By Allan Muir
This is how trouble always seems to start back home in Canada: with a drunken game of garage hockey. Only this time it wasn't Bubbles and Ricky and Julian who ended up afoul of the law. It was a Montreal Canadiens first rounder and his father, the former coach and general manager of the Ontario Hockey League's Sarnia Sting.
Nathan Beaulieu and his father, Jacques, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in a London, Ontario court room to charges of assault stemming from an altercation during the game. Both men were granted conditional discharges with probation.
Since there was no conviction, the sentence won't prevent Beaulieu from traveling across the border or affect his ability to play hockey professionally, according to his lawyer, Pat Ducharme.
Ducharme is well-known in the hockey community for representing, among others, the late Red Wings enforcer Bob Probert through his various scrapes with the law.
Beaulieu, a Memorial Cup winner with the Saint John Sea Dogs and the 17th overall pick in 2011, skated in six games with the Habs last season, earning two assists and a plus-5 rating. The elder Beaulieu was fired as GM and coach of the Sting in May after he was charged. Co-owner Rob Ciccarelli said at the time that “the reasons for his dismissal are not related to the on-ice performance of our hockey club.”