MONTREAL – The owner of the Montreal Canadiens says he understands the team disappointed fans by drafting a player who was convicted of taking and distributing an explicit photo without consent while playing in Sweden.
Geoff Molson says in an open letter that Logan Mailloux’s actions last year “do not reflect the values” of the team.
He says there was no intention to harm the victim when picking Mailloux 31st overall in the NHL draft.
“I understand that you expect more from us and we let you down. The Montreal Canadiens are more than a hockey team. Logan’s actions do not reflect the values of our organization and I apologize for the pain this selection has caused,” Molson wrote.
“First and foremost, regarding the young woman who is the victim, I want to say that we do not minimize what she has had to, and continues to have to, live through. No one, especially not an 18-year-old, should have to suffer through a traumatic experience like this. We are there to support her and her family and respect their privacy.”
Mailloux was playing for SK Lejon in Sweden’s third division last year when he was fined by a Swedish court after he was convicted of charges related to sharing, without her consent, a photo of a woman performing a sexual act.
In the wake of the fallout over Mailloux’s pick, Molson says the team is developing a plan to raise awareness and educate young men and women about this issue.
“Our selection of Logan was never intended to be disrespectful towards her or her family, or more generally towards women or other victims of similar situations. Our decision was not intended, in any shape or form, to be an endorsement of the culture of violence against women,” he says.
“Logan is a young man who committed a serious transgression. He is genuinely remorseful about the pain he has caused. He is committed to becoming a better person and we will work with him through this process.”
Mailloux has been asked to not participate in the rookie or main training camp this fall.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau openly criticized the Canadiens selection on Tuesday, saying he was deeply disappointed in the organization, saying the draft pick shows a “lack of judgment.”