Stéphane Leroux, the QMJHL’s analyst for
Le Réseaux des Sports (RDS) answers Hockey’s Future questions on the state of
The Memorial Cup Championship, its impact.
Nicolas Gaudreau-Dupuis : The 1999-2000 season ended perfectly for the QMJHL with the victory of L’Océanic de Rimouski at the Memorial Cup Championship Final. That was the third QMJHL championship in the past five years, after almost twenty years of failure. What can be concluded of the recent success of the QMJHL at the Memorial Cup?
Stéphane Leroux : I believe that the recent success of QMJHL teams at the Memorial Cup (Granby, Hull & Rimouski) have swept away the inferiority complex that our teams were facing in the past years. We hope it’ll continue this year at Regina.
NGD : Does the QMJHL have a different game style than the OHL and the WHL that could explain its recent successes at the Memorial Cup? In the year 2000, how does the QMJHL compare to the two other Canadian leagues?
SL : I believe that the QMJHL is betting on a more open game style than the OHL and WHL. If that has not always paid off in the course of the years, it really did for L’Océanic last June. There’s never been any doubts that the best team won.
Minnesota Gopher sophomore-to-be Dan Welch, who was just drafted by the LA Kings as the 245th pick, will not return to the school next season. In 36 games last year for the Gophers, Welch scored 6 goals and added 8 assists. Welch has been ruled academically ineligible. Welch will attend a junior college in Omaha, Nebraska and will play for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL this season. Welch was suspended last season by head coach Don Lucia because he missed several classes. Welch was also suspended for two games by the school because he failed to turn in his class schedule at the start of the second semester. Welch most recently played in two out of four games with the USA Hockey Under-20 team in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Lucia said that if Welch gets eligible after this year, the team would welcome him back.