Behind the Bench with…..Doris Labonte

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
After pursuing it for 23 years, Coach Doris Labonte was finally able to lift the Memorial Cup over his head thanks to a 6-2 victory by his Rimouski Oceanic over the Barrie Colts. Hockey’s Future, having caught up to Coach Labonte in a place without computers, had the opportunity to sit down and discuss the past season, Brad Richards, and the Memorial Cup with him and here is what he had to say:

Hockey’s Future: How are you feeling now that you’ve finally reached the pinnacle of coaching in the Canadian Hockey League by winning the Memorial Cup?

Doris Labonte: It’s really great. It was so big before, huge during, and even bigger afterwards! Personally it’s the reward for working so many years in hockey at various levels. It’s also very important for the franchise, all of our fans, the region and the QMJHL.

HF: Going into Halifax what were the areas you thought you could attack each of the teams in and what were the things you felt you had to stop those teams from doing in order to win?


Halifax Mooseheads-Stop their powerplay and their first line. Put more pressure on their defense.

Barrie Colts-Remain disciplined at all times and match their intensity

Kootenay ICE-Stop their first line (Svoboda, Blatney), beat their defensive scheme.

HF: Did any of the teams surprise you and force you to alter your gameplan during the tourney and if so how?
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Still Number One?

by pbadmin
Vincent Lecavalier, is he will he still be number one? After a dissapointing performance in this year’s World Junior Chamipionships, in which his team finished 8th, one has to ask, is he worthy of the number on spot in this June’s draft? The 6’4″, 180-pound centre who is said to have a great touch when around the net was expected to get the goal’s for Team Canada. But lack of offense was what Canada’s problem was. Other expected scorers didn’t step up and the lack of discipline was what led Team Canada to it’s demise. Lecavalier, who had 42 goals and 103 points in his rooke year last season, produced a few points but not enough. Then again, it is very unlikely for a 17-year-old to make an impact at this tourny.

After the poor performance Lecavalier still remails the top rated North American player for the NHL draft according to the mid season rankings from the Central Scouting Bureau (CSB). The Draft is said to have tremendous depth, espeically in centre with 12 centres expected to go in the first round. The CSB describes Lecavalier as “an intelligent player with great vision and a dangerous scoring touch,” it also says “he handles the pressure and media attention of stardom very well…possess all the qualities to be a franchise player”.
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