ORONO, Maine — University of Maine sophomore right wing John Parker, who hasn’t played this year after having foot surgery just before the season, has been dismissed from the squad for a violation of team rules.
Maine head coach Tim Whitehead said Parker was dismissed in November because he was guilty of “several” alcohol-related infractions.
“It’s a shame. We were really looking forward to having him on the team. He had the potential to be an impact player and was coming off a good freshman year,” said Whitehead.
“But this is the right thing to do. Hopefully, he can learn a lesson and get a clean start with another team,” said Whitehead. “He’s a great kid,.” he said of Parker, who had been named a Maine Scholar-Athlete Rising Star.
The Maine coach said Parker will finish out this semester and then join a junior team or look to transfer to another college.
Parker’s ill-fated season never really started.
The day before leaving his home in Green Brook, N.J., to return to Maine for the start of school, he slipped on stairs while carrying a television set and broke his foot.
His foot required surgery, and the earliest he could have returned was February, since he still must undergo several weeks of rehab, according to Whitehead. More likely, he would have sat out the entire season as a medical redshirt and continued to have three years of eligibility.
Parker had three goals and four assists in 33 games last season to lead the team’s rookies, and was a valuable penalty-killer because of his exceptional quickness, tenacity and grit.
Before coming to Maine, Parker captained the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Junior Hockey League and had nine goals and 22 assists. He had previously won a national championship with the Indiana Ice of the USHL.
Maine hockey drops recruit
Defenseman Sam Wolfe, who verbally committed to attend the University of Maine next fall, has been dropped by Whitehead after being charged with fifth-degree theft after allegedly shoplifting $68.89 of merchandise at a shopping mall in Coralville, Iowa, in November.
Wolfe and a Cedar Rapids Roughriders teammate put shirts and hats in their jackets and were was caught on a surveillance camera, according to a report on KCRG.com, which is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Wolfe was eventually traded to the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League.
Whitehead said Wolfe called him and apologized, but the coach decided against bringing him in as the result of the shoplifting charge.