Ex-Sting coach should step away from hockey amid al­le­ga­tions, Car­cillo says

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS - MARK MALONE

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 playeron-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 to 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.

Jeff Perry

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