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Tam out of hospital after head hit from Cormier

Francis Vachon/Francis Vachon -

Mikael Tam has left hospital but it remains uncertain how long the Quebec Remparts defenceman will be out of action after a nasty hit to the head from Rouyn-Noranda Huskies centre Patrice Cormier.

Remparts spokesman Nicole Bouchard said Tuesday that Tam was released from hospital in Rouyn-Noranda on Monday night. He is due to arrive in Quebec City on Tuesday afternoon, but will make no comment to the media.

The team plans to hold a news conference with Tam on Friday in Quebec City, she said.

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She said it is certain that Tam will not play again this week, and doctors are not sure when he will be able to return.

Cormier, who served as captain of Canada's team at the world junior championship, has been suspended indefinitely by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and is awaiting word on further discipline.

The league denied a report that its decision may be delayed because commissioner Gilles Courteau is attending the Top Prospects game in Windsor, Ont.

In overtime of Quebec's 3-2 shootout win in Rouyn-Noranda on Sunday afternoon, Cormier crossed the ice to drop Tam with an elbow to the face while the Quebec rearguard was skating through the neutral zone.

The 18-year-old went into convulsions before he was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher and taken to hospital. He was treated for brain trauma and several damaged teeth.

Quebec provincial police in Rouyn-Noranda are investigating whether there are grounds for criminal charges against the 19-year-old Cormier.

At the Montreal Canadiens training facility in Brossard, Que., enforcer Georges Laraque called it one of the worst hits he's seen in hockey.

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"But one thing I can say about (QMJHL commissioner) Gilles Courteau is that he's always been good about giving suspensions and it doesn't matter the name on the back (of the player's jersey),"' said Laraque. "I'm pretty sure he'll be fair with that suspension.

"I'd be surprised if that kid played another game this year. When you look at kids that young, they're not even in the NHL yet and they have their whole future ahead of them and they're shaking on the ice like that. That's pretty scary. It's important to send a message to the youth coming up."

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