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Dan Carcillo on hazing


Toews

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Daniel Carcillo has had enough. Enough of keeping his mouth shut, enough of protecting the people who hurt him.

 

In two lengthy Twitter threads over the weekend, the two-time Stanley Cup winner outlined some of the alleged bullying and hazing he suffered through as a 17-year-old rookie on the Sarnia Sting over the course of the 2002-03 Ontario Hockey League season.

 

"That was the worst year of my life. And I got drafted to the NHL and achieved my dreams," Carcillo, a third-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2003 draft, said in a phone interview with The Canadian Press on Monday. "So think about that statement.

 

"That was, by far, the hardest year of my life. No doubt about it."

 

Carcillo, 33, was inspired to open up about his experience after news broke about an alleged sexual assault involving athletes at St. Michael's College School, an all-boys private school in Toronto, that was captured on camera. The native of King City, Ont., also thought it would be helpful to share his story as part of Twitter's Bullying Awareness Week.

 

From his verified Twitter account, Carcillo spoke of being beaten with the sawed off paddle of a goaltender's hockey stick on a daily basis. He 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.

 

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 US$18.9-million 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 that 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, Ont., and London, Ont. 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.

 

During that season, Carcillo contacted David Branch, commissioner of the OHL, telling him of the ongoing issues in the Sting's locker-room. Branch was not available for comment on Monday, but a spokesperson from the league said that Branch brought the issue to the attention of Sarnia's ownership and management groups and began initiating harsh fines and penalties for teams that were caught hazing players.

 

"As acknowledged by Daniel Carcillo in several of his online posts, the OHL did react to the concerns he raised during his rookie season," reads an official statement issued by the OHL to The Canadian Press.

 

"The league, which has a zero tolerance on hazing, has been implementing policies to prevent hazing or bullying for several years. Today in the OHL all players receive training on the prevention of bullying and hazing through their member team. All players acknowledge to the league in writing that they have participated in this training process. Players are encouraged to bring any concerns forward without fear of reprisal."

 

In October 2005, Windsor Spitfires' Moe Mantha was given a one-year suspension as general manager and 25 games as coach for a hazing incident involving several of his players. Then in 2009 the OHL's board of governors developed the OHL Enforcement Program, designed to address and attempt to eliminate violations of the hazing rules and impose appropriate penalties if violations occur.

 

Jeff Perry, Sarnia's head coach in 2002-03, says he was concerned for Carcillo and disappointed in his veteran players when he read Carcillo's allegations this past weekend.

 

"Certainly it's something that, at the time, we were unaware of. It's nothing that the Sarnia Sting or the management group or the coaching staff would support or condone if those allegations were true," said Perry. "Hard to make a formal comment, other than, obviously it's affected Dan, who I think is a great young man, gone on to have a terrific career.

 

"Certainly it's concerning to hear that these events possibly took place."

 

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 season.

 

"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."

 

Unrestricted free agent Shawn Matthias tweeted Carcillo's series of posts, saying his experience as a rookie on the OHL's Belleville Bulls left him "an angry confused young man," until he joined the NHL's Winnipeg Jets where he said head coach Paul Maurice and other members of the organization helped him overcome his trauma. Matthias did not immediately respond to an interview request from The Canadian Press and Maurice declined comment.

 

Perry made the point that coaches can't be everywhere and that alleged incidents like the "shower train" that Carcillo described on Twitter can easily happen without the knowledge of coaches.

"We can't stand in the shower areas for obvious reasons," said Perry. "There's certain areas in a room where we can't monitor as a staff or watch 24/7. You would certainly hope that your leadership group, your veteran players, wouldn't do the things that are being alleged by Daniel.

 

"You would hope that you would have better character in your room. That's the disappointing fact that if it did take place you would certainly would be disappointed in your veterans."

Carcillo, however, insists that Perry was aware of the treatment that he and other rookies were subjected to.

 

"To be honest, I like Jeff, I really do. I don't blame him. I don't blame him, 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."

 

At the time of the alleged incidents the Sting were owned by the Ciccarelli brothers, with Rob Ciccarelli acting as team president and governor until January 2015 when the team was sold to former NHLers Derian Hatcher and David Legwand. Rob Ciccarelli also did not immediately respond to an interview request with The Canadian Press.

https://www.timescolonist.com/entertainment/movies/carcillo-speaks-out-on-alleged-hazing-experience-while-a-member-of-sarnia-sting-1.23509428

 

And the sexual assault incident at the private school in Toronto mentioned in the article...

 

https://globalnews.ca/news/4700109/st-michaels-private-schools-toronto/

 

Protecting kids should be our #1 priority. Its a shame that so many kids simply wanted to play a game that they loved and were treated so abhorrently by those who were supposed to lead and guide them.

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Dan Carcilo may have been a pest on the ice, but he seems like a genuinely good man who is trying to do the right thing. Gotta support him for his courage to speak up about these issues as well as his ongoing openness to talk about the trauma concussions cause after a hockey career ends. Bravo to Dan, I'm glad he's speaking up and trying to change the dark side of hockey culture.

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Don't crucify me here. 

 

Hazing is part of playing sports at the High School/College level. It is a rite of passage, or at least that is how teams that I was on treated. Obviously there are cases where it goes to far, but I think a few stories of things that have gone to far puts the entire concept in a bad light. TBH I felt hazing in the manner that it was done to me, made me feel a part of the team. And I had to do some crappy things. Naked Mile at 5 in the morning was without a doubt the most embarrassing of them all. Other stuff included cleaning the seniors cleats after practice, locker room raids, buying dinner before games ect. 

 

To conclude. I don't condone what happened at St. Mikes because that was crossing the line. In general, I don't have a problem with hazing.

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This hazing stuff is so wrong on so many levels,whether it be college fraternities or football, hockey or any other sports clubs,and the adults involved should lay down the law right off the get go and not condone this stupid behavior.

 

I have noticed that usually it's from people who think they are above the law and entitled usually because their rich parents have not given them any ethics or moral guidance because they are too busy with their own careers.Judges son or police officers kids and the like also have this mind set that mommy or daddy will bail them out no matter what grief they are to society.

 

Let's be "adults" here and get rid of these harmful sadistic rituals forever,nothing good comes from this kind of behavior.We want our kids to have fun and grow to be kind and good people not entitled little $&!#s.Like the Trump kids.

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what a completely different time 2002-2003 was, compared to now, 15 years later. its insane. people can make fun of how "pussified" 2018 is but you can't do that stuff today with how aware everyone is of everything. i'm sure it still happens, but the stories danny told there are pretty gross. dan carcillo is one of my favourite guys to follow rn

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1 hour ago, Quantum said:

Dan Carcilo may have been a pest on the ice, but he seems like a genuinely good man who is trying to do the right thing. Gotta support him for his courage to speak up about these issues as well as his ongoing openness to talk about the trauma concussions cause after a hockey career ends. Bravo to Dan, I'm glad he's speaking up and trying to change the dark side of hockey culture.

He would fly off the handle and do something stupid. I wonder how much these incidents played a part into fueling his anger and subsequent recklessness. He obviously held onto quite a bit of resentment and is finally letting it out in constructive ways rather driving somebody head first into the boards. I hated Dan Carcillo the hockey player, as a person IMO he is a model citizen.

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17 minutes ago, ReggieBush said:

Don't crucify me here. 

 

Hazing is part of playing sports at the High School/College level. It is a rite of passage, or at least that is how teams that I was on treated. Obviously there are cases where it goes to far, but I think a few stories of things that have gone to far puts the entire concept in a bad light. TBH I felt hazing in the manner that it was done to me, made me feel a part of the team. And I had to do some crappy things. Naked Mile at 5 in the morning was without a doubt the most embarrassing of them all. Other stuff included cleaning the seniors cleats after practice, locker room raids, buying dinner before games ect. 

 

To conclude. I don't condone what happened at St. Mikes because that was crossing the line. In general, I don't have a problem with hazing.

I would argue as soon as bodily fluids are involved a line is also crossed.  To expect teenagers to be able to decide where that line should be is completely unreasonable.  I hope and expect that things have improved since Carcillo was in the OHL, and certainly hope the St Mike's incident is an aberration. 

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Never was part of any hazing... but of course there's a disparaging wide degree on what is "just for fun" vs actual abuse. 

 

Streaking down the street only wearing undies when it's chilly out.  That's stupid, but relatively harmless fun.  

Being spat on and bobbing for apples in garbage and other excrement.... that's way too far.  

 

One thing I wonder about Dan's story.... he and the other rookies were stuff in the washroom and the hazing kids were chewing tobacco.... on the team bus.... where the heck were the coaching staff?

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Good on Danny for speaking out about hazing.

I was hazed a couple of times on different teams, but it was very tame compared to some of the crap you hear about these days. I still didn't enjoy it though.

It did give me a sense of belonging and comradery however, knowing that every guy on the team had been just as embarrassed, and nauseous as I had been / was.

 

Our rites were pretty tame compared to the stuff you read about these days.. 

 

The milk mile sucked soooo bad though. Man was that ever gross.

 

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17 minutes ago, Lancaster said:

Never was part of any hazing... but of course there's a disparaging wide degree on what is "just for fun" vs actual abuse. 

 

Streaking down the street only wearing undies when it's chilly out.  That's stupid, but relatively harmless fun.  

Being spat on and bobbing for apples in garbage and other excrement.... that's way too far.  

 

One thing I wonder about Dan's story.... he and the other rookies were stuff in the washroom and the hazing kids were chewing tobacco.... on the team bus.... where the heck were the coaching staff?

Too prevalent to control. From what I hear its insanely popular overseas as well. "Snus" iirc is what it's referred to in Swedish.

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Regarding how prominent and how much of a proble this is.

 

Parents regarding the St Micheals incidents are genuinely pissed off at the boy who broke the story and the media that reported it.  Imagine being more upset that your boy is in trouble than about your boy raping other people....

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6 minutes ago, Warhippy said:

Regarding how prominent and how much of a proble this is.

 

Parents regarding the St Micheals incidents are genuinely pissed off at the boy who broke the story and the media that reported it.  Imagine being more upset that your boy is in trouble than about your boy raping other people....

What the hell is wrong with these parents?  I would have considered myself to have gotten off incredibly easy if my parents were willing to post bail money if I'd done something like that.  I wonder how long these parents will be defending their little ****'s of sons when they get slapped with a civil lawsuit.

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I remember getting towel whips in the back of the calf so hard that my legs would start bleeding. Its really a weird feeling to be a younger guy on a team, and you look up to all these older guys and want to hang out with them, so you put up with so much $&!# just to feel like you're part of it. 

 

It is great to see elite athletes talk about this publicly to hopefully change peoples' attitudes towards this type of thing. 

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11 minutes ago, King Heffy said:

What the hell is wrong with these parents?  I would have considered myself to have gotten off incredibly easy if my parents were willing to post bail money if I'd done something like that.  I wonder how long these parents will be defending their little ****'s of sons when they get slapped with a civil lawsuit.

I wish I was joking.  Mad because their boys are the subject of investigations regarding rape, child pornography and more.  Mad at the reporters for reporting it.

 

The truth of the matter is that hazing has been an issue for a long LONG time.  But it's attitudes of parents, coaches and other role models like this that allow these issues to persist

 

 

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2 hours ago, Toews said:

Too prevalent to control. From what I hear its insanely popular overseas as well. "Snus" iirc is what it's referred to in Swedish.

If I was coach, I would be concerned with the idea that my players are getting illegal (although relatively harmless) substances under my watch.  

 

I mean what else are they taking without myself, my coaching staff, or my organization knows about?  Not saying you gotta bubble or watch them youn'uns like a hawk, but that should already be a red flag for any team.  How are they getting the stuff?  Who is supplying the stuff?  

To put things into a TWD point of view.... People (the players) are a resource.  And something is messing with them.  

 

 

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6 hours ago, ReggieBush said:

Don't crucify me here. 

 

Hazing is part of playing sports at the High School/College level. It is a rite of passage, or at least that is how teams that I was on treated. Obviously there are cases where it goes to far, but I think a few stories of things that have gone to far puts the entire concept in a bad light. TBH I felt hazing in the manner that it was done to me, made me feel a part of the team. And I had to do some crappy things. Naked Mile at 5 in the morning was without a doubt the most embarrassing of them all. Other stuff included cleaning the seniors cleats after practice, locker room raids, buying dinner before games ect. 

 

To conclude. I don't condone what happened at St. Mikes because that was crossing the line. In general, I don't have a problem with hazing.

hazing is a garbage practice has no place in sports or schools. Not entirely sure why your defending hazing its the same as bullying 

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7 hours ago, ReggieBush said:

Don't crucify me here. 

 

Hazing is part of playing sports at the High School/College level. It is a rite of passage, or at least that is how teams that I was on treated. Obviously there are cases where it goes to far, but I think a few stories of things that have gone to far puts the entire concept in a bad light. TBH I felt hazing in the manner that it was done to me, made me feel a part of the team. And I had to do some crappy things. Naked Mile at 5 in the morning was without a doubt the most embarrassing of them all. Other stuff included cleaning the seniors cleats after practice, locker room raids, buying dinner before games ect. 

 

To conclude. I don't condone what happened at St. Mikes because that was crossing the line. In general, I don't have a problem with hazing.

Ok, I get it. Initiation for newcomers to provide the function of showing them they are now members of the team; actions undertaken for the rookies to show that they are willing to do what it takes; and feats where the newbie can show their strength and fortitude can all be useful and serve to bring people together. If that's what you mean by hazing, then I am with you, to a certain extent. Of course we want the new members to be able to show they can succeed, and to give them the opportunity to do it. If, on the other hand, you are supporting activities that are designed to demean, disparage, and humiliate, then I am sorry, I will disagree with you for as long as high school/college sports exist. 

 

IMO, that is essentially the difference. Team building and initiation can be done in a way to bring up the newcomers, but hazing is inherently an action for the purpose of putting down the new member. You mention cleaning the cleats. I actually don't see what's wrong with that, as it is a productive activity that shows that respect is to be earned. Forcing somebody to do a pointless activity like running naked only humiliates the individual undertaking it and does nothing to develop camaraderie.

 

These kinds of activities are so pointless, short-sighted, and counter-productive that it really is mind boggling: "Hey, we want to win as a team, in a team sport, which entails us trusting one-another and working together...so...let's beat the s*** out of the new guys so that they never trust us, and as a result of their resentment, will never pass to us, and perhaps we can not only ruin their junior career (thus derailing our current hopes of a championship), but just maybe we can scar them for life and get a lawsuit coming our way 10 years down the road, too. Just for good measure".

 

 

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8 hours ago, canuktravella said:

hazing is a garbage practice has no place in sports or schools. Not entirely sure why your defending hazing its the same as bullying 

I've experienced hazing personally. It is not bullying (99/100). Bully's don't buy you breakfast after they beat the **** out of you.

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