Canadian Supreme Court judge under scrutiny after NHL Draft claim

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From the “Don’t mess around when it comes to hockey in Canada” file…

Newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Marc Nadon is facing blowback after his claim of being drafted by the Detroit Red Wings was proven false.

“During my youth, my ambition in life was to become a hockey player, which may seem surprising looking at me but those days were different,” Nadon, 64, told a Canadian parliamentary committee on Wednesday. “In fact, I was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings when I was 14.”

Just one problem: Jean Patrice Martel, president of the International Society for Hockey Research, said it never happened.

“It’s almost impossible he would have been drafted because he was too young,” Martel told Postmedia News. “But there is a chance that he was offered a contract, maybe not by the Red Wings but by an affiliate team.”

At the time of the first NHL draft held in 1963, players had to be around age 16 to qualify, Martel said. Further, “every NHL player who was ever drafted is very well documented, and he’s not on there.”

The more likely scenario, Martel said, is that Nadon was offered a contract with an affiliate team in the Red Wings’ organization, which would not have been recorded. Martel said his staff have uncovered news reports of a Marc Nadon playing on the St-Jerome Alouettes, a Junior A team whose midget affiliates were part of the Red Wings’ farm team network.

In response, Nadon told the Huffington Post on Thursday he didn’t lie about his past — rather, he got the terminology wrong.

“I wasn’t trying to say that I was going to play for the Red Wings that year or something to that effect,” he explained. “I certainly didn’t lie.

“I used ‘draft’ in the way that I would have used it in those days, loosely termed to say that I would be part of the organization. The exact details I never knew exactly. So it wasn’t a draft the way they are now, that you are drafted and you go and play for the Red Wings or — no, no, I was 14. So, it was employed very loosely.”

While Nadon won’t face issues about lying to the committee, parliament member Francoise Boivin said misinformation is a concern and she’d like Nadon to “clarify the details” as soon as possible.