THE CANADIAN PRESS
WINNIPEG — The head of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers says NHL commissioner Gary Bettman should follow the lead of the National Football League when it comes to deal with players convicted of impaired driving.
Andrew Murie said the NFL has called in MADD to talk to rookie football players about the issue.
But he says the NHL has shown no interest in taking a similar stand.
Winnipeg Jets goalltender Ondrej Pavelec has apologized after being found guilty of drunk driving in his native Czech Republic.
The 24-year-old Pavelec caused a traffic accident May 26 in his hometown of Kladno, west of the capital Prague.
There were no injuries but Pavelec’s Czech licence was suspended.
"I think the NFL is setting a good example for sport franchise organizations to kind of say that our players are part of the community, people look up to them as role models, and they should be," said Murie.
"As Canadians, we admire our hockey players. We love them to death. We put them up on pedestals. But part of being put up on the pedestal (involves) community responsibility as well.
"I think the Jets have the perfect opportunity to say impaired driving is not acceptable and that we are going to do everything we can with our players and our fans to reduce it in our community.’ "
Manitoba Public Insurance spokesman Brian Smiley said he could not comment directly on Pavelec’s case but said by law, such a driving ban would follow him to Manitoba.
Smiley said to legally drive in Manitoba, a person from outside Canada needs a valid driver’s licence from their home country.
(Winnipeg Free Press)