05.08.2015 10:09 AM

Is Sweden fair to Canadians?

Not based on the evidence in this case, they’re not.

Full disclosure: former Maple Leaf Andre Derveaux is a friend and a client.  This morning, we helped him at a press conference about what has happened to him over the past few weeks.

Andre was playing in the Swedish league in the playoffs.  This what Per Helmersson did to him.

Here’s what happened next:

  • Andre suffered a serious brain injury.
  • Helmersson didn’t get a penalty.  The game went on, but Andre was carried off the ice.
  • Andre’s team, and the league, did nothing for him.
  • In warm-ups at the next game – a game Andre shouldn’t have tried to play in, but his team pushed him to play in – Helmersson and some of his teammates informed Andre that he was going to be carried off the ice in a stretcher. Andre spoke to coaching staff on his team, then hit Helmersson on his skate.
  • Helmersson wasn’t injured.  In fact, he went jogging afterwards.
  • Andre, however, was suspended for a year. He was threatened by the league and Swedish authorities. And the Swedish media have demonized him as a pariah.
  • Back home, his doctors have told him he will likely never play again. And, over in Sweden, one doctor said that Andre has clearly been seriously injured – and that Swedes should be “ashamed” for how they have dealt with this Canadian.

From where I sit, Andre Deveaux – whose career is likely over – is being destroyed for being, you know, Canadian. While the Swedish thug who attacked him gets away with it.

That sound fair to you?

9 Comments

  1. A. Boojum says:

    I’m old and I played at a high level of hockey when I was younger. I mention this because I have witnessed a change in the game from when I was playing competitively.

    Fact is, we where coached to never, NEVER, turn your back to an opposing player when in proximity to the boards. Furthermore, we were coached to angle your body to the puck along the boards and be prepared to take a hit and if the opportunity presented itself, angle your shoulder/butt/elbow back at the attacking player to give him something to think about before he flew in with a dirty hit.

    These days too much emphasis is placed on the responsibility of the player doing the hitting as opposed to the player taking the hit.
    The hitting player is coached to take the body. Everyone playing the game should be aware of this and act accordingly. Protect yourself at all times. Anything less amounts to shared responsibility of the consequences.

    It is unfortunate that your friend/client was injured and treated poorly but ultimately he failed to protect himself from an inherent element of the game.

    The treatment from the league is reprehensible. I’m not surprised, having played in Europe/Scandinavia myself.

    • Marco says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more…..too many poorly coached young guys out there with their backs to the play. Hockey equipment today is like armor compared to what we wore 30 years ago so if you feel impervious to injury you’re likely to play that way.
      Unfortunate but true, hope your young friend has a full recovery.

  2. Christian says:

    The Swedes are being a bunch of douchebags (not to mention the crappy flatpack pressed wood furniture and rancid meatballs they pawn off on us). If I were in charge of the NHL (one can only dream) I would refuse to allow Swedish players to play in the league.

  3. Marc-André Chiasson says:

    This is disgusting. Isn’t there some sort of international hockey body that could intervene? I hope your friend sues their arse off. And if Mulcair wants to score some brownie points with Canadians, he should speak with his Social-Democrat buddy over there, Prime Minister Löfven. This is a national disgrace for Sweden and Swedish hockey that requires prompt attention and appropriate reparation.

  4. P Brennan says:

    http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/hockey/vancouver-canucks/Cole+Vicious+slash+Swedish+game+warmup/10931679/story.html

    Hi .. I remebered the name…all the Canadian media jumped all over Andre Deveaux ..see above ..no mention of incident above …2 wrongs do not make a right but two sides to everything…

  5. ottawacon says:

    Sorry, not much sympathy. I have seen both videos. One is boarding, and not even a particularly egregious instance. At worst, a bad missed call. The other is a premeditated attack that doesn’t even occur in the game, from behind. I genuinely fail to see what his passport has to do with it. He’d likely see about the same in the NHL.

    Now, from the point of view of insurance payouts, any head injury incurred by the first incident should be treated as a stand-alone, regardless of subsequent actions.

  6. Kelly Onyskevitch says:

    Fair?

    Tough one. Helmersson should have received a major and game misconduct for the hit. The concussion is unfortunate, but I don’t think there should have been any supplemental discipline.

    The lack of a concussion protocol in the Swedish league is troubling and Derveaux should not have been playing the next game.

    All that said, Derveaux deserved a massive suspension for his action in the warm-ups. It wasn’t self defence. It was a combination of McSorley and Bertuzzi before the game even started. That Helmersson wasn’t injured is a stroke of good luck. Investigating it as a criminal act is appropriate.

  7. P Brennan says:

    Harsh Canadian crowd

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