Former NHL player Daniel Carcillo vows to hold those accountable who hurt him physically and emotionally during alleged bullying and hazing incidents in the 2002-03 season when he played junior for the Ontario Hockey League's Sarnia Sting.
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In the wake of the recent assault and sex assault allegations at St. Michael's College School in Toronto, Carcillo took to Twitter on Saturday and in a 15-post narrative, outlined details of being beaten with the sawed-off paddle of a goalie stick on a daily basis as a 17-year-old Sting rookie.
My mom sent me a text message that breaks my heart.<br><br>She thinks she failed to protect me as a parent<br><br>She didn’t. I didn’t tell them. If I told my parents what was going on, they would have gotten in the car to come & get me & my dream would have been over<br><br>If my grandfather…
2/ who was my #1 fan was still alive & he heard these stories, it would have destroyed him<br><br>He, like me, loved the GAME of hockey. I’m in my truck right now, crying, processing, making phone calls<br><br>I buried this emotional trauma long ago. A coping mechanism. Now I’m facing it…
The principal and president of St. Michael's College School resigned last week amid the allegations.
Watch Adrienne Arsenault's interview with Greg Reeves prior to his resignation:
"Seriously," wrote Luana on Tuesday, "I don't know how people sleep at night when they hurt others physically and mentally. Believe in karma."
3/ head on.<br><br>I appreciate the suppprt from my ex teammates like <a href="https://twitter.com/Chezy05?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Chezy05</a> Charles Amodeo & Ryan Munce. <br><br>Thank you to the veterans who have contacted me to apologize.<br>My hope is that these stories help to change hockey culture at the minor hockey & <a href="https://twitter.com/OHLHockey?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OHLHockey</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CHLHockey?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CHLHockey</a> level.
Carcillo said he reached a breaking point in 2003 when he and six or seven other rookies were stuffed into the washroom on a charter bus during a 45-minute trip between Sarnia and London. As the shirtless players were stuffed into the confined space, Carcillo said veteran players spat their chewing tobacco through an air vent. When they were released from the washroom, Carcillo said he and a fellow rookie came out swinging, fighting their teammates.
Carcillo, now 33, played for five NHL teams over nine seasons, won a Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2013 and had his name engraved on the Cup two years later, even though he didn't appear in a game that post-season with the Blackhawks.
I don't want to blow these guys' lives up because some of them are still hanging on in the minors.— Daniel Carcillo on the alleged hazing perpetrators from his junior hockey days
Carcillo told The Canadian Press on Monday that Jeff Perry, Sarnia's head coach in 2002-03, was aware of the treatment that he and other rookies were subjected to by their veteran teammates.
"I don't blame [Perry], I don't blame [assistant coach Greg Walters]," said Carcillo. "I blame the guys who did it to me. Straight-up. And I always will.
"I've moved past this. I've shook their hands at bowling tournaments in Toronto. Part of me wanted to knock them out on the spot and part of me … fake it until you make it.
"I don't want to blow these guys' lives up because some of them are still hanging on in the minors."
Luana, who believes she failed to protect her son, asked Carcillo on Tuesday to protect his own children.
Carcillo described further shocking scenes to the Canadian Press, including being forced to bob for apples in a cooler filled with waste including pizza, urine, and spit.
"There's no stopping me [sharing these stories]. This sport and that culture has taken a lot from me," said Carcillo, who was a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the NHL over the league's handling of head injuries. A tentative $ 18.9-million US settlement in that lawsuit was announced on Nov. 12.
"I just want to make sure that people understand these uncomfortable truths. That parents understand what really goes on and that it happens way more often than just me talking about it."
Carcillo said he reached out to OHL commissioner David Branch during that season many years ago, telling him of the ongoing issues in the Sting's dressing room.
Branch was unavailable for comment on Monday, but a league spokesperson told the Canadian Press he brought the issue to the attention of Sting ownership and management groups while beginning to initiate harsh fines and penalties for teams that were caught hazing players.
In a story published in the Players' Tribune online magazine on July 1, 2015, former Sting forward Rich Clune — a year younger than Carcillo — alluded to hazing issues in Sarnia when he joined the team for the 2003-2004 campaign.
"This was back in the days when physical hazing was pretty prominent, but luckily one of the older guys on the team, Daniel Carcillo, stuck up for me for some reason and made sure the older guys didn't mess with me too bad," said Clune. "I'll always love him for that."