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Patrice Cormier pleads ‘not guilty’ to charges related to a hit he delivered last season

While Jason Smith pleaded not guilty for charges that allegedly happened off ice, Atlanta Thrashers prospect Patrice Cormier faces a trial for something that happened on the ice. Cormier pleaded not guilty as well, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Thrashers prospect Patrice Cormier pleaded not guilty of assault causing injury on Monday, the charge stemming from an on-ice hit during a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game last season.

Cormier was not present at the hearing, which was held in Quebec. A court date of Oct. 19 was set. He faces up to 18 months in prison if convicted.

Cormier was charged after delivering an elbow to an opposing player while playing for Rouyn-Noranda in a QMJHL game in January. The forward was suspended for the rest for the season and the playoffs for the hit to the head of Mikael Tam of the Quebec Remparts on Jan. 17.

Click here for a video clip of the hit.

Cormier was hoping to put the incident behind him and make the team this season, but that dream is on hold now that he is sidelined indefinitely with a broken foot from a team scrimmage last week.

It was an ugly hit and 18 months in prison is obviously a hefty term, so we’ll keep you updated regarding what happens with a player who was a big part of the trade that sent Ilya Kovalchuk to the New Jersey Devils.