Patrick Roy, goalie son Jonathan suspended in major junior hockey fight
Quebec Remparts goalie Jonathan Roy was suspended for seven games, and Remparts coach Patrick Roy -- Jonathan's father -- was suspended for five games following Saturday's melee between their team and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff.
The league said Tuesday that Patrick Roy's suspension was for "prejudicial conduct" in the incident. Jonathan Roy's penalty was for barreling into opposing goalie Bobby Nadeau and repeatedly hitting him.
The suspensions were effective immediately and could run into the 2008-09 regular season.
The league announced in a news release a series of penalties against five other players, as well as Sagueneens coach Richard Martel. No players were seriously hurt in the incident.
According to the Montreal Gazette, a chief prosecutor on Tuesday asked the Quebec Public Security department to launch a police inquiry into the incidents.
Patrick Roy, who is the NHL's career leader in victories and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, apologized on Tuesday to Nadeau and his family as well as to the Remparts organization.
He was also apologetic toward his son.
"I regret not controlling the situation better," Roy said in a brief statement in French in Quebec City. "I saw what Jonathan went through in the last few days and it was painful for him.
"If I had controlled things better, he wouldn't have had to go through that."
In the second period of Game 2 of the seven-game series, the action disintegrated into a full brawl involving 10 skaters on the ice. Jonathan Roy charged toward center ice in Nadeau's direction in an apparent challenge.
Nadeau did not bite, and two officials blocked Roy's path and pushed him back toward his own end. But then they peeled off to deal with the other fights, and Roy again took off toward Nadeau, who offered no resistance. Roy ripped Nadeau's mask off and pummeled him repeatedly before Roy was pulled off.
As Roy skated away, he delivered a rude gesture with both hands to the Chicoutimi crowd, then got involved in a second fight, against Chicoutimi defenseman Sébastien Rioux, who had bolted out of the penalty box to fight him.
"The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League finds the events which took place over the course of last weekend's games deplorable and unacceptable," QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau said in a statement. "We are deeply troubled by the incidents. In closing, I'd like to warn organizations that these types of incidents will not be tolerated and that should any more occur, steep fines will be handed out."
On video, it appeared that Patrick Roy gestured to his son from the bench before Jonathan made a beeline for Nadeau. Patrick Roy denied he instigated his son to go after the opposing goalie, however.
On Monday, Jonathan Roy, reading from a prepared statement, apologized for making his off-color gesture to the crowd, but he did not apologize for going after Nadeau, who led the QMJHL this season with a 2.63 goals-against average in 46 games.
Jonathan Roy, 19, was near the bottom of the league's goaltending statistics in the regular season, with a 3-10 record in 22 games and a 3.96 GAA.
"I acted in unacceptable fashion for an athlete," Jonathan Roy said. "I acted out of adrenaline and frustration. But like any athlete who wants to play and win, I had no right to act that way What you saw and heard wasn't me. And please know that you will never see behavior like that from me again."
The league also suspended Remparts defenseman Maxime Lacroix (three games); Remparts winger Marc-Olivier Vallerand (two games); Sagueneens winger Antoine Roussel (one game); Sagueneens center Charles-Antoine Messier (two games); and Rioux (six games).
Martel, coach of the Sagueneens, received an automatic two-game suspension because Rioux had left the penalty box to join the fight, according to the league.
Patrick Roy got the higher penalty of the two coaches because of his "prejudicial conduct," the league said in its news release.
Each team also was fined $4,000 (Canadian).
The Sagueneens eventually won Saturday's game 10-1, tying the series at one apiece. The playoffs resume Tuesday night.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.