MONTREAL -- Groupe St-Hubert says it will "continue its longstanding association" with the Montreal Canadiens despite the controversy surrounding the team's decision to draft Logan Mailloux, who pleaded guilty to sexual crimes in Sweden.

"We appreciate that [Canadiens owner] Mr. Molson took responsibility for the decision and apologized for it," Josée Vaillancourt, director of communications, told CTV News. "We continue to disapprove [of] any acts of abuse and reprehensible behaviour, regardless of a person’s status in society.”

Groupe St-Hubert says it is "confident" that the Canadiens will put its action plan in place "and we hope that this will lead to positive results."

On Thursday, Desjardins Group said it is maintaining its relationship with the team after publicly questioning the Habs' decision to draft 18-year-old Logan Mailloux.

Desjardins said in a statement it is satisfied with the sincerity of Molson's apology.


Wednesday, Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson addressed the ongoing controversy surrounding the team's decision to draft defenceman Mailloux.

"I understand that you expect more from us and we let you down," he said. "The Montreal Canadiens are more than a hockey team. Logan's actions do not reflect the values of our organization and I apologize for the pain this selection has caused."

The 18-year-old was fined by a Swedish court for "offensive photography that violates privacy" and "defamation."

The crime, to which he has admitted, involved taking a photo during a sexual encounter with a woman last year, without her knowledge, and sharing it "with teammates without her consent to impress them." He was a minor at the time.

Molson states over the next few months, the Habs plan to raise awareness and educate young men and young women about the importance of consent.

"Shame on me for not considering the victim and shame on me for not considering the number of people who were affected by my decision," Molson said. "We will support and oversee Logan's commitment to becoming a better person."

In Canada, a person can face imprisonment of up to five years for knowingly sharing intimate images without consent.

As a result, Mailloux will not be participating in upcoming training camps this fall.

"Being a player in the NHL is a privilege that is earned, not a right that is granted," Molson said, offering his sympathies to the victim and her family. "As the year progresses, we will reassess Logan's readiness to be part of our organization."

Other sponsors, including Jean Coutu Group, have come out to say they are reviewing their relationship with the team.

Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his concerns about the pick, saying he was "deeply disappointed."

Mailloux was in Sweden, on loan from the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights, at the time of the incident.

With files from The Canadian Press