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Patrice Cormier changes his mind, pleads guilty to assault charges

After originally pleading not guilty, Atlanta Thrashers prospect Patrice Cormier decided to plead guilty to assault charges stemming from a hit he delivered on Mikael Tam last season. The elbow left Tam convulsing on the ice in horrifying scene, as he suffered from brain trauma and teeth damage. Here is the National Post story.

Former Quebec Major Junior Hockey League forward Patrice Cormier pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of assault causing bodily harm and received an unconditional discharge.[snip]

Cormier, who served as captain of Canada’s world junior hockey team last winter, was suspended for the rest of the season and was charged in May.

He received the same sentence as the son of former Montreal Canadiens goaltender Patrick Roy, who pleaded guilty to an assault charge last year and was granted an unconditional discharge.

It’s a sad situation, but Cormier has to pay the consequences for that brutal check. Tam certainly is dealing with the side effects of the hit. Who knows what kind of effect this will have on Cormier or his future with the Thrashers, but this hit will probably follow him for the early part of his career, if not his entire career.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)