(minor league hockey buffs Beecher and Schillinger, moments before the coin flip to determine who’d become Cornacchia’s cellmate)
Bush-league blueliner David Cornacchia of the Florida Everblades received a prison sentence for flying under the influence of alcohol and Ambien. The ECHL star’s behavior certainly topped Courtney Love or Peter Buck.
œSeveral times requested more alcohol … slapped male flight attendant with open hand … put in plastic restraints … exposed genitals in an apparent attempt to urinate … head-butted the assisting passenger … captain requested emergency approach to Dallas-Fort Worth airport.…
œI don™t think anyone could listen to or read that (report) without being horrified, U.S. District Judge John Steele said, just before sentencing the 27-year-old Cornacchia to one year and one day in federal prison, with supervised release for three years, including substance abuse and anger management programs, plus a $4,000 fine.
œAt no time during that flight did I mean to hurt anybody … I harmed mostly myself, obviously, Cornacchia said. œI haven™t been drinkin™ for seven months here, and I just want to move on with my life and try to keep playing hockey.…
Cornacchia™s status as a professional athlete bought him free rounds of golf, free dinners, attention from women, adoring fans ” even here in Southwest Florida.
In two and a half months, a whole new Everblades team will take the ice at Germain Arena. Some will know Cornacchia™s story, some may not. Some may choose to take Ambien to help themselves through those long road trips. Some may mix it with large amounts of alcohol.
Night after night, they™ll take the ice, the fans will cheer, and they will spend five minutes in the penalty box if they head-butt an opponent.
Meanwhile, in a U.S. federal prison as close to his family in Toronto as he can get, Cornacchia will sit in his cell, day after day, his hockey gear in storage, the taunts of nearby inmates the only cheers he hears.