MONTREAL – You get off the board and then do what the Montreal Canadiens did by selecting right-back Logan Mailloux in the 2021 NHL Draft on Friday.
This was completely off the radar, a total shock and a daunting choice.
With the 31st overall pick, the Canadiens chose Mailloux, who had resigned after he was charged in Sweden with invasion of privacy and defamation.
Mailloux paid a $ 1,650 fine for showing his fellow SK Lejon in Sweden a Snapchat of him engaging in consensual sexual activity with a woman who did not consent to such images being shared with anyone, something that initially came to light in this report of Frank Seravalli by DailyFaceoff.
He then issued the following statement after various teams learned of the incident and questioned him about it in pre-draft interviews.
“Being drafted into the NHL is an honor and a privilege that no one takes lightly,” Mailloux said on social media earlier this week. “The NHL draft should be one of the most exciting times in a player’s career, and under the circumstances, I don’t think I’ve shown strong enough maturity or character to earn that privilege in the 2021 draft. I know What will be necessary? It is time for society to regain the trust that I have lost, and that is why I think it is better that I resign from the 2021 NHL draft and ask that no one select me this coming weekend. “
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, moments after shocking the hockey world by selecting Mailloux, said this statement was the impetus to be confident that Mailloux is worth giving him a second chance.
“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,” Bergevin said in his own prepared statement. “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 support necessary to guide him in his development,” added Bergevin. “We are also committed to raising awareness among our players about the repercussions of their actions on the lives of others.”
What Canadians are doing is impossible to tolerate.
While Bergevin repeated several times that Mailloux was 17 at the time of the incident, that he “made a terrible mistake” and that he is “sorry”, he was quick to choose him before showing that that could only come down to what he is as a player of hockey, and that’s unacceptable.
Mailloux is a player, Bergevin said, who would likely have been drafted before the Canadiens made their next draft pick (63rd), one who felt he had significantly more advantages than the next best available prospect and one who simply ranks the top. bigger place. The need the Canadiens have after it was confirmed earlier this week, a day after Cale Fleury was selected in the Seattle Expansion Draft, that Shea Weber’s career was unexpectedly, and probably permanently, stopped for a multitude of injuries. The idea that your character is up to the task barely passes the sniff test.
Mailloux’s remorse for his actions, beyond how it might have affected his reputation and career, is in considerable doubt. Especially since the victim of his actions doesn’t think he’s sorry at all.
In an interview with Thello athletic Katie Strang, the young woman said that all she expected from Mailloux was a sincere apology, but instead received a three-sentence text that smelled of insincerity.
“I don’t think Logan understood the seriousness of his behavior,” the victim said in an email to Strang.
During Bergevin’s brief press conference, he said Canadians have had internal discussions about how to communicate with the victim’s family and that they intended to do so. Sportsnet subsequently approached the Canadiens to find out if the victim and her family were consulted before making the decision to select Mailloux, but received no response to the investigation.
Asked just earlier if the NHL approved the team’s selection, Bergevin responded, “You can’t withdraw from the draft.”
“Even if you said so, you are eligible to be drafted,” Bergevin said. “So that was clear with the league.”
When asked for an official comment from the NHL, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told Sportsnet there were none, other than that “Montreal was free to do what it did.”
The team’s decision ran completely counter to those made by several others in the league. Seravalli reported that at least four teams had crossed out the six-foot-three blue liner from his draft list before he himself resigned, and at least six others chose not to even interview him.
Meanwhile, the Canadiens, who for nine years under Bergevin have placed character as high on their list as hockey sense and skating ability when it comes to recruiting, appear to have betrayed their spirit with this choice.
When Bergevin was questioned on that point specifically, he replied, “Nothing has changed,” before once again framing Mailloux’s actions as an adolescent error of judgment.
“He’s ready to work to become a better person,” Bergevin said, “and we think it’s an immature mistake and he’s really sincere with the victim’s family and he really wants to get better so that nothing like this happens again.”
When asked how the organization intends to assist Mailloux in that process, Bergevin could not specify. He simply said that Mailloux, who is expected to play for OHL’s London Knights if he doesn’t make it to the Canadiens next season, knows the organization intends to work with him.
They could have gone in any other direction, but they chose this one, and the reaction will be fierce and completely understandable. It is already all the rage on social media, where Mailloux, who will address the media on Saturday, finalized his statement earlier this week saying that his decision to remove his name from the race to be selected “would give me the opportunity to demonstrate an appropriate level of maturity and character next season and provide all NHL teams with the opportunity to reassess my character toward the 2022 NHL draft. “
That Canadians chose to use their selection on the player before undergoing that process is unjustifiable.