Remember that hit on a Quebec Ramparts player that got Patrice Cormier suspended by the league? Well now Cormier is facing criminal charges for it.
This is all happening in Beaverland, so I don't know how their criminal system approaches battery, but in the US you are generally protected from these kind of criminal charges in a full contact sporting environment. The way that you can become liable is if you intentionally go above and beyond generally acceptable gameplay and attempt to injure. You can easily make an argument that Todd Bertuzzi driving Moore's head into the ice from behind is criminal, as well as McSorley hitting Brashear in the head with his stick.
An elbow to the head is a little more of a grey area. Elbows happen all the time even though they are against the rules and are penalized. They're not outside the normal scope of play. However, an elbow aimed at the head with malicious intent to injure may well be considered outside the scope of play and open to criminal culpability.
No word yet from Rick Dudley as to whether or not he expects Cormier to be a regular contributor in the Quebec Penal League next season.
EDIT- After some brief research into Quebecois laws, it appears that they call battery "assault" there. In our system, assault is an attempted battery where no physical contact is actually made. In Quebec, actual contact is an assault, and when an injury occurred as it did when Cormier hit Tam, that is "assault causing bodily injury."
Quebec's definition of assault: "Any force intentionally applied against another person without his consent is an act of assault. The amount of force involved may be significant or minimal (e.g., punching a person in the face, slapping a person, throwing someone to the ground, spitting at someone, grabbing her arm, etc.). An assault may even occur without any physical contact. For example, simply pouring a glass of water on someone can be considered assault."
So the question in this case will come down to whether or not Tam consented to the act by participating in an ice hockey game.