Well after the hit yesterday, I must say his future is no longer as bright. I am a Devils fan and have been since 1987. I try to keep tabs on all the prospects and I quite enjoy watching them progress and in some cases turn into full time NHL employees. Cormier (Drafted in the second round) I have been watching for the last two seasons, and this past Christmas, he was the captain of Team Canada at the World Junior Championships.
I was initially very excited he was given the honour of being captain, many previous WJC captains for Canada have gone on to accomplish great things in hockey. His performance however, was not what I expected. He played with a bigger chip on his shoulder than usual and as a result it lead to many dumb penalties. I can't speak for what he did do in the dressing room, but his on ice actions really weren't as dominating as I had hoped.
Now fast forward to this past Sunday, and the hit on Mikael Tam.
IF you have not seen it yet, here is a link, it is a little hard to watch for some....
As you can see, Cormier definitely gets an elbow up on Tam and pretty much knocks him out cold. The hit was undeserved and Tam really did not have a target on him. Tam is a defenseman who for all intensive purposes is NOT a superstar and is currently undrafted.
My concern first and foremost is for Tam to recover and continue a normal life. My second concern is for the mental well-being of Cormier. I feel this situation could scar him both in front of the media and psychologically much like the Todd Bertuzzi incident.
I feel this situation is not much different than the Bertuzzi with really the only difference being Steve Moore had apparently had a target on himself at the time for his dirty hit on Naslund. The suspension Bertuzzi received was swift and deserved and with Cormier's situation being as equally grotesque I can't see any situation where Patrice is not suspended. The only questions left will be how long, and will he return a shell of what he once was like Bertuzzi.
When Todd returned from his suspension, he never really dominated the play again like he once did. He still continues to play, but is not the game impacting power forward he once was. Patrice plays a very similar game, and even though he never put up enormous numbers in Junior, Patrice I felt had great potential to be a solid second line power forward, but now time will tell the result of this dumb and reckless hit.