Mon Oct 31 12:17am EDT
Patrick Roy never has to be prodded with the proverbial tell us what you really feel.
Supplemental discipline in the Quebec Major Hockey League vis-à-vis its two major counterparts was already hot-button. Then one of Roy's Quebec Remparts players, 17-year-old right wing Nick Sorensen, had his season ended Friday by a knee-on-knee hit by Baie-Comeau's Jonathan Lessard. Lessard's been suspended indefinitely; somewhat astoundingly, the officials only whistled a two-minute minor on the play.
Please bear in mind this was one day after Shawinigan Cataractes defenceman Vincent Arseneau got an eight-game ban for a head shot in a recent game. With that fresh in everyone's mind, Roy called out the QMJHL's disclipinary prefect, Raymond Bolduc, for being too nice to throw the book at players.
Via Kathleen Lavoie at Le Soleil (translated):
"I am having a hard time restraining myself because I am furious. I don't know if they have the right people in place to take care of an incident such as this one. I look at Vincent Arseneau and he received only eight games for a blindside hit to head.
"It's priceless. Raymond Bolduc (QMJHL disciplinary prefect), I like him as a person, but he's too good a person. He has the misfortune of having to be severe ... the action we saw tonight, one must no longer see that in hockey."
This is not the first time Roy went through the media to try and get his way with the league. One also has to bear in mind the vested interest in having Lessard get a long suspension, since the Drakkar and Remparts play in the same, very competitive division. It is hard to equivocate about the play itself, though. It's pretty clear knee-on-knee contact by Lessard.
The fact the Denmark-born Sorensen is an import player who was playing in just his eighth game for the Remparts shouldn't affect the suspension levied. It does add something to Roy's passionate plea, as he seemed to imply that refusing to be "severe" with players could affect QMJHL teams' ability to recruit European players, who could also choose the OHL, WHL and USHL.
"It's making me sick. This is a young man who came from Sweden to play with us. Gilles Courteau has said many times: 'we are here to protect our players.' Well, one must protect them! One must not be afraid of handing out severe suspensions because we only have a 68-game schedule as opposed to an 82-game NHL schedule."
It's a shame for Sorensen. The right wing was off to an excellent start with five goals and nine points through his first eight games. The only silver lining is that as an October baby, his draft year is still a season away.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (translation: Sasha Williams).