Thrashers’ Cormier won’t have criminal record despite guilty plea to assault

ROUYN-NORANDA, Que. – Atlanta Thrashers prospect Patrice Cormier has been given an absolute discharge after pleading guilty to an assault charge stemming from a junior game last January.

He will not have a criminal record, meaning he will be able to travel to the United States.

Cormier was playing for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last Jan. 17 when he elbowed Mikael Tam of the Quebec Remparts in the head.

Cormier, who originally pleaded not guilty last month, entered the guilty plea when he appeared in court today in Rouyn-Noranda.

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The judge granted the discharge after a mutual agreement was reached among all parties.

Cormier apologized for the incident as he left the courtroom.The New Brunswick native was suspended for the rest of the 2009-10 QMJHL regular season after the incident, as well as for the playoffs.

Cormier captained Canada’s silver medal-winning team at the 2010 world juniors.

Tam spent a night in hospital after the blow and then returned to the lineup shortly thereafter.