Patrice Cormier charged with assault for January on-ice hit

Quebec Remparts' Mikael Tam is wheeled off the ice on a stretcher following a hit from Rouyn Noranda's Patrice Cormier during QMJHL action in Rouyn-Noranda, Que. (Jan.17, 2010)

QUEBEC, QUE.—The former captain of Canada’s world junior hockey team will face criminal charges in addition to a suspension for a hit to an opposing player in January.

Annie-Claude Bergeron, a spokesman for the Crown prosecutor’s office in Rouyn-Noranda, says Patrice Cormier has been charged with assault causing injury.

Cormier, a forward with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will appear in court July 12. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Cormier was suspended for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs on Jan. 25 for an elbow to the jaw that sent Mikael Tam of the Quebec Remparts into convulsions on the ice.

An appeal was turned down by commissioner Gilles Courteau on Feb. 19, but the Huskies then asked for an independent arbitrator. That also failed, as arbitrator Jacques Sylvestre upheld the suspension.

Tam spent a night in hospital after the hit, but eventually was able to return to the ice and then was suspended himself for two games on March 8 for a hit from behind in a game against the Gatineau Olympiques.

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