Sports Canadiens owner Geoff Molson finally addresses Mailloux draft pick
Logan Mailloux was surprised Canadiens decided to draft him
The morning after being unexpectedly selected by the Canadiens in the first round of the NHL Draft, Logan Mailloux spoke with the media on a Zoom conference Saturday. The 18-year-old defenceman with the London Knights had asked that no NHL teams draft him this year after he had shown teammates a photo of himself engaged in a sexual act with an 18-year-old woman last year while playing for SK Lejon in Sweden. Mailloux was 17 at the time and the photo was taken without the woman’s consent. Mailloux was ultimately charged with defamation and offensive photography in Sweden and was fined approximately US$1,650.
It took five days, but Canadiens owner/president Geoff Molson finally came forward Wednesday and addressed his team’s decision to select Logan Mailloux in the first round of the NHL Draft last Friday.
The 18-year-old defenceman had released a statement last Tuesday saying he had renounced himself from the draft, adding he hadn’t earned and didn’t deserve the privilege of being selected after secretly photographing an 18-year-old woman engaged in a sexual act with him while in Sweden last year and sharing the picture and her identity with his SK Lejon teammates. Mailloux was charged with defamation and offensive photography and was fined approximately US$1,650.
Four of Canadiens' nine picks at NHL Draft are from the QMJHL
After selecting only two players from the QMJHL in the previous five NHL Drafts, the Canadiens picked four of them on Saturday. The Canadiens had nine picks overall at this year’s draft. The Canadiens picked Riley Kidney, a centre with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the second round; William Trudeau, a defenceman with the Charlottetown Islanders in the fourth round; Joshua Roy, a right-winger with the Sherbrooke Phoenix in the fifth round; and Xavier Simoneau, a centre with Charlottetown in the sixth round. “They fell into place,” Canadiens assistant GM Trevor Timmins said when asked why the team drafted so many players from the Quebec junior league.
Molson released a letter Wednesday and after reading it you had to wonder why it took so long to write.
“I understand that you expect more from us and we let you down,” Molson wrote. “The Montreal Canadiens are more than a hockey team. Logan’s actions do not reflect the values of our organization and I apologize for the pain this selection has caused.
“First and foremost, regarding the young woman who is the victim, I want to say that we do not minimize what she has had to, and continues to have to, live through. No one, especially not an 18-year-old, should have to suffer through a traumatic experience like this. We are there to support her and her family and respect their privacy.
“Our selection of Logan was never intended to be disrespectful towards her or her family, or more generally towards women or other victims of similar situations. Our decision was not intended, in any shape or form, to be an endorsement of the culture of violence against women.”
Canadiens' pick Logan Mailloux has lots of work to do off ice: expert
Dr. Walter S. DeKeseredy believes in giving people second chances and that includes Logan Mailloux, the Canadiens’ first-round pick at this year’s NHL Draft. Mailloux, an 18-year-old defenceman, released a statement early last week saying he had renounced himself from Friday night’s draft, adding he hadn’t earned and didn’t deserve the privilege of being selected after secretly photographing an 18-year-old woman engaged in a sexual act with him while in Sweden last year and sharing the picture and her identity with his SK Lejon teammates. Mailloux was charged with defamation and offensive photography and was fined approximately US$1,650.
Molson said the Canadiens will support and oversee Mailloux’s “commitment to becoming a better person” and have asked him not to participate in rookie camp or the main training camp in the fall, adding they will reassess his readiness to be part of the organization moving forward.
Mailloux is expected to play for the OHL’s London Knights next season.
Molson added that the Canadiens will work to help raise awareness and educate young men and women about this kind of sex crime, which is the only good thing coming out of this situation.
After releasing his letter, Molson held a Zoom conference, but several media outlets were excluded, including the Montreal Gazette. The Montreal Gazette was included in a Zoom conference later in the day with GM Marc Bergevin.
When asked why it took him so long to address this situation, Molson said: “It’s been seven days that I’ve been following this file very, very closely, and I have to admit I haven’t slept much because it’s a dossier where we made a mistake.
Sponsors for Canadiens pushing back against Logan Mailloux draft pick
Montreal Canadiens' sponsors are pushing back as the team continues to face backlash in the wake of its controversial decision to select a player who was charged with a sex crime.Some of the team's biggest sponsors are now speaking out, expressing their discomfort with the move to draft the 18-year-old Ontario native who was charged with defamation and the distribution of non-consensual offensive photography last year after taking and sharing a photo of himself and an 18-year-old girl engaged in a sexual act.
“The reflection that I’ve made and being consulted on by so many people across so many communities to get to this point has been really important because I want to get it right. I want to make sure that the community that we operate in understands the significance of this error that was committed. I want to be proactive, I want to take action so that we can make something out of a terrible situation.
A letter from Geoff Molson.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL)
“Our decision to draft Logan was very offensive to so many people and I feel terrible about that. I apologize. I am completely committed to making it good.”
The Canadiens were fully aware of Mailloux’s situation and the fact he had asked not to be drafted so he could have a year to improve himself as a person. When asked after the draft if Molson had signed off on the decision to take Mailloux, assistant GM Trevor Timmins said: “Geoff Molson’s aware of everything that goes on in our organization and this was a hockey decision and we’ll leave it at that.”
So why did they still draft Mailloux?
Sponsors, Trudeau criticize Canadiens over Mailloux draft pick
Pressure is growing on the Montreal Canadiens over their controversial decision to draft Logan Mailloux, with at least two other Quebec companies saying they’re unhappy with team’s choice. After St-Hubert BBQ said it’s weighing whether to stop advertising with the team , Groupe Jean-Coutu and Desjardins Group said they have contacted the Canadiens to express their displeasure with the team’s decision to draft Mailloux. La Cage Brasserie Sportive said they too were uncomfortable with the draft decision.
“The short answer is that is up at the draft table, the impression that we had, the facts that we had, was that he was going to be drafted by somebody in the second round, and it was an error in judgment,” Molson said. “If I had known the repercussions to the greater community beyond just the Montreal Canadiens and our fans, I think I probably would’ve — I wasn’t at the draft table — but I probably would’ve avoided that situation.”
It’s quite shocking someone in Molson’s position wouldn’t have anticipated the reaction to drafting Mailloux.
“But now I’m looking forward,” Molson said “and we have selected him, and we’re going to do everything we can to use that situation not only for him, not only to do whatever we can for the victim but for future potential victims and in the community to make sure that we do a good job and we make the best of the situation we’ve created that’s disappointing.”
If Molson had simply listened to Mailloux and respected the teenager’s decision not to be drafted he and the Canadiens never would have been in this position in the first place.
Habs' sponsors satisfied with team owner's apology for drafting Logan Mailloux .
MONTREAL — While a Montreal group that helps victims of sexual assault continues to criticize the Montreal Canadiens' decision to draft a player convicted of a sex offence in Sweden, sponsors that earlier expressed concerns say they are sticking with the team. © Provided by The Canadian Press Rotisserie chicken company Groupe St-Hubert and financial services firm Desjardins Group said on Thursday they are satisfied with an apology issued a day earlier by team owner Geoff Molson.