Carcillo breaks silence over alleged pranks during Sting's career



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JOHN CHIDLEY-HILL

Daniel Carcillo has had enough. Enough of keeping your mouth shut, enough to protect the people who hurt you.

In two long Twitter posts over the weekend, the two-time Stanley Cup winner described some of the allegations of bullying and trotting he endured as a 17-year-old rookie at Sarnia Sting throughout the 2002-2002 Ontario Hockey League- 03. season.

"This was the worst year of my life. And I was called to the NHL and I got my dreams, "Carcillo said in an interview with The Canadian Press on Monday in the third round of the Pittsburgh Penguins. "Then think about that statement.

"This was by far the most difficult year of my life. No doubt about it. "

Carcillo, 33, was inspired to open up about her experience after news of alleged sexual assault involving athletes at St. Michael's College School, a Toronto private school in Toronto, was captured on camera. The King City native, Ontario, also felt it would be useful to share his story as part of Twitter's Bullying Awareness Week.

From his verified account on Twitter, Carcillo spoke of being beaten daily with the ice hockey stick of a goalie. He also described a "shower train" where novices were forced to sit on the floor in the shower while veterans urinated or spit chewing tobacco on or near them, sometimes throwing shaving cream at them as well.

Carcillo described other shocking scenes for the Canadian publisher, including being forced to pick apples in a refrigerator full of waste, including pizza, urine and spit.

"There's no stopping me (sharing these stories). This sport and culture have given me a lot, "said Carcillo, who was one of the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the NHL over the treatment of league head injuries. An interim $ 18.9 million settlement was announced on November 12.

"I just want to make sure people understand these uncomfortable truths. That parents understand what really happens and that this happens much more than just me talking about it. "

Carcillo said he came to a breaking point in 2003 when he and six or seven other newcomers were put in the bathroom on a chartered bus during a 45-minute trip between Sarnia and London. When the shirtless players were placed in confined space, Carcillo said veteran players spit their chewing tobacco through a vent. When they were released from the bathroom, Carcillo said he and a fellow debutant came out swinging, fighting against their teammates.

During this season, Carcillo contacted OHL Commissioner David Branch, telling him about the ongoing problems in Sting's locker room. Branch was not available for comment on Monday, but a league spokesman said Branch drew the attention of Sarnia's owners and management groups and began imposing severe fines and penalties on the teams that were caught.

In October 2005, Windsor Spitfires' Moe Mantha received a one-year suspension as general manager and 25 games as coaching for a trotting incident involving several of his players. Then in 2009 the OHL Board of Governors developed the OHL Compliance Program designed to address and attempt to eliminate breaches of trotting rules and impose appropriate penalties in the event of violations.

Jeff Perry, coach of Sarnia in 2002-03, says he is worried about Carcillo and disappointed with veteran players when he read Carcillo's allegations last weekend.

"It's certainly something we did not know at the time. It's nothing that Sarnia Sting, the management group or the technical team would support or tolerate if those claims were true, "Perry said. "Difficult to make a formal commentary, apart from, of course, is affected Dan, who I think is a great young man, went on to have a fantastic career.

"Certainly, it is disturbing to know that these events possibly occurred."

In an article published in the online magazine Players & # 39; Tribune on July 1, 2015, former striker Sting Rich Clune – a year younger than Carcillo – alluded to troubling problems at Sarnia when he joined the team for the season 2003-2004.

"That was in the days when the physical trot was very prominent, but luckily one of the team's older guys, Daniel Carcillo, grabbed me for some reason and made the older guys do not mess with me, Clune. "I'll always love you for it."

Shawn Matthias tweeted Carcillo's series of posts saying that his experience as a rookie at OHL's Belleville Bulls left him "a confused and irritated young man" until he joined the NHL's Winnipeg Jets where he said coach Paul Maurice and others members of the organization helped him overcome his trauma. Matthias did not immediately respond to a request for a Canadian press interview and Maurice declined to comment.

Perry said coaches can not be everywhere and that alleged incidents such as the "shower" Carcillo described on Twitter can easily happen without the coaches' knowledge.

"We can not stay in shower areas for obvious reasons," Perry said. "There are certain areas in a room where we can not monitor as a team or attend 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You would certainly expect your leadership group, your veteran players, not to do the things that Daniel is claiming.

"You'd expect me to have a better character in your room. That is the disappointing fact that if it did, you would certainly be disappointed with your veterans. "

Carcillo, however, insists that Perry was aware of the treatment he and other recruits had undergone.

"To be honest, I like Jeff, I really like it. I do not blame him. I do not blame him, I do not blame (assistant coach Greg Walters), "Carcillo said. "I blame the guys who did this to me. Up. And I always will.

"I went through this.I shook hands at bowling tournaments in Toronto.Part of me wanted to knock them out on the spot and part of me … pretend until you can.

"I do not want to blow up these guys' lives because some of them are still stuck in the minors."

At the time of the alleged incidents, the Sting belonged to the Ciccarelli brothers, with Rob Ciccarelli serving as chairman and governor of the team 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.

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