Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cormier Facing Criminal Charges

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.


Andrew said...

He should at least be subject to community service on behalf of the community where the hit took place, or as a representative of the OHL/NHL. Not to mention it wouldn't hurt him to check himself into an anger management clinic. After all, as long as you feign forgiveness your fans will forgive you. I learned that from watching Tiger Woods.

Andrew said...

This is also interesting...

"Tam spent a night in hospital after the hit, but eventually was able to return to the ice and then was suspended himself for two games on March 8 for a hit from behind in a game against the Gatineau Olympiques."

I'm guessing both players have a bit of an edge/temper to them and it resulted in the cataclysmic elbow by Cormier.

Big Shooter said...

Penal League. Ha!!

GoPuckYourself said...

Gotta love how Ben Wright posts a blog of Thrashers "tidbits" today, and somehow the Cormier story doesn't make the cut.

Jay said...

You know, the only thing anyone has ever seen from that game is the hit Cormier put on Tam. Was there something that Tam did to Cormier that led up to that, perhaps?

Razor Catch Prey said...

Scott Laughlin mentioned on the air yesterday that Tam was suspended two games later for something similar, so apparently he is a dirty player, too. But if Cormier really intended to drive his elbow into the face of a guy coming straight at him, is there really anything that could occur in a hockey game that excuses that?