Former hockey player Jonathan Roy, right, son of hockey legend Patrick Roy, left, and Quebec Remparts co-owner Claude Rousseau, centre, walk to the courthouse in Saguenay, Que., on Wednesday. ((Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press))

Jonathan Roy, the son of former Montreal Canadiens goalie Patrick Roy, has received an absolute discharge after pleading guilty Wednesday to assaulting an opponent in a junior hockey match.

Jonathan Roy will donate $5,000 to five local charitable organizations and will not have a criminal record.

Roy, a former goaltender for the Quebec Remparts, was charged with assault following a brawl with opponent Bobby Nadeau during a March 2008 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game. The incident sparked a national debate about violence in the sport.

Roy's father is the Remparts head coach and owner and was coaching the team from behind the bench when the fight occurred during a playoff game at the Centre Georges-Vézina in the city of Saguenay, Que.

Roy, 20, entered his plea Wednesday morning, telling the court that he regretted his behaviour and lacked judgment when he attacked Nadeau.  

He faced up to five years in prison, but his lawyer, Steve Magnan, was able to persuade the court to give his client an absolute discharge, without any opposition from the Crown.

Roy said he needed the discharge to travel to the United States to pursue his new career as a singer.

"He's really happy," Magnan told CBC News. "He's moving on with a new career as a singer.

"Because he will not have a criminal record, it will be possible for him to go in the United States and try to live his dream."

The family is tired of seeing images of their son's brawl and are ready to move on, Magnan added.

Roy seen pounding opponent in video

Video of the brawl shows Nadeau, a Chicoutimi Saguenéens goalie, curled up in a ball on the ice after being repeatedly struck by Roy. Nadeau later testified he wasn't hurt in the fight, which was part of a larger brawl involving several players. Other video clips show Patrick Roy encouraging his son to take off after Nadeau.


Jonathan Roy skated the length of the ice to fight Bobby Nadeau in the 2008 brawl. ((CBC))

Jonathan Roy was fined $500 and suspended for seven games after the fight while his father received a five-game suspension and a $4,000 fine.

His lawyer had earlier complained that his client was being targeted by prosecutors because of his famous hockey family name.

Magnan said Quebec courts don't traditionally pursue hockey players for fighting as long as there are no major injuries.

The province's director of public prosecutions changed the directive for hockey fights four months after Roy's brawl, which sparked a lengthy debate about what constitutes violence in hockey.

Jonathan Roy no longer plays in Quebec's junior league and is focusing on his music career.

With files from The Canadian Press