Breaking news from the Montreal Canadiens. Young hockey players sometimes act like young hockey players!
Over the last few days the media focus has been on an ‘incident’ involving 21-year old Canadiens player Alex Galchenyuk and a domestic dispute. At eight o’clock one recent morning police were called by a neighbor to Galchenyuk’s place to investigate a loud altercation. It seems Galchenyuk’s 27-year old girlfriend Chanel Leszczynski arrived to find Alex and teammate Devante Smith-Pelly and some women.
Needless to say Ms Leszczynski was not best pleased. However in an interesting twist, she was the one taken away by the police, having allegedly clocked Galchenyuk in the snout with enough force to draw blood. So evidently we have a couple of players having fun in a private residence with some girls. An irate girlfriend arrives and pops her boyfriend. I’d like a quarter for every time that has happened.
There was a time when, unless you were a neighbor, you would not even know about this. But in this era of social media, word travels fast.
It has often been pointed out that given hockey’s near-religion status in this city, when you are a member of the storied Montreal Canadiens you live in a fishbowl both on and off the icel. At one time that meant word-of-mouth and the rumour mill. If player X had a few too many drinks and made a scene, only those present, and those they told, were aware. There were no photos snapped by umpteen iPhones then uploaded to Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Evidently the two players were called up on the carpet for a chat with the team’s General Manager. Not being at the meeting, I have to imagine that when the details were outlined it was decided that no further action would be pursued, including no charges being sought against Ms. Leszczynski. While any domestic squabble can potentially have dire results, it was an odd sort of relief that the woman was not the victim in this one.
I suspect young hockey players will continue to act like young hockey players, social media or not!