Spring’s Last Dance Begins!

by Nicolas Gaudreau-Dupuis
on

The QMJHL regular season ended last Tuesday night, with Chicoutimi
and Rimouski getting the last two tickets for the Spring’s Last Dance. Here
is the QMJHL playoffs picture.

The regular season
is over.

The Shawinigan Cataractes dominated the QMJHL
and finished first overall with an eyes-popping 116 points, 15 more than the
runner up, the Val-d’Or Foreurs. This season has been noticeable for
the obvious strength of the Lebel Conference compared to the Dillio Conference.
Four teams of the Lebel Conference (Shawinigan, Val-d’Or, Victoriaville and
Rouyn-Noranda) had more points than the 90 points of the Dilio Conference leader
the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Also, three Dilio Conference teams (Rimouski,
Chicoutimi and Québec) participating to the playoffs would have been
excluded of the Lebel Conference playoffs.

Let’s get it on! Read more»

The Lewiston Rocket?

by Nicolas Gaudreau-Dupuis
on

After only one year of existence, the Montreal Rocket has accumulated a deficit of 800,000$; and the low attendance has put pressure on the owners to find alternatives. The Montreal Rocket is currently in negotiations that would allow them to move in the Molson Centre, something the president of the team, Mario Messier, has called a “last resort” change for the franchise.

Junior Hockey struggles in Montreal
The
Montreal Rocket is not the first QMJHL located in the Montreal area that is having difficulties with attendances and survival. Previous teams located in
Verdun, Laval or Longueil all had similar problems in the past, and none of
them has survived to this day. If the Montreal Rocket cannot redress the situation
in the Molson Centre, they could be forced to move to a new location. Since
the last QMJHL expansions have developped most available markets in the province
of Quebec and in the Maritimes, the franchise could go south of the boarder.

The Lewiston Rocket? Read more»

State of the QMJHL with Stéphane Leroux

by Nicolas Gaudreau-Dupuis
on

Stéphane Leroux, the QMJHL’s analyst for
Le Réseaux des Sports (RDS) answers Hockey’s Future questions on the state of
the QMJHL.


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.

Read more»

Behind the Bench with…..Doris Labonte

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on
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?

DL:

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?
Read more»

Still Number One?

by pbadmin
on
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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