Former NHLer Carcillo determined to hold alleged hazing perpetrators accountable

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 a Tuesday morning text exchange with his mom Luana that he posted on Twitter, Carcillo said the alleged perpetrators “were sick” and he didn’t wish to share the harmful experiences at the time or since with his mother or father, Gino.

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.

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:

Adrienne Arsenault speaks to Greg Reeves, principal at St. Michael's College School, following the announcement the school is launching an investigation to examine "unacceptable behaviours." 3:16
Carcillo also described a “shower train” where rookies were forced to sit on the floor in the shower as veterans urinated or spit chewing tobacco on or near them, sometimes throwing shaving cream at them as well.

"Seriously," wrote Luana on Tuesday, "I don't know how people sleep at night when they hurt others physically and mentally. Believe in karma."

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.

After his time in the OHL, Daniel Carcillo won the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015 with Chicago. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

"I don't want to blow these guys' lives up because some of them are still hanging on in the minors."

Carcillo, who hails from King City, Ont., thought it would be helpful to share his story as part of Twitter’s Bullying Awareness Week.

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.

'Uncomfortable truths'

"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."

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