When your kid plays hockey in Canada, you know there could be an incident or two during the course of a season that won’t make you, as his or her parent, very happy. Maybe a kid from another team started a fight on the ice and caused a serious injury, or your child wasn’t getting enough ice time so he spent most of the time on the bench.
These are problems that can be expected, but what you might not expect are the issues you’ll have with the other parents, and yes, that includes coaches. Imagine how parents of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan team in Bathurst, New Brunswick feel right now knowing that their assistant-coach, Pierre Bergeron, was driving impaired with players in his car.
It’s shocking when this happens, but it’s business as usual in the world of minor hockey. The National Post even did a story called “Hockey Parent Confidential” where they detailed what goes on behind the scenes of minor hockey, and a lot of the article was dedicated to parents drinking. As everyone knows, where there’s drinking, there’s often drinking and driving.
The Acadie-Bathurst Titan assistant-coach isn’t the first coach on record caught for driving impaired. It’s happened to other teams, and not just in Canada. Minnesota Wild assistant-coach Darryl Sydor was arrested in October 2015 with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that was four times the legal limit. He also has his son in the car. Sentenced to sixty days in jail as part of his plea deal, he’s since resumed his job.
There haven’t been many details released about the Acadie-Bathurst Titan incident, but according to news reports, Bergeron was charged for driving impaired on the weekend of September 16th and there were two players in the car. Since that time he’s issued a public apology, was suspended from his coaching position, and resigned shortly after. According to New Brunswick impaired driving laws, he could very well be blowing into an ignition interlock while he looks for a new job.
He could have a hard time finding one. If police record checks in the Atlantic provinces are anything like those in Ontario, he’s not eligible to hold a coaching position if he has an impaired driving conviction on his record in the past three years. The consequences might seem harsh, especially if your entire life has been based on hockey, but it’s all part of what comes after you’re caught driving impaired.