Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Villemaire Saga Comes To An End

ST. STEPHEN – Where to begin.

First of all, I was literally stepping out the door and heading to King China over in Calais when the conclusion of the Maxime Villemaire saga hit the internet. I put a quick post up on the blog and headed for the border. Waited in line for like 45 minutes for some reason, had an unreal buffet meal, then went to Dunkin’ Donuts to cap off a delicious evening. I love the Dunkin’.

What I don’t love is that the Saint John Sea Dogs were stripped of a victory today, losing two points and sliding into a tie with the Shawinigan Cataractes for first overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. There’s still 15 games to play, but these two lost points could come back to haunt Saint John.

The league announced today – one week after the news was initially reported – that Sea Dogs forward Maxime Villemaire was indeed ineligible to play in the January 4 game at Harbour Station between Saint John and the Gatineau Olympiques. The Dogs won 3-2 but that win and those two points have been awarded to the ‘Piques. All individual player statistics remain intact.

“Any member team of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League must respect the rules, norms and procedures of the League,” commissioner Gilles Courteau said in a release. “Their breach must be sanctioned even if it is an administrative error committed in good faith.”

Personally, I have no problem with this decision because rules are rules. The Sea Dogs broke a rule by not having Villemaire sign his player card before playing. The issue was reported to the league. The league investigated and found the Sea Dogs guilty. They were then punished.

It’s unfortunate though. It’s not like Villemaire is some 25-year old guy from Switzerland trying to sneak into a game. This is just a guy that didn’t fill out some paperwork before playing. Villemaire reportedly signed his player card on January 6, the same day he left the team for a month due to personal reasons.

Some random thoughts on the situation:

  • The big question surrounding this story is how the Olympiques found out about it and then filed the complaint. Was it Pierre Petroni that notified them? And what exactly is behind the timing of all this? A month later?
  • Can't see Petroni sending a Christmas card to the Sea Dogs next year. 
  • A lot of fans are wondering why Gatineau, who currently sit 12th in the league with 52 points, filed this complaint. Not sure what to think.
  • I’m curious to know if this kind of thing happens a lot across the league but is just never reported.
  • It’s been a wild ride for Villemaire ever since he was traded to Saint John. Hopefully we’ve seen the last of all this off-ice drama.
  • On a positive note, something like this will probably never happen again. Lessons learned. 
  • It’s been a bizarre week. Let’s just be happy this is over.

Leave us your thoughts in the comments section or on our Facebook page. 

Sea Dogs hockey returns tomorrow afternoon when they take on the PEI Rocket in Charlottetown. 


  1. People are just out to see the Dogs knocked back down to earth after an insanely dominant season last year. Jealousy invites the desire to do harm. In this case, it was 2 important points. Sucks, but you just gotta keep your head up and soldier through.

  2. Rules are rules like you say in your post. I am not sure how it came to the attteention of the Olympiques. But I think this will not affect the team. I believe this team will continue to win and win the league again for the 3 rd year in a row. Then the q championship and finally the men cup. Then no one can say that they cheated. All the pressure IMO is on the Catatractes as they loaded up and are the home team and I still think we are better than them. Go dogs go

  3. A source close to Super Dog reported that the Q only wants Quebec teams to be playing in the mem cup this year... no maritime teams are welcomed. Soldier through we will & I would love nothing more that to see the Catatractes with egg on their face.