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QMJHL: comments made by Chicoutimi coach toward Remparts player not defamatory

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The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has dismissed a complaint by Quebec coach Patrick Roy concerning comments made toward Remparts forward Danick Paquette.

Roy filed a formal complaint with the league after Chicoutimi Sagueneens head coach Richard Martel reportedly labelled Paquette the most dangerous player in the league.

"He has injured players and he is going to hurt others," Martel told a French newspaper following Chicoutimi's 4-2 win over Quebec on Friday. Martel's comments came after Paquette levelled Jacob Lagace with a bruising hit that forced the Chicoutimi forward to leave the game.

Roy was irate after reading Martel's comments.

I called Mr. (Gilles) Courteau (QMJHL commissioner) complaining, 'I want Richard Martel to apologize,'" Roy told the French newspaper. "And if he does not, I asked (Remparts president Claude Rousseau) if we could go further with this."

Courteau said that, while he did not appreciate Martel's comment, the league did not consider it defamatory.

"Insults, physical or mental threats or any other gesture used to ridicule opponents will never be considered as acceptable even if such conduct signals frustrations which can appear to be legitimate," Courteau said in a statement.

"In this case, I believe that although the comments which were made are regrettable, they cannot be interpreted as defamatory in any way, shape or form."

Paquette, a third-round pick of the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2008 draft, has six goals, seven assists and 24 penalty minutes in 13 games with Quebec this season. The six-foot-one, 206-pounder led the QMJHL in penalty minutes last season with 230 - a whopping 85 more than the next closest player.

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