Buzzing The Net

Sarnia Sting coach Jacques Beaulieu faces assault charges, Montreal Canadiens’ Nathan Beaulieu under investigation

Neate Sager
Buzzing The Net

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Jacques Beaulieu is a finalist for OHL coach of the year (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)

One of junior hockey's unique father-son stories of the past few seasons has taken a sharp right into controversy.

Two seasons ago, current Montreal Canadiens playoff callup Nathan Beaulieu raised the Memorial Cup with the Saint John Sea Dogs with father Jacques Beaulieu, who had helped built that team before moving back to the OHL, in the stands. Now the elder Beaulieu, as lawyer Patrick Ducharme confirmed to the London Free Press, is facing "two counts of assault in a weekend dust-up at a Strathroy-area home." Police are also mulling charges against Nathan Beaulieu, who played six NHL regular-season games for the Habs while completing his rookie pro season for the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Not much is known and there must be the presumption of innocence.

From Jennifer O'Brien and Patrick Maloney:

... The charges relate to an incident that occurred Saturday night at a home on Saxton Rd. on the outskirts of Strathroy.

Asked specifically about the incident, Strathroy Caradoc police responded by saying they’re investigating “alleged assaults” against two men that occurred at a private residence outside of town Saturday.

Deputy police Chief Mark Campbell told The Free Press a 45-year-old Strathroy man and his 20-year-old son are being investigated by officers.

“This investigation has some newsworthy elements,” Campbell said Monday.

The incident, Campbell said, occurred at a party following a charity golf tournament in the area. (London Free Press)

Ducharme is also the legal counsel for Windsor Spitfires left wing Ben Johnson, a New Jersey Devils draft choice who was charged with two counts of sexual assault in March. Ducharme also represented Vancouver Canucks right wing Zack Kassian, a former Spitfire, in an assault case in 2010.

Ducharme also represented London Knights coach Dale Hunter in an impaired driving case a few years ago. It is plausible that some, or all of that, could be the source of conflict.

Jacques Beaulieu is known to be a fiery coach and has occasionally shown a confrontational side in his dual capacity with the Sting. In 2012, he said former Sting Taylor Carnevale "basically lied" to the Sting about a shoulder injury, which prevented the Sting from trading the overage centre and allowed Carnevale to pass through OHL waivers. Carnevale joined the QMJHL's Shawinigan Cataractes, but lasted only 10 games before he had to shut down his season.

That reputation certainly adds to the newsworthiness, but it should be kept separate from the coach's personal life; it should not be used to play judge and jury.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca.

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