Patrice Cormier's Elbow Nearly Ends Tam's Life
Team Canada must be more careful when choosing their captains for their World Junior Championship teams if they think that Patrice Cormier was a good choice.
Then in his third game with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, Cormier delivered his most devastating and likely last elbow of his junior career.
Cormier, 6’2”, comes off the bench on a line change, heads straight for the 5’10 Mikael Tam as he dumps the puck into the offensive zone, and launches himself – elbow first – into Tam’s face.
Here is a video of the incident: (Warning: The video is very graphic. Watch at your own risk.)
Fast forward to the 1:00 mark.
Tam was rushed off the ice by his teammates because even they understood that they had only minutes to get him to a hospital. The image of his body convulsing is an image that should never be seen during a sporting event.
According to the radio station Quebec 800’s website, Tam is in stable condition at a local hospital and was talking to doctors and family members.
Quebec Remparts trainer Philippe Fait reported that he feared that Tam was dead because he stopped breathing for approximately 30 seconds.
Tam has reportedly only suffered a broken jaw and a concussion. He is incredibly lucky he did not suffer any brain damage or that he did not end up brain dead like many websites and message boards were speculating last night.
Tam is lucky to be alive after that disgusting hit but maybe his case will be the final straw in reducing the rigidity of elbow pads on hockey players to prevent even intentional elbows from possibly killing someone.
If anyone has ever played hockey or has felt the elbow pads of a hockey player, you know that they feel almost like steel – completely unforgiving.
Quebec is planning to press criminal charges against Cormier in the hope that they can remove him from the game of hockey so that an incident like this does not have to happen again.
Earlier this year a player in the OHL was suspended for the rest of the season for a dirty hit that resulted in a serious injury of his opponent.
In Cormier’s case, what should be done? He is 20 years old so a lifetime ban from juniors would only amount to ~20-30 games.
Should Cormier, a Devils’ 2008 2nd round pick, be banned from hockey or from playing in the NHL? Can the NHL ban him from hockey for an incident that occurred outside the NHL?
Should the Devils void the entry level deal he signed over the summer and forbid him from playing for their organization?
So I ask you, FF readers, what would your punishment be for Cormier if he was a Penguins prospect?