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Habs won't punish Georges Laraque for rule-breaking booze ad

The Canadian Press
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Montreal Canadiens\' Georges Laraque checks Boston Bruins Steve Montador during first period of Game 3 NHL playoff hockey action Monday, April 20, 2009 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson Author: The Hockey News

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Habs won't punish Georges Laraque for rule-breaking booze ad

The Canadian Press
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MONTREAL - The Montreal Canadiens say they won't be disciplining tough guy Georges Laraque for appearing in an ad that ran afoul of women's groups and league rules on alcohol.

The Habs say it's up to the National Hockey League to decide whether any sanctions should be taken after their enforcer starred in an ad for an alcoholized energy drink.

The league is also remaining mum, refusing to comment on the Internet ad which showed the Habs forward playing street hockey with several scantily clad women.

Article 25.1 of the NHL's collective bargaining agreement states that no player can sponsor or endorse an alcoholic beverage - except for malt-based drinks like beer.

The beverage in this case is Octane 7.0, an power drink infused with alcohol.

The NHL's collective bargaining agreement outlines procedures where the league can discipline a player for off-ice conduct.

A spokesman for the Habs says it's to the league to decide what to do next.

"If there is an infraction, it would have to be the league dealing with the player," Donald Beauchamp said.

Beauchamp says that if Laraque had worn a Montreal Canadiens sweater in the ad, he could have been in trouble with the team. He noted that there was no reference to the Canadiens whatsoever, and that the ad was taped in the off-season.

"He didn't (involve the team), so it doesn't apply here," Beauchamp added. "For us, it's case closed."

An apologetic Laraque says he should never have appeared in the ad, is sorry if he offended anyone, swears he donated the proceeds to an animal-rights group, and promises to work for a women's cause in the future.

When contacted by The Canadian Press, a league spokesman twice refused to discuss Laraque's ad, stating the second time that "no further comment, means no further comment."

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Habs won't punish Georges Laraque for rule-breaking booze ad