Tuesday, June 16, 2009

CIS Corner: Former GGs goalie defence lawyer in hockey assault trial

Notes on athletes/teams from The 613 ... this is an old post, but pro hockey player Robin Gomez was acquitted after being charged with an on-ice assault.

You might have seen mention about the trial of Robin Gomez, a Victoria Salmon Kings player who is charged with assault causing bodily harm in connection with a fight that occurred during an ECHL game in March 2008.

What people might be interested to know is that former Ottawa Gee-Gees goalie Jordan Watt (pictured) is one of Gomez's defence lawyers, along with his father, Alexander "Sandy" Watt.

Gomez's accuser is Chris Ferraro, a former NHLer who was playing for the Las Vegas Wranglers. Here's the crux of what's before the court, as detailed by the
Victoria Times-Colonist:
"Gomez can be seen stepping onto the ice from the Salmon Kings bench, skating up to the Wranglers forward and punching him on the right side of the face. The blow sends Ferraro to the ice, hitting his head, as the crowd screams and a brawl breaks out between the two teams.

" 'I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Ten to 15 minutes later, I was coming out of an unconscious state, getting (eight) stitches to the back of my head,' said Ferraro, whose twin brother, Peter, also a Wranglers player, sat in the court gallery.

" ...Ferraro said that for about five weeks after the attack, he suffered from Bell's palsy, a short-term paralysis to the left side of his face."
It's for the court to decide if a criminal conviction is warranted

It just seems like an interesting intersection of the highways and byways of Canadian hockey and legal annals.

Watt played for the Gee-Gees from 2000-04 and after a two-year stint as an assistant coach, ended up playing a fifth and final season in '06-07. Before you form preconceived notions about the son of a lawyer who is now a lawyer, he had an unusual background for a hockey player and a lawyer. Watt was raised mostly by his mother, who died when he was 14, and his grandparents. He didn't play hockey until he was in his teens, and made his first WHL team as a walk-on. He was a very good interview subject, so it seemed post-worthy when I saw his name pop up in the news.

GAELS: Queen's announced two newbies for coach Brett Gibson:
  • St├ęphane Chabot, defence — The 6-foot-1, 208-lb. Rockland, Ont., native is pretty much your standard stay-at-home D-man. Chabot helped the Kingston Kimco Voyageurs reach the RBC Cup, the national Junior A championship last season, after playing in the OHL (if not for an OHL team) with the cross-town Frontenacs in 2007-08. His first two major junior seasons were in Brampton.

    It's not surprising Queen's would recruit a player from the Voyageurs. Gibson and assistant coaches Alyn McCauley and Andrew Haussler are all Vees alumni.

  • Payton Liske, winger — Listed at 6-foot-4, 212 lbs., Liske should bring some beef up front and the numbers he put up with Saint John in the QMJHL the past two seasons (18 and 19 goals, 43 and 45 points) suggest he might add some badly needed scoring punch for the Gaels. He was also honoured as one of junior hockey's top scholastic players, so he's got that goin' for him, which is nice.

    Queen's scored an OUA-worst 57 goals last winter. It doesn't take P.J. Stock to point out you cannot win many games if you don't score a lot of goals, although P.J. Stock probably would point that out.

    Liske played for Owen Sound and Sault Ste. Marie in the OHL before getting his release and going to the QMJHL. (Saint John seems to lead the Q in taking former OHLers.)
With regard to Chabot, it was kind of a running joke in Kingston hockey circles last season that the Voyageurs had their best season in team history while using three players who had been released by the OHL's Frontenacs. The Frontenacs had a great season if you asked their owner and his army of apologists, although it was not reflected in the standings or tangible reality.

Related:
Assault trial of former Salmon King: Star hockey player says he was sucker-punched; Fighting is regular part of hockey, defence says (Katie DeRosa, Victoria Times-Colonist)
Trial on hockey assault charge opens in Victoria (CBC.ca)

(Links via Gregg Drinnan at Taking Note.)

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