According to RDS' Stephane Leroux, the Gatineau Olympiques have filed a complaint to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League against the Saint John Sea Dogs. The Olympiques believe that Sea Dogs forward Maxime Villemaire, who played in the January 4 Gatineau/Saint John game at Harbour Station, didn’t sign his contract before playing in the contest. The report indicates that Villemaire did not sign with the team until January 6. He then left the team for personal reasons.
Villemaire was a key contributor in Saint John’s 3-2 win over the ‘Piques on January 4. The 19-year old had a goal and was named the game’s third star.
Leroux brings up a part of section 3.05 of the QMJHL rulebook, which states:
If a team plays with a non-qualified player, whether because of his age or because his name is not on the eligibility list of the club, the win or tied game as well as the corresponding points in the standings shall be deducted and given to the opponent (maximum of two points).
For some teams, the loss of two points wouldn’t be a huge deal. But with Saint John currently just one-point up on the Shawinigan Cataractes for first-place in the league, these pair of points could be the difference between first and second overall.
Hopefully some more details about this story come out shortly. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Meanwhile, Villemaire returned to the Sea Dogs’ lineup on Friday in Drummondville. He was a -1, had two penalty minutes, and three hits in Saint John’s 3-2 shootout victory.