It’s Thanksgiving again. If we’re being honest, we would probably admit that what we are often most thankful for on the second Monday in October, is the chance to say forget the diet, and indulge ourselves with extra turkey, extra gravy and extra stuffing! I know I’ve been guilty of it.
But this year I’m taking the holiday to heart, and making an effort to be thankful for what is really important: The people who make up our Quebec Major Junior family. The people that bring heart and dedication to our game, and who make not just our league, but the world a better place.
To the young men of character who go out on the ice and prove themselves, game after game, maturing in front of our eyes, all while studying for whatever their future may hold, be it NHL or M.I.T. Without our players, there wouldn’t be a Q: I am thankful for every one of you.
To the owners, coaching and administrative staff of our 18 teams. Without our teams, covering the eastern third of our great country, there quite simply wouldn’t be hockey games. I am thankful for each of you.
To our QMJHL head office staff. The Q isn’t a one-man show, and without hard work and dedication of you 18, there wouldn’t be Major Junior Hockey. I am thankful for all of you too.
To our host families. Without you our players wouldn’t have roofs and full tummies. No dinner, no hockey. For each and every one of you, I am thankful.
To members of the media and play-by-play announcers. You give voice to our league. You generate interest in what we do and keep the public informed. Thank you.
To our on-ice officials. Without your knowledge, fairness, and eagle eyes, we couldn’t even drop the proverbial puck. I am thankful you do what you do.
To those who have passed. Daniel Frechette, Marc Larouche, Bob Bissonnette, Dean Stock, Dr. Sylvain Boutet, and so many more. Men who will have put their mark on the league long after they left us. You made us better people. Without men like you there could be no Q. For all of your contributions, I am thankful.
To everyone who will take part in our breast cancer awareness campaign. You know you look fantastic in pink! Hockey needs to be part of the community. Hockey has to give back. For everyone who’s doing their small part to fight cancer, I am thankful.
Last, and most: To our fans. No fans = no hockey – simple as that. You drive through blizzards to get to games, faces painted and wearing your favourite player’s jersey. Year after year your enthusiasm and loyalty have been the very engine of our great league. Without you, everyone I’ve mentioned above couldn’t do what they do. For you, each and every one of you, I am most thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving to all