The Montreal Canadiens made the riskiest move in the NHL draft Friday night, selecting London Knights defender Logan Mailloux near the end of the first round.
Mailloux had asked not to be drafted After it came to light, he was accused in Sweden of taking and distributing an offensive photo without consent during a consensual sexual encounter last November. He was a minor, 17, at the time.
The team released a statement on the controversial election:
“In selecting prospect Logan Mailloux with the 31st overall pick, the Montreal Canadiens organization selected not only a promising hockey player, but also a young man who recently admitted to making a serious mistake. Canadians are aware of the situation and in no way minimize the seriousness of Logan’s actions. Logan understands the impact of his actions. His recent public statement is a genuine acknowledgment of his bad behavior and the first step on his personal journey.
“We are committed to accompanying Logan on his journey by providing him with the tools to mature and the support necessary to guide him in his development. We are also committed to making our players aware of the repercussions of their actions on the lives of others. “
Still, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin was on the defensive when he spoke to reporters, and was asked to explain what he would say to the team’s huge female fan base.
“We understand and are fully aware of it, and we as an organization (what he did) is very unacceptable, but he is also a young man who made a terrible mistake,” Bergevin said. “He’s 17 again, and he’s willing and sorry and has a lot of work to do, but he’s already started to put it behind him and has a hockey career.”
Mailloux distributed the offensive photo in a team group chat when he was with SK Lejon. Ultimately, he was charged with defamation and offensive photography, and ordered to pay around $ 2,000 Cdn, according to DailyFaceoff.com.
The victim had said that all she wanted was an apology and that the one he gave her did not seem sincere.
It is a risky, even polarizing, choice for Canadians; Mailloux is sure to be under the microscope not only by the fan base but by the general public as well.
On Twitter, the reaction was fierce.
“Hockey had the opportunity to set a precedent and demand the best from the players,” tweeted former junior player Brock McGillis, a gay rights activist. “This child could have worked and atoned and then had the opportunity. He hasn’t done that job, hasn’t even apologized. Also, how can you trust these teams to help you? ”.
In an ironic twist from a television viewer’s perspective, the Chicago Blackhawks chose next. That team is embroiled in its own controversy regarding a lawsuit filed by a former player alleging sexual abuse by a former coach. Perhaps in an attempt to rehabilitate its image, the club brought out its employees as a sign of the empowerment of women in hockey.
Bad decisions on cultural issues like race and misogyny have not ended well for the players.
The Washington Capitals terminated their contract with Brendan Leipsic after his vulgar and misogynistic texts about other players’ wives and girlfriends were made public.
The Arizona Coyotes gave up the rights to Mitchell Miller, a 2020 fourth-round draft pick, following a report from the Arizona Republic indicating that Miller was convicted in 2016 of bullying a black classmate with developmental disabilities.
And just Thursday, the Rangers placed defender Tony DeAngelo on unconditional waivers for the purpose of salvaging his contract following reports of locker room misbehavior.
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