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QMJHL commissioner Corteau upholds suspension of Huskies forward Cormier @NHLdotcom

BOUCHERVILLE, Que. - Quebec Major Junior Hockey League commissioner Gilles Courteau has rejected an appeal by the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies regarding the suspension of forward Patrick Cormier.

On Jan. 25, Raymond Bolduc, the league's disciplinary prefect, suspended Cormier for the rest of the regular season and playoffs after he elbowed a Quebec Remparts player in the head during a game.

Following Bolduc's decision, the Huskies appealed the decision, with Courteau hearing the appeal.

"During the hearing, which was held on Feb. 11, I had the opportunity to read the Disciplinary Prefect's report and to hear his explanations while he was cross-examined by the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies' legal counsel," Courteau said in a statement. "Moreover, I heard the testimonies of head coach and general manager Andre Tourigny and Patrice Cormier as well as listened to the position and arguments of the organization and their legal counsel.

"After hearing the testimonies, examining the evidence and meticulously analyzing the facts, I believe that Patrice Cormier's gesture was very violent and susceptible of inflicting severe damage to the victim. The decision rendered by the Disciplinary Prefect follows the principals outlined by the League's Board of Governors in the fall of 2008 regarding the elimination of gratuitous violence. Furthermore, the decision is consistent with the need to establish new and more severe disciplinary standards to dissuade players from taking these actions."

"Consequently, I declare that the Disciplinary Prefect's decision to suspend Patrice Cormier is justified, reasonable and consistent with the league's new policy."

But the Huskies still have one last recourse as the league's constitution permits the organization to appeal to an independent arbitrator.

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