Montreal Canadiens Drafting Logan Mailloux Shows the NHL’s Incompetence in Dealing with Sexual Harassment/Assault Cases

Apr 12, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens logo. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 12, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens logo. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports /

With their 31st overall pick, the Montreal Canadiens drafted Logan Mailloux, an 18-year-old man who had renounced himself from the draft, saying he wasn’t mature or worthy after he was fined in Sweden for taking and sharing non-consensual photos of a partner he had consensual sex with when he was 17.

He said he did not want to be drafted, but the Montreal Canadiens still drafted him. They said they wanted to give him a second chance and help him grow and mature, and as expected, he didn’t refuse. Why would he? He’s been playing hockey all his life with the ultimate dream to play in the NHL.

But this isn’t just about Mailloux, this is about every young man who messes up, sees this, and thinks it’s okay to mess up because they will also get a second chance.

But second chances are earned and not given, at least they should be, but that wasn’t the case here. He got his second chance because of words and not actions, and that’s not how it should be.

What he did doesn’t only affect him, but also the young woman, the victim. This is not something she can easily move on from, it’s something that will follow her and him for the rest of their lives.

In any sexual harassment case, there’s a victim, and here, the victim wasn’t thought of by the team, or by the league, and by other people, the people saying it’s not that big of a deal, the people saying he’s given a second chance and there’s nothing wrong with what the Canadiens did drafting him.

However, this victim is going through something horrible, something people can’t understand if they haven’t gone through it, and minimizing it is the worst thing to do.

“He made a mistake,” “he was just 17,” “everyone makes mistakes when they’re young.”

He did something, that he claims is a mistake, but how does everyone know he actually thinks it’s a mistake? How does everyone know he regrets it and won’t do it again?

They do not, because the only way to know what he truly means is to wait and look at his actions.

I do believe everyone deserves a second chance, but they have to be given under the right circumstances and at the right time, and drafting Mailloux in the first round this year was neither of those.

He said he has apologized to the victim, that he regrets doing what he did, and understands it will follow both of them in their lives going forward, and although he did look remorseful in the press conference, words and actions are different things.

I truly believe it would have been better not to draft him this season, give him a year to grow, mature, become a better person, just like he said he wanted to do, and then if he shows real improvement, add him to the team.

It also seemed like that’s what he wanted to do. But he was still part of the draft, and that’s a failure from the NHL itself, to not remove him after he renounced himself. That also shows a lack of respect for Mailloux. He said he renounced himself from the draft and wanted to grow, yet, he was still eligible in the draft because it seems the NHL did not think his wishes and actions were a big enough reason to remove him from the draft. And, well, the Canadiens still drafted him.

Mailloux is entirely to blame for sexually harassing the young woman, the league is to blame for keeping him in the draft despite what he did, and the Canadiens are to blame for drafting him.

If Mailloux hadn’t done what he did, if the league had removed him from the draft, and if the Canadiens hadn’t drafted him, we wouldn’t be there right now. But these sure are a lot of ifs, and neither is possible at this point.

But what this draft shows, is the league’s incompetence in dealing with sexual harassment and sexual assault cases.

Mailloux’s only concern right now should be to better himself. The victim’s only concern right now should be to focus on her recovery and her future. But neither will be priorities. Mailloux will have to deal with a fanbase that’s angry at him, with media that doesn’t understand the decision, and much more. But he should be focusing on himself.

And the victim here, a young woman who has experienced trauma, who should be focused on getting past that trauma and recovering from it, will be reminded daily that Mailloux still gets to live out his dreams with an organization and league that did not think about how his actions hurt her.

Unfortunately, this is far from being the first time the NHL deals with sexual harassment or sexual assault allegations. Look at the Chicago Blackhawks.

It took 11 years for an investigation to get started concerning the sexual allegations against Blackhawks former video coach, Bradley Aldrich.

That truly just shows the league’s incompetence in handling sexual harassment and sexual assault cases.

This needs to be addressed and discussed by the NHL and the teams involved, yet, what does it seem like they’re doing instead? Burying it, ignoring it, or simply not showing any interest in it.

Change is needed in the NHL, not only for women but for everyone. For every victim scared to speak up and tell the truth, whether that’s a player, a partner of a player, or anyone really.

But as long as victims are taken into account and made a priority, that will not happen. As long as off-ice actions are not considered just as on-ice actions are, there will be no real change.

Yes, having talented players who can help the team win games is important, but what about having good role models for all the children watching NHL games? What about the young girls and women watching the game and now thinking they’re not being thought of? This is all just as important to consider as having talent and skill on a team.

dark. Next. Canadiens: NHL Draft Day 2 Recap

Because as important as winning is, before being hockey players, men, women, etc. In the end, what we all have in common is that we are human beings, and being good human beings should always come first.