According to Jenna McMurray of the Calgary Sun on Wednesday, Calgary Flames prospect Michael Ferland was found not guilty of assault. Ferland was acquitted according to a 12 person jury from an incident that occurred at a Cochrane bar on July 29, 2012.
The jury believed Ferland acted in self-defense as he was involved in an altercation at the old Stageline Saloon, located about 15 minutes west of Calgary. Both Ferland and his girlfriend, Kayleigh Chapman said Ferland was initially sucker punched and acted in self defense. A black eye Ferland received following the incident, strengthened his argument.
Ferland's aunt, Charlotte Barker, also testified in court, that she pushed Ferland out of the bar. Ferland was initially on trial for assaulting Cochrane farmer Wesley Bunn, 26, and Jayson Eyma, 25. According to Daryl Slade of the Calgary Herald, Barker testified she did not see Ferland hirt Eyma, but did testify that Eyma was unconscious following the incident.
Ferland was drafted in the fifth round, 133rd overall by the Calgary Flames in the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft. A left winger, Ferland played this past season with the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League. He had six goals and 12 assists for 18 points in 25 games. It was the last year that the Flames were associated with Abbotsford because next year the Flames have moved to Glens Falls, New York.
Ferland, a native of Swan River, Manitoba, has also played four years with the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Western Hockey League and another year with the Saskatoon Blades. Other teams he has played for include the Beausejour Blades of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and the Utah Grizzlies of the East Coast Hockey League. According to www.hockeydb.com, Ferland is 6'1", 225 pounds.
The Flames meanwhile are presently very busy getting ready for the 2014 National Hockey League Draft. That takes place next weekend in Philadelphia.