Cormier pleads not guilty to assault charge

Atlanta Thrashers prospect Patrice Cormier has pleaded not

guilty to an assault charge stemming from an elbow thrown during a

Quebec junior hockey league game last season.

Cormier was playing for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies last January

when he dropped Quebec Remparts defenseman Mikael Tam with a blow

to the head. He was charged with assault causing injury.

Cormier wasn’t in court Monday when a lawyer entered the plea on

his behalf.

Cormier was suspended by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

for the remainder of his junior career and is currently at training

camp with the Thrashers, after being acquired from the New Jersey

Devils in the trade for Ilya Kovalchuk.

Tam spent a night in hospital and returned to the lineup shortly