Junior hockey in Canada: The culprits must be punished

­­­­­ ;be punished


After reading and hearing the horror stories that have taken place in junior hockey in Canada, I of course have a thought for the victims, but I would also add that the culprits answer for their actions.

There are investigations and we are still awaiting the conclusions, in particular in the case of a gang rape which was allegedly committed by players of the national junior team in 2018. I would like to know who the attackers are and they must pay for what they did.

It is said that some members of this formation would evolve today in the National League. Will Commissioner Gary Bettman dare to act? Consequences are needed, regardless of their star status.

Will there be charges? Convictions? It's time to find out what happened and who is responsible, whether it's the players or the adults who turned a blind eye to criminal acts. You don't have to move on. The light must be shed and the attacks cannot go unpunished.

Nothing major with the Draveurs

The situation is not any better in regarding initiations. It is appalling what has been revealed
this week.

Personally, when I was the coach of the Draveurs de Trois-Rivières in the 1970s, I did not witness any atrocity, even if that time was a very tough one in the QMJHL. Mike Bossy said it often: it was one of the toughest circuits.

If I had heard of initiations that had gone wrong, I would have intervened, it's obvious. So what we read this week made me jump.

During my visit to Trois-Rivières, the veterans cut the hair of the recruits as a welcome. 

I remember one of my captains had to have his head shaved in his first season and he ended that ritual when he got the letter C on his jersey.

Unfortunately, that is hurting junior hockey across the country. However, they are above all development leagues and beautiful schools of life. We must not put everyone in the same basket, but it is certain that the culprits must be accountable for their actions.

I am convinced that people are now aware and the abscess has been burst. It must not happen again. Those dark years won't come back.

Overpriced restaurants

Even in the NHL, I think it's exaggerated when rookies have to pay the meals of the whole team at the restaurant. It sometimes costs $20,000, including $2,000 bottles of wine! Often the new ones don't have that money. It has to stop, because there are abuses.

Rob Brind'Amour, the coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, once said that when he was captain of the club, he helped two rookies and picked up an astronomical bill.

Six Québécois

I would like to end my column on a more positive tone. For the past few games, there have been six Quebecers in uniform with the Canadiens and I am delighted. It's been ages since we've seen that. 

Two years ago, the Habs even played a game without a hockey player here…

Alex Belzile, a real big brother for young forwards, and Rafaël Harvey-Pinard – who continues to produce with seven goals and nine points in 11 games – have joined the likes of Jonathan Drouin, David Savard, Mike Matheson and Samuel Montembeault.


Can we make a connection with the good outfit of CH, who had signed three consecutive victories before bowing honorably to the Hurricanes on Thursday? Martin St-Louis' troupe plays with intensity and pride even if it is excluded from the playoffs.

In addition, at the end of the win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, Drouin, Savard and Matheson were chosen the three stars of the game.

Three Quebec players from CH! It was a first since October 23, 2003. Twenty years! At the time, José Théodore, Yanic Perreault and Mike Ribeiro received the honours.

Comments collected by Mylène Richard

Echoes of Bergie

Does he want to play?

Despite a great collective effort on Thursday, I cannot ignore Chris Wideman's sad performance. The defenseman was on the ice for five Carolina goals. He showed complete disinterestedness. He's probably on his last miles in the NHL. I don't think Kent Hughes will be able to trade him by the trade deadline of March 3. It remains to be seen whether the general manager of CH will find takers for Joel Edmundson, Mike Hoffman, Evgenii Dadonov, Jonathan Drouin or even Sean Monahan if he returns to the game soon.

A return to the Pee Tournament -wee

I am very excited to attend the Tournoi international de hockey pee-wee de Québec this weekend, especially after reading the great stories of our colleague Jessica Lapinski in the pages of the Journal. When I led the Nordiques, I went there with DG Maurice Filion. We were eating hot dogs and sitting in the stands, chatting with people and having a blast. I can't wait to relive it.

The loss of Ovechkin

Alexander Ovechkin has returned to Russia to be with his family to be at the bedside of his father Mikhail, who died Wednesday at the age of 71. The Capitals have announced that their captain will be out indefinitely, which could hurt the Washington team very badly. It has lost its last three games and is engaged in a fight to finish to participate in the playoffs. Heading into yesterday's games, the Capitals were a point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins, though they had four games in hand. The Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabers are also part of the picture.

­­­­­Junior Hockey in Canada: The Guilty Must Be Punished