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Commissioner’s Blog – Sept 19, 2016

Dear hockey fans,

The days are getting shorter and there is a hint of crispness in the air, but for the QMJHL’s biggest fans, it’s not the end of summer; it’s the start of hockey!

These first fall days are a good time to look back on the highlights of the previous campaign and wonder what big stories we will all be recalling this time next year.

The 2015-16 CHL-leading Rouyn-Noranda Huskies posted an awesome regular-season record and conquered the President Cup. They battled all the way to the MasterCard Memorial Cup final…Will this be the season they take it all or does destiny have its hand on another squad?

At last April’s Golden Puck Awards ceremony, we honoured names like Marchand, Garland, and Girard. Who will step up this year and make the trophy engravers learn a new spelling?

This summer, for their 20th anniversary, we reunited and celebrated the epoch-making 1996 Granby Predators – a team that still makes us proud; a team for who losing was not an option. On opening night, which team now has enough fire in its belly to bring back the Memorial Cup? Who wants it most?

Ours is a game of passion; a game of highs, inevitable lows, but most of all of intense rivalries – rivalries of teams as well as individuals. Our fans can enjoy match ups like the Huskies vs. the Foreurs, the Sea Dogs against the Wildcats, or the Armada’s continuing battle with the Olympiques. For our returning players, their biggest rival is themselves; can they outdo what they achieved last season? Did they already give their best or can the outperform themselves?

So, as the geese fly south and the Zambonis return from their summer nesting grounds, I salute our players and teams and wish them all the success they can earn. Goodbye 2015-16 – You gave us a lot to be proud of, now make way for the new season – I can’t wait to see what it has in store!

Gilles Courteau

Commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

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