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QMJHL Hall of Fame Induction – Class of 2018

Boucherville Que. – The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is proud to present its class of 2018 that will be inducted into the QMJHL Hall of Fame on April 4th, 2018.

Once again this year you will find many personalities who have left their mark like no other on the QMJHL. Here is a look at this year’s class, followed by a brief look at their career paths;

  • Éric Taylor (posthumous)
  • Marc Denis
  • Danny Groulx
  • Vincent Lecavalier
  • Stéphane Quintal

 

ERIC TAYLOR

QMJHL Team Manager

During the 1970’s and 1980’s

  • Junior de Montréal – (1978 Playoff Finalist Team)
  • Junior de Verdun – (1983 Playoff Champion Team)
  • Canadien Junior de Verdun – (1985 Playoff Champion Team)

In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Eric Taylor was widely regarded as a brilliant and passionate hockey man. His fiery demeanour at times overshadowed the human qualities that made him so beloved by all those he worked with.

Taylor began his career as the scout for the Montreal Junior under the tutelage of Ronald Caron and he was quickly promoted to general manager of the club which also served as the farm team for the Montreal Canadiens.

One of his greatest moves was the hiring of a promising young head coach in Pierre Creamer in 1980. With Creamer behind the bench, the team would reach its greatest heights. The Verdun Junior would go on to win the President’s Cup on May 1, 1983, with a crowd of over 16,000 fans looking on at the Montreal Forum. All told, Taylor’s team would reach the League final three times in seven years from 1978 to 1985, including a pair of President’s Cup titles (1983 and 1985).

Taylor’s claim to fame was his ability to convince top talents from both Atlantic Canada and the United States to join his teams. The biggest name to have made the move from the US was none other than Pat Lafontaine. After being shrewdly selected in the 9th round of the QMJHL Draft, the 17-year-old exploded for 234 points in 1982-83, including 104 goals and 130 assists to set rookie league records in all three categories that still stand today. Not to be outdone, two years later Taylor would then snag hot prospect Jimmy Carson. These two talented youngsters would, of course, go on to make their marks in the NHL.

A hard worker with a unique eye for talent, Taylor was also able to benefit from the prestige of the Montreal Canadiens who won Stanley Cups throughout the 1970s as well as financial support from the NHL club. No arena was too far for him to travel to in search of talent as he braved all types of challenges and weather conditions to do so.

His former players and coaches alike can surely tell you all about how he would arrive to sign to them to contracts on pieces of scrap paper or even napkins before stuffing them into his trusty filing cabinet – the pocket on the front of his collar shirt!

Taylor was also a master at making deals. Look no further than his cagey acquisition of Claude Lemieux from the Trois-Rivières Draveurs following the 1983-84 season just after he was a made a second-round pick of the NHL’s Canadiens. Lemieux would then emerge to win the Guy Lafleur Trophy as QMJHL playoff MVP in 1985.

Many said he also knew how to read between the lines when it came to the rule book and found ways to use all his wealth of experience to help bring together all the necessary pieces to win. He was without question determined and convincing.

 

MARC DENIS

Canadian born on August 1, 1977 in Montreal (Quebec). Left-catching goaltender standing 6-foot-1 and weighing 193 pounds during his junior days. Selected in the fourth round, 52nd overall by the Chicoutimi Sagueneens at the 1994 QMJHL Draft. Chosen in the first round, 25th overall by the Colorado Avalanche at the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.

Saison régulière / Regular Season
LHJMQ EQUIPE PJ V D N BL MOY %ARR
QMJHL TEAM GP W L T SO GAA SAV%
1994-95 Chicoutimi 32 17 10 1 3.48 0.891
1995-96 Chicoutimi 51 23 22 4 2 3.19 0.891
1996-97 Chicoutimi 41 22 15 2 4 2.69 0.905
TOTAL LHJMQ 124 62 47 7 6 3.09 0.896
QMJHL TOTAL              
Séries éliminatoires / Playoffs
LHJMQ EQUIPE PJ V D N BL MOY %ARR
QMJHL TEAM GP W L T SO GAA SAV%
1994-95 Chicoutimi 6 4 2 0 1 3.04 0.917
1995-96 Chicoutimi 16 8 7 4.32 0.865
1996-97 Chicoutimi 21 11 10 1 3.43 0.883
TOTAL LHJMQ 43 23 19 2 3.69 0.882
QMJHL TOTAL              
CAREER / CARRIÈRE 167 85 66 7 8 3.25 0.892

 

NHL, TOTAL (Regular season)                         349   112   182   28   16   3.02   0.902

NHL, TOTAL (Playoffs)                                             0     0     0     0     0     —     —

 

QMJHL Team, as a player

  • Saguenéens de Chicoutimi (1994-95 à 1996-97)

In the spring of 1994, Marc Denis saw his life change forever. A native Montrealer, Denis would be selected in the fourth round by the Chicoutimi Sagueneens which would not only take the next step in this hockey career on the ice as he would also become an exemplary citizen of his newly adopted region on his way to then meeting his wife-to-be.

Denis stood out immediately at his first QMJHL training camp under the watchful eye of head coach Gaston Drapeau who would reward the young goalie by giving him 32 starts as a rookie. Denis’ 17 wins that season would begin to open the eyes of scouts from across the NHL.

Without any hesitation, the Colorado Avalanche would select Denis in the opening round of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft right after Jean-Sébastien Giguère and Martin Biron. Following his first professional camp, the 6-foot-1, 193-pounder would continue to shine both on the ice and in the classroom in Chicoutimi, winning QMJHL student athlete of the year honours in 1995-96.

Fuelled by overcoming challenges, Denis loved competing with the top goalies of his generation. During the 1997 playoffs, he helped lead the Sags to the President’s Cup Final after having beaten Mathieu Garon (Victoriaville) and Jean-Sébastien Giguère (Halifax) along the way.

Once his three seasons (including playoffs) in the junior ranks were in the books, he had goals average of 3.25 and a save percentage of .892 in 167 games played. Of his 85 career wins, eight were shutouts. In 1996-97, his sparkling 2.69 GAA earned him the Jacques Plante Trophy and QMJHL First All-Star Team status in addition to being named the Canadian Hockey League’s Goalie of the Year.

At the World Junior Hockey Championship, Denis twice won gold for Canada. After backing up Jose Theodore in 1996, Denis was the starter in 1997 when he led the way by shutting out Team USA 2-0 in the gold medal game.

After two seasons of working on his game in the American Hockey League with the Hershey Bears, Denis would make his NHL debut behind Patrick Roy in 1999-00 with the Avalanche. The following season, he was traded to the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets where he would be their starter through 2006. Denis also set a NHL record with 4,510 minutes played in 2002-03. Following stints in Tampa Bay and Montreal, the 2008-09 season would prove to be Denis’ last in the NHL after 349 games.

Always an excellent communicator, he has served as a hockey colour commentator with RDS since 2011 and maintains his connection to the Sagueneens to this day as Vice-President, hockey operations.

Living in Chicoutimi for several weeks throughout the year, he and his spouse have established the “Fondation pour Enfants Marc Denis” in 2001. His involvement in the Saguenay/Lac St-Jean region is as strong as ever.

Marc Denis was inducted to the QMJHL Hall of Fame in the “Player” category on April 4, 2018.

 

DANNY GROULX

Canadian born on June 21, 1981 in Lasalle (Quebec). Defenceman standing 6-foot and weighing 205 pounds during his junior days. Selected in the first round, 11th overall by the Val-d’Or Foreurs at the 1997 QMJHL Draft

Saison régulière / Regular Season
LHJMQ EQUIPE PJ B A PTS PEM
QMJHL TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
1997-98 Val-d’Or 63 4 16 20 61
1998-99 Val-d’Or 36 3 26 29 55
Acadie-Bathurst 36 2 15 17 51
Total VdO-Bat 72 5 41 46 106
1999-00 Victoriaville 66 12 55 67 131
2000-01 Victoriaville 72 16 71 87 164
2001-02 Victoriaville 68 29 83 112 165
TOTAL LHJMQ 341 66 266 332 627
QMJHL TOTAL          
Séries éliminatoires / Playoffs
LHJMQ EQUIPE PJ B A PTS PEM
QMJHL TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
1997-98 Val-d’Or 19 1 4 5 18
1998-99 Acadie-Bathurst 18 2 2 6
1999-00 Victoriaville 6 4 4 14
2000-01 Victoriaville 13 2 19 21 46
2001-02 Victoriaville 22 9 30 39 68
TOTAL LHJMQ 78 12 59 71 152
QMJHL TOTAL          
CAREER / CARRIÈRE 419 78 325 403 779

 

QMJHL Teams, as a player

  • Foreurs de Val-d’Or (1997-98 to 1998-99)
  • Titan d’Acadie-Bathurst (1998-99)
  • Tigres de Victoriaville (1999-2000 to 2001-02)

By all accounts, Danny Groulx was an exceptional player in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. An offensive defenceman by trade, he had good fortune to find himself on future championship teams that were tailor-made for his playing style. Or was it that those teams were lucky enough to be able to have him on their side!

Danny Groulx was selected in the first round of the 1997 QMJHL Draft by the Val-d’Or Foreurs. Over his five magnificent seasons in the QMJHL, he became the all-time scorer amongst defencemen with 332 regular season points. On top of that, his combined 419 games in regular season and playoffs are more than another player in the first 49 years in the history of the league. He is also the only player in QMJHL history to win the President’s Cup three times with three different teams including Val-d’Or (1998), Acadie-Bathurst (1999) and Victoriaville (2002).

The turning point of Groulx’s junior career came in June 1999 when the Victoriaville Tigres acquired him in a trade with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. By sending three draft picks, GM Pierre Roux picked up the ultimate blue line quarterback to set the table for his potent offence made of the likes of Mallette, Thinel, Lombardi, Sleigher, Vermette and Co.

His coaches, primarily Yves Lambert and Mario Durocher, helped him learn that if he was responsible in his own zone he would have all the latitude he needed to pinch in the offensive zone. Groulx would also become an exceptional leader, team unifier and, of course, a player who could change a game all on his own.

Known for wearing the No. 77 or 4, Groulx made the most of his incredible amount of ice time during his dream season in 2001-02. His 112-point campaign that year earned him his second-straight QMJHL First All-Star Team selection in addition to being named the league’s top defenceman. He also exploded for a six-point game on October 5, 2001, to set a new Tigres’ franchise record for a defenceman.

During the 2002 playoffs, he continued his ascent an incredible run that saw him pile up 39 points on his way to earning the Guy Lafleur Trophy as playoff MVP. That spring the Tigres also won their first President’s Cup as league champions. Then at the Memorial Cup, although Groulx earned playoff MVP honours, he and teammates suffered a bitter defeat in the final against the Kootenay Ice.

Signed as a free agent by the Detroit Red Wings, Groulx would go on to enjoy a 10-season career in the American Hockey League and he also played into Europe where his stint also included two seasons in the KHL in Russia.

Since 2014-15, Groulx has worked with College Charles-Lemoyne where he shares his knowledge as a coach at the Midget AAA level. He also created the Académie de hockey des Pros along with Joel Perrault in 2016.

 

VINCENT LECAVALIER

Canadian born on April 21, 1980 in l’Île-Bizard (Quebec). Centre standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 182 pounds during his junior days. Selected in the first round, 4th overall by the Rimouski Oceanic at the 1996 QMJHL Draft. Chosen in the first round, first overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

Saison régulière / Regular Season
LHJMQ EQUIPE PJ B A PTS PEM
QMJHL TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
1996-97 Rimouski 64 42 60 102 36
1997-98 Rimouski 58 44 71 115 117
TOTAL LHJMQ 122 86 131 217 153
QMJHL TOTAL          
Séries éliminatoires / Playoffs
LHJMQ EQUIPE PJ B A PTS PEM
QMJHL TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
1996-97 Rimouski 4 4 3 7 2
1997-98 Rimouski 18 15 26 41 46
TOTAL LHJMQ 22 19 29 48 48
QMJHL TOTAL          
CAREER / CARRIÈRE 144 105 160 265 201

 

NHL, TOTAL (Regular Season)                         1212   421   528   949   848

NHL, TOTAL (Playoffs)                                            75     26     30     56   84

 

QMJHL Team, as a player

  • Océanic de Rimouski (1996-97 to 1997-98)

There are special players that come along and Vincent Lecavalier is certainly one of them. The big No. 4 was of first of a string of big-name players to have marked the rich history of the city of Rimouski with their on-ice dominance. Lecavalier had the ability to be elegant, powerful and high-performing.

In 1996, the Oceanic and their majority owner Maurice Tanguay shocked those in attendance by selecting Lecavalier as the fourth overall pick in the QMJHL Draft while he was a product of the Notre Dame Hounds in Saskatchewan. QMJHL teams knew all about his incredible talent, but Vincent was exploring other options including even going the US College route.

A native of Île-Bizard, QC, Lecavalier made an immediate impact on the QMJHL with a 102-point season to earn the Canadian Hockey League’s Rookie of the Year honours.

In his second season, he continued to dominate with a 115-point campaign, averaging over two points per game. He then exploded in the playoffs with 41 points in only 18 games to lead the Oceanic to the President’s Cup final where Rimouski would fall short against Val-d’Or.

Following that exceptional season that also included representing Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships, the 6-foot-3, 182-pounder was anointed the top pro prospect coming out of the QMJHL, winning the Michael Bossy Trophy.

As predicted by experts, he would become the first overall pick in the 1998 NHL Draft by way of the Tampa Bay Lightning. His 105 goals in 144 games over his junior stint were enough for this talented magician on skates to convince his new team. He also had no less than seven 5-point games to his credit with the Oceanic on only two seasons of junior hockey.

Upon his arrival in Tampa Bay at age 18, he would land in a high-pressure situation given the incredible expectations the franchise had for Vincent. After his hard work and determination, Lecavalier would see new faces join him in the early 2000s that would help his team improve. Fellow youngsters like Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis would come bolster the Lightning’s offence as the Florida-based club would go on to win the Stanley Cup in 2004.

Lecavalier would go on to post no less than 13 seasons of 20-plus goals over the course of his 17-season NHL career. In 2006-07, he won the Maurice Richard Trophy thanks to his league-leading 52 goals. All told, he would go on to suit up 1,287 games including playoffs and amass 1,005 points, 447 goals and 558 assists. He also earned four NHL All-Star Game invites.

In September 2004, Lecavalier won the tournament MVP honours after he helped lead Canada to gold at the World Cup of Hockey. In 2007-08, he added the King Clancy Memorial Trophy to his collection in recognition of his leadership both on and off the ice.

 

STÉPHANE QUINTAL

Canadian born on October 22, 1968 in Boucherville (Quebec). Right-handed defenceman standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 220 pounds during his junior days. Selected in the third round, 23rd overall by the Granby Bisons at the 1985 QMJHL Draft. Chosen in the first round, 14th overall by the Boston Bruins at the 1987 NHL Entry Draft.

Saison régulière / Regular Season
LHJMQ EQUIPE PJ B A PTS PEM
QMJHL TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
1985-86 Granby 67 2 17 19 152
1986-87 Granby 67 13 41 54 178
1987-88 Granby 23 7 14 21 91
Hull 15 6 9 15 47
Total Gra-Hul 38 13 23 36 138
TOTAL LHJMQ 172 28 81 109 468
QMJHL TOTAL          
Séries éliminatoires / Playoffs
LHJMQ EQUIPE PJ B A PTS PEM
QMJHL TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
1985-86 Granby
1986-87 Granby 8 9 9 10
1987-88 Hull 19 7 12 19 30
TOTAL LHJMQ 27 7 21 28 40
QMJHL TOTAL          
CAREER / CARRIÈRE 199 35 102 137 508

 NHL, TOTAL (Regular season)                         1037   63   180   243   1320

NHL, TOTAL (Playoffs)                                             52    2    10   12   51

 

QMJHL Team, as a player

  • Bisons de Granby (1985-86 à 1987-88)
  • Olympiques de Hull (1987-88)

From his days growing up in Boucherville, Quebec to his time at the NHL head office in New York City, Stephane Quintal has always been a man of his word and incredibly generous. Following in the footsteps of his role models like his older brothers and cousins, he was long-destined to become not only a great athlete, but also a quality human being.

By age 16, scouts already had an eye on the big defenceman from the Richelieu Riverains who stood 6-foot-3. The Granby Bisons would go on to select him in the third round of the 1985 QMJHL Draft.

In his second season in Granby in 1986-87, he proved to be one of the keys to the Bisons’ success as Granby would win the regular-season title. Quintal would amass 54 points in addition to racking up 178 penalty minutes as he laid down the law in front of his goalie. We then added nine assists in eight games on his way to being named on the QMJHL First All-Star Team that year.

At the 1987 NHL Draft in 1987, Quintal would become property of the Boston Bruins after they chose him in the first round, 14th overall. That was the same day his teammate Pierre Turgeon was selected first overall by Buffalo.

To cap off his junior career, his rights were dealt to the Hull Olympiques who were coached by Alain Vigneault. Surrounded by such top-flight talent as Benoit Brunet, Cam Russell, Marc Saumier, Stephane Matteau and Martin Gelinas, Quintal would go on to win the President’s Cup with his new team in May 1988 during a playoff run that saw him post 19 points for an average of one point per game.

In the fall of 1988, he made the leap to the pro ranks. Following four seasons with the Bruins organization, he would play for five other teams including a combined seven seasons over two stints spent with his hometown and prestigious Montreal Canadiens. He played over 1,000 NHL games, including 507 with the Canadiens when his leadership and determination were on full display.

The 2003-04 season would prove to be his last in the NHL as an active player. All told including playoffs, he amassed 255 points in 1,089 games to go with his 1,320 penalty minutes.

His impressive track record for community involvement is also commendable be it with the Hôpital Sainte-Justine Foundation or for Aux Quatres Poches, a respite centre, just to name a few.

He then became one of rare French-speaking Quebecers to earn a high-level position with the NHL head office, serving as Vice-President, Player Safety for three seasons from 2014-2017.

Renowned for his class and was treated as such over the years, Quintal is an exceptional role model for today’s youth.

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