Habs prospect Nathan Beaulieu pleads guilty to assault charges

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

Nathan Beaulieu and his father pleaded guilty to assault charges, but won't serve jail time. (USATSI)
Nathan Beaulieu and his father pleaded guilty to assault charges, but won't serve jail time. (USATSI)

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Montreal Canadiens prospect Nathan Beaulieu and his father, former Sarnia Sting head coach and general manager Jacques Beaulieu, both pleaded guilty to assault charges Wednesday.

More from TSN.ca:

They were granted conditional discharges with probation and their lawyer confirmed outside court that the sentence will allow Nathan Beaulieu to play hockey.

Strathroy-Caradoc police charged each of them with two counts of assault in late April stemming from an altercation at a house party that followed a charity golf tournament.

Two people suffered minor injuries, police said.

Nathan Beaulieu, who made his NHL debut last season, was the 17th overall selection by Montreal in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He posted two assists in six games with the Habs in 2013. Beaulieu also played 67 games for the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American hockey league last year, posting 31 points.

Jacques Beaulieu was fired by Sarnia a month after the assault charges were filed. He spent two seasons behind the bench for the Sting, where star NHL rookies Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk played their junior hockey. The team said at the time that Beaulieu's firing was “not related to the on-ice performance of our hockey club.”

This is something the Canadiens probably saw coming as the assault took place months ago, but having a prospect plead to rather serious criminal charges is never a good thing.

UPDATE: After the Beaulieu's hearing, the London Free Press tracked down the details of the charges that led to the guilty pleas from Nathan and Jacques Beaulieu. They're not pretty.

At about 10:30 p.m., the group retired to Hackney's home where they played hockey in the large detached garage.

Both Beaulieus were seen damaging some of Hackney's property. Nathan Beaulieu used a goalie stick to smash a net and break some hockey sticks belonging to Hackney's kids.

Vanderwal thought this was wrong and told the Beaulieus they should stop.

That suggestion, Monaghan said, “seemed to enrage Jacques Beaulieu.” He walked up to Vanderwal and said “who the (expletive) do you think you are?”

And with that, Jacques Beaulieu grabbed Vanderwal by the left shirt sleeve and ripped it off. Both Beaulieus attacked Vanderwal, who tried to leave, but not before he was punched eight times in the face, Monaghan said.

He was chased to his pickup truck by the father and son and had to lock the doors to get away from them.

Vanderwal was home shortly after 11 p.m. and immediately got a call from VanGeffen, who was still at Hackney's, Monaghan said.

VanGeffen reported he was assaulted by the Beaulieus because “he would not tell them Vanderwal's address.”

Jacques Beaulieu had grabbed VanGeffen's shirt and “rag-dolled him around the garage,” tearing it, Monaghan said. Nathan Beaulieu joined in and punched VanGeffen under the right eye.

The assaults were allegedly alcohol fueled and these details make an already bad situation worse. At the time the charges were filed initially, the details of the altercations were not made public.

According to the Free Press report, the Montreal Canadiens would not comment on what happened in court, but a spokesman said Beaulieu will be at training camp as planned. For Jacques Beaulieu, however, it could be some time before he finds a job in coaching, particularly in junior hockey.

 
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