The Canadiens used their first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft on a player who admitted to sexual misconduct in Sweden last year.
Montreal selected London Knights defender Logan Mailloux with the 31st overall pick. Mailloux, 18, was fined in a Swedish court last December for photographing a woman without her consent while performing a sexual act and then circulating the image to her teammates. Mailloux was playing in Sweden while on loan from the Knights.
His actions led more than 10 teams to remove Mailloux from their draft boards, The Athletic reported, and Mailloux said in a statement this week he was resigning himself from this year’s draft, which meant nothing because he was still draft-eligible, according to the NHL. He told the Daily Faceoff that he made a “stupid and childish mistake” with his actions.
The Canadiens, anticipating the negative reaction from the hockey world, issued a statement minutes after making the selection:
“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. The Canadiens 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 misbehavior 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 necessary support to guide him in his development. We are also committed to making our players aware of the impact of their actions on the lives of others. “
Canadiens CEO Marc Bergevin told reporters that the organization will work with and support Mailloux to ensure that nothing similar happens again.
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“We understand it, and we are fully aware and we as an organization are very unacceptable, but he is also a young man who made a terrible mistake,” Bergevin said. “He’s (18) years old and he’s willing and understanding and he’s sorry and he has a lot of work to do, but he’s already started to put it behind him and have a hockey career.”
The victim, however, told Athletic for a story this week that Mailloux has not seemed sincere during multiple attempts to apologize.
“All he wanted was a sincere apology for his behavior,” he told The Athletic.
Canadians face a separate public relations problem with respect to Bergevin. He was director of player personnel for the Blackhawks in 2010 when allegations of sexual assault were made against then-video coach Brad Aldrich. Bergevin told reporters before the Stanley Cup final that he was unaware of the alleged activity or of an organizational team meeting to discuss Aldrich.
“It came to light recently, there was a meeting that I heard was held in Chicago, I was not part of any meeting and I was not part of any decision based on that,” Bergevin told reporters. “And I wasn’t aware of anything at the time. So you can put that on the record.”
Aldrich left the organization shortly after the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010. A. Former Blackhawks player is now suing the team, claiming that Aldrich assaulted him and another player during that year’s playoffs. The former player is seeking compensation of more than $ 150,000.