Jr. captain Cormier suspended indefinitely
Team president wants appropriate penalty after Remparts' Tam sent to hospital
Rouyn-Noranda centre Patrice Cormier has been suspended indefinitely by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Monday following a hit that sent Quebec Remparts defenceman Mikaël Tam to hospital.
The league said it would continue to investigate the Sunday incident, but could not say when its disciplinarian, Raymond Bolduc, would issue a ruling.
The hit is not part of the game, Remparts president Claude Rousseau said.
"It's something that is not part of the rule of hockey. It's something that, in my mind, is absolutely not acceptable," he said Monday.
In Sunday's Quebec Major Junior Hockey league game in Rouyn-Noranda, Cormier, Canada's captain at the recent world junior hockey championships, elbowed Tam as he skated to centre ice at the Dave Keon arena.
Tam, 18, fell to the ice in convulsions and was taken to hospital, where he remained Monday in stable condition with brain trauma and several damaged teeth.
Remparts coach Patrick Roy, who said he had feared for Tam's life after witnessing the hit, was optimistic after visiting Tam in hospital.
"I had a chance to see him, and when I was there, the doctor told us everything was going well," Roy said. "With the head and the neck, everything's normal."
Rousseau said he wants to see Cormier hit with an appropriate penalty, but wouldn't say what that should be. He said he will leave it up to league officials to decide.
No one from the league would speak about the incident, but a press release said the incident is under review.
Roy complained to police about the incident, which occurred at 3:32 of overtime in Quebec's 3-2 shootout victory on Sunday afternoon.
Quebec provincial police Sgt. Marie-Josée Ouellet said police received a call at 8 p.m. Sunday about the hit.
Investigators have not been able to speak with Tam yet, she said, but police have questioned witnesses at the rink after the game.
The Remparts' website is asking fans to send get-well messages to the 18-year-old defenceman.
Ontario Hockey League commissioner David Branch told Toronto sports radio station Fan 590 that it's a concern that players don't seem to be getting the message about head shots.
"That's not unfair to say," said Branch, who doubles as Canadian Hockey League president. "It's a constant challenge, and it's an education process because we're dealing with young people, by and large."
Cormier can travel with team
Video of the incident shows Cormier coming off the bench and heading towards Tam, who started his rush from behind the goal. Cormier caught him with the elbow near centre ice, dropping him.
Three players and a trainer rushed Tam off the ice on a stretcher.
In the meantime, Cormier will be able to travel with his team if they have a game.
Cormier is known as a physical player. He hit Sweden's Anton Rodin with a similar elbow to the mouth during an exhibition game ahead of the world juniors last month.
The 19-year-old from Cap-Pele, N.B., was drafted by New Jersey in 2008 and signed a three-year entry level contract with the Devils last summer.
He was traded by the Rimouski Oceanic to Rouyn-Noranda on Jan. 7.
With files from The Canadian Press