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Dreger: Could Patrice Cormier end up in AHL this season?

Darren Dreger
1/19/2010 9:43:26 AM
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When you go across the board in the hockey community the reaction to Patrice Cormier's hit on Mikael Tam is always the same, everyone says this is a vicious, seemingly premeditated, and disturbing hit.

What's disturbing is you watch the elbow go up, and the aftermath with Tam convulsing on the ice.

New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello talked to the media on Monday. The Devils are involved in this process because they drafted Cormier 53rd overall in 2008. Lamoriello said he doesn't expect Cormier's suspension to be that damning in terms of the length. However, Lamoriello and others who believe that are in for a big surprise.

Canadian Hockey League president David Branch met with Quebec Major Junior Hockey League commissioner Gilles Courteau Monday night. Branch doesn't have any direct influence over the QMJHL in terms of discipline, but you know that he will be offering his opinion and his opinion, as we know in the Ontario Hockey League, is usually one where he handles this type of situation with severity.

Keep in mind Patrice Cormier is 19 years old, he turns 20 in June. Providing that Cormier's junior team Rouyn-Noranda is not a part of the playoffs, depending on the length of the suspension, then the Devils could assign Cormier to their American Hockey League team; the Lowell Devils.

It's also possible, unlikely but possible, that David Andrews the commissioner of the AHL could uphold whatever suspension exists with the QMJHL. I doubt that would happen because Cormier is moving from junior to professional hockey, but he could be cleared and he could play in the AHL this season.

Andrews tells TSN that the only way Cormier would be allowed to play in the AHL, assuming that he is still under suspension with the QMJHL, is if there were an AHL review, which there has been in the past with players like Steve Downie and Jesse Boulerice, amongst others who have moved on.

Darren Dreger


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