Tuesday, March 25, 2008

And the hammer comes down

Gilles Courteau, the commissioner of the QMJHL, announced his decision today regarding the brawl between the Quebec Remparts and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Six players and two coaches will sit out between one and seven games.

In a statement, Courteau said, "The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League finds the events which took place over the course of last week-end's games deplorable and unacceptable. We are deeply troubled by the incidents. In closing, I'd like to warn organizations that these types of incidents will not be tolerated and that should any more occur, steep fines will be handed out."

Here's how it all breaks down:

Jonathan Roy (QUE) - 7 games, $500 fine
Sebastien Rioux (CHI) - 6 games
Maxime Lacroix (QUE) - 3 games
Marc-Olivier Vallerand (QUE) - 2 games
Charles-Antoine Messier (CHI) - 2 games
Antoine Roussel (CHI) - 1 game

Patrick Roy (QUE) - 5 games
Richard Martel (CHI) - 2 games - automatic suspension because one of his players left the penalty box to engage in a fight.

Each team was also fined $4000.

Is it just me, or does the penalty for Jonathan Roy seem a little light? I realize that he was handed the toughest sentence of them all, but I was absolutely sickened by his behaviour. Maybe the Q was a little more lenient because J. Roy apologized for his hand gestures to the crowd and stated that he would never behave that way in the future - though he failed to say anything about the fight.

I just hope that Chicoutimi sweeps Quebec the rest of the way to rub it in. If the Remparts are able to hold on and play well until J. Roy returns, then how much of a lesson will this be? How much of a deterrent will the suspension be? I think of Pronger and his flying elbow antics last year and how the Ducks won those two games when he was out of the lineup. Lesson learned? Nope.


DaBich said...

I'm glad SOMETHING was done, but yeah, I feel J Roy should have gotten more. His actions give the entire league a bad name.
Perhaps he'll think twice next time...but then again...who knows?

Ashley said...

Well, the news coming out of Quebec is that the police are investigating to see whether charges can be laid. I'm not sure who they're looking at, but this story may not be over just yet...

DaBich said...

Oh my! The drama continues lol!

Stoosh said...

ASHLEY - I didn't see any footage of the rest of the fights, but after seeing the footage of what Roy did to Nadeau, I'd have to wonder if they aren't looking at potential assault/battery charges, or the Quebec legal equivalent.

The kicker to me is that Nadeau clearly wanted no part of the fight, and throughout the whole thing, made absolutely no attempt to engage Roy at all. Roy's excessively aggressive behavior (even by hockey's accepted standards) might prove to make this more serious than initially thought as well. The telling things for me would be Roy ripping Nadeau's helmet off, and then during the "fight", Roy actually pauses for a second or two and then begins throwing more punches while Nadeau is still on the ice.

I watched the Vancouver/Colorado game tonight on the NHL Network...they picked up the TSN feed and the issue was debated heavily there. They discussed outlawing fighting altogether in junior games, but I don't think that's the answer. Take fighting out of an emotionally-charged game like hockey and I'm afraid of what might happen when emotions eventually do boil over, as they almost always do on any given night.

Ashley said...

Stoosh - yeah, I would guess that the police would be looking at J. Roy too. Maybe Patrick Roy if he indeed encouraged his son to do what he did? I'm not sure.

The video of Roy going after Nadeau was horrific. It made me sick to my stomach to watch because Nadeau was in his crease and Roy just attacked him even though he clearly wanted no part in it. What J. and P. Roy are saying is that Nadeau was taunting J. Roy, and therefore brought it all on himself. Something was also said about Nadeau skating to the blue line and talking trash to J. Roy before retreating to his crease, but I haven't seen footage to support that.

I didn't catch the VAN/COL game on TSN last night, but I knew that they would be talking about fighting and its place in junior hockey. They had a poll up on tsn.ca yesterday asking whether it should be banned from the CHL, and about 80% said no (I'm guessing James Duthie announced those results on air). I'm of the same opinion as you - if you take fighting out, the really dirty play will only increase. International hockey tends to have more dirty stuff going on because they're not able to fight.

What we saw last Saturday night between the Remparts and the Sagueneens was not a fight. What J. Roy did was not fight Nadeau. If anyone thinks that making fighting illegal in hockey would have prevented J. Roy from attacking Nadeau is on some kind of mind-altering drug. Fighting can be a part of hockey, but what happened last weekend has absolutely no place in the sport and it only serves to make hockey look barbaric in the eyes of others.

What J. Roy did will continue happen and the only way that the hockey community can decrease the frequency of these incidents is to hand out heavy penalties (suspensions and fines) and to change the culture so that this is completely unacceptable behaviour.