusion, fear, and even anger. It was on this day that Montreal apparently gave up on their big francophone player and traded him to Minnesota for another struggling youngster, Benoit Pouliot.

Guillaume Latendresse has had a classy rebound to his career in Minnesota |

Guillaume Latendresse has had a classy rebound to his career in Minnesota

Up until the trade, I think it’s fair to say that Latendresse had been, for the most part, a disappointment. I still remember that training camp he had in 2006 where he was awesome and you thought for a second that Montreal had a major power forward on the rise. His first season, he showed good promise, scoring 16 goals and 29 points as a 19 year old. I figured that once he put on some more muscle, could potentially be the next Todd Bertuzzi, when Big Bert was in his prime. I’m sure many Canadians fans felt the same way back then.

However, you know it’s not a good sign when your career season continues to be your rookie season. Latendresse’s point total declined in his sophomore season, where he scored only 27 points, and it dropped again in his third season to just 26 points. Follow that up with his first 23 games this year where he had 2 goals and 1 assist. Ouch. Clearly, the relationship between Montreal and Latendresse was broken and Bob Gainey decided he’d had enough and shipped him out of town. In fact, Latendresse’s season in Montreal was going so badly this year that he failed to register a shot in 10 of his 23 games. By mid-late November, he was playing only 6-7 minutes a game too, which makes sense, seeing as how he didn’t score a single point in his final 8 games as a Montreal Canadian, and only took 3 shots on goal in that span.

Fast forward to January 2010, where he appears to be a completely different player in Minnesota. He’s routinely playing around 17 minutes a game with the Wild, where seems to play a vital role on the team and is having fun again. Here’s the real interesting part. In the 23 games he’s played for the Wild since the trade, he’s scored 10 goals, 6 assists and is +5. He was -4 in Montreal this season. He’s also put together a serious hot streak as of late. As of Saturday, his last 6 games have seen him score 4 goals and 5 assists.

Has Latendresse turned his career around in Minnesota? It’s hard to say. 16 points in his first 23 games is a great start and is far higher than the production he ever generated in Montreal. Yet, the question surrounding Latendresse is whether or not this kind of play can be sustained. Remember back to the training camp in 2006 where he looked dominant? Remember back in junior how he was a star player in the QMJHL but looked lost when playing for Canada at the World Juniors in 2005? According to Brent Sutter, who was the coach of the Canadian squad that year, Latendresse didn’t listen to the coaching staff and always went his own way. If you didn’t realize that Latendresse was on the WJ team that year, don’t feel badly – He was benched for most of the tournament anyway. This was also the WJC team that featured Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron, Jeff Carter, Ryan Getzlaf, Cam Barker, Corey Perry, Mike Richards and Dion Phaneuf, among others. Thank you, NHL lockout. Actually, now I’m wondering how Latendresse even made this team in the first place. Anyway, the point here is that Latendresse is one of those players who so far in his professional career, has only really been able to play well for short periods of time.

Time will tell if he can keep up this kind of play for Minnesota. 23 games is a good quarter of the season and he’s been especially hot lately, so I hope for his sake he can keep his strong play up. It’s worth noting that even though he’s in his fourth year in the NHL, he’s only 22 years old. Some players, especially the power forward types, take a little longer to develop and it does feel a little harsh to write off a 22 year old kid as being washed up. So maybe we should give him a little more time before disregarding him completely. Hopefully, Minnesota can help him develop into the player many of us thought he would have already become by now. If they can do so, they may have found a real diamond in the rough, as Benoit Pouliot wasn’t getting much done for them. For what it’s worth, Pouliot has 5 goals in his first 10 games as a Hab.

In conclusion, I think Guillaume Latendresse has got a great opportunity to become a solid 3rd line player in the NHL, with the ability to play 2nd line minutes if necessary. I think he could potentially be a 40 points per season player with Minnesota. What do you think – will Latendresse turn his career around? Or is his recent hot streak just more of the same from him? You tell us.

Your Reporter in the Field,


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If you can’t play net’s, be a singer instead

October 8th, 2009

Patrick Roys son is not classy. Or a good singer.

Patrick Roy's son is not classy. Or a good singer.

Well, the Jonathan Roy verdict is really no big surprise.

After beating fellow QMJHL goalie Bobby Nadeau in a fight he clearly did not want a part of, Jonathan Roy proceeded to show the TV cameras and everyone in the crowd just how long his middle fingers can actually stretch. A susbsequent assault charge, and a guilty plea today has basically meant zilch – a $5,000 donation to his five favourite charities (one of must be the newly formed Nadeau Hockey School of Goalie Fighting) and an absolute discharge.

Honestly. Almost a non-story here, except if you listen to one of the key defence arguments put forward as to why he needed an absolute discharge:

Roy wants to be able to travel to the United States to continue his singing career.

WTF. Singing? Could this be the next big thing for the CBC after Battle of the Blades? Canadian Hockey Idol?

So, in all fairness, I had to take a listen. Being an amateur hack musician myself, I’m thinking “How bad can this be?”


Now you know. I’m pretty sure I could sing better than that, even I had spent most of my life having someone shoot hard rubber disks off my head.

My favourite quotes from the few english YouTube posters:

“An embarrassment to goalies/singers like myself everywhere. ”

“I think he should just stick to hockey?”

“You’re a horrible goaltender and an even worse singer [and thats saying something] ”

“Oh my f***ing god, this is brutal.”

Jonathan Roy, so not classy.

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