SARNIA — A Stanley Cup champion who is speaking out about alleged hazing by teammates when he was a teenage rookie with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting wants the then-coach of that squad out of hockey, at least temporarily.
Daniel Carcillo, who detailed hazing he says he endured from older players with the 2002-03 Sting, recently told The Sarnia Observer that head coach Jeff Perry witnessed at least one incident and participated, if in a joking way, in it. Two other players have confirmed Carcillo’s account.
Perry has not directly responded to questions about the accusation. He directed a reporter over email to another player, who became the third to confirm the incident — but stressed that Perry gave a “love tap” with a belt to the bare buttocks of a 17-year-old rookie, Dave Pszenyczny, who says he was strapped down while teammates physically hazed him.
That third ex-player, who spoke on condition of anonymity, called it unfair to blame Perry for locker-room issues during that era in Sarnia.
Perry was fired by Sarnia in the 2003-04 season before joining the London Knights bench for a couple of seasons. He is now an assistant coach with a Sarnia-area Junior C team, the Mooretown Flags.
Since The Observer published the allegations involving Perry earlier this week, Carcillo has called on him to be done with coaching, at least temporarily, and to apologize.
“If (you are) a parent with a son on the (Mooretown Flags) team, being coached by Jeff Perry & company, please take some time to scroll down my timeline,” Carcillo wrote on Twitter.
In an interview, Carcillo clarified his stance as it relates to his long-ago coach.
“All he (Perry) has to do is say, ‘I’m sorry, I knew about it, I didn’t know how to step in, I was a young coach, and I’m going to take some time away from the (expletive) sport to get right. And then I’ll be able to guide youths again,’” said Carcillo, who won two Stanley Cups with Chicago. “That’s all he has to say. And . . . I’ll forgive him.”
Perry did not reply when asked by The Sarnia Observer to respond to Carcillo’s latest comments.
Flags head coach Mark Davis did not reply to messages from The Observer. General manager John Baker is out of the country.
On Twitter, Carcillo has detailed alleged player-on-player hazing from 2002-03 in Sarnia, which he alleges included veterans urinating on or near rookies sitting in the shower and daily beatings with the sawed-off paddle of a goalie’s stick. A recent hazing scandal at a prestigious Toronto school prompted Carcillo to speak out, he says.
In an interview with The Observer, Pszenyczny alleged that as a rookie he was “strapped to a table naked, taped down and getting beat with a belt” when, he alleges, “all of a sudden I get beat – well, I shouldn’t say beat. I get tapped with my own belt by my head coach.
“I wish I could remember clearly the words that he spoke, but it was somewhere along the line of, ‘I wish I could do it harder,’ in reference to if I were playing bad. It’s kind of how I took it.”
Carcillo and Pszenyczny have said they felt pressure to keep quiet about the alleged player-on-player hazing. Carcillo said he felt speaking up would end his “dream” of advancing to the NHL.
Carcillo and Pszenyczny have said they hold no ill will against their former teammates. But the two, Pszenyczny in particular, have been critical of Perry.
“He was 34 years old (then). I’m 33 years old (now) — and he was dealing with 15-, 16-, 17-year-old players at that point,” said Pszenyczny, who now coaches the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Quad City Storm after a 12-year minor-pro career. “You should be protecting people, not allowing what was condoned there.”
The then-owners of the Sting have declined comment. Current owners Derian Hatcher and David Legwand bought the OHL franchise in 2015, long after the seasons that are the focus of Carcillo’s allegations.
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