Bathurst, NB – The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) is proud to kick off its 50th season in what promises to be one of the best years of its history.
The season kicks off tonight in Bathurst as fans will join in celebrating the incredible accomplishments of the Titan’s 2017-18 season. After a slow start, they enjoyed a terrific second half to finish atop of the Maritimes Division and second overall in the league standings. In the playoffs, they played excellent team hockey to capture their second President Cup title in franchise history. Ultimately, they played spectacularly in Regina to capture the prestigious 100th MasterCard Memorial Cup title. Tonight, fans will have the opportunity to remember these unforgettable moments as the team raises its championship banners.
The League wishes to underline significant improvements made to its academic program. A few months ago, the National Assembly of Quebec voted Bill 176, which amended the Act regarding labour standards by inserting the following sentence: “to an athlete whose membership in a sports team is conditional on his continued participation in an academic program”. As such, the League has made changes to its scholastic policy. It is now required for all QMJHL players to be registered in an academic program and to attend school without any possible exemption. The rule is straightforward: players who do not attend school cannot play in the QMJHL. For the last two decades, the League has been a true leader in the development of an academic policy.
This season, the QMJHL celebrates its 50th anniversary. As part of the celebrations, the Commissioner’s office is organizing a 50th-anniversary tour. The League is inviting junior hockey fans to come celebrate 50 years of amazing hockey by making stops in all 18 markets. The first stop is scheduled in Shawinigan on Friday, November 9th. Here is the full schedule:
The QMJHL will also be unveiling one all-star team per decade and the much-anticipated list of its top 50 players of all-time. A panel of experts was brought together, and after many hours of heated debate, the committee finalized an impressive list of stars which will be unveiled throughout the season.
Moreover, an online contest will be organized for fans, giving them the opportunity to elect the top team in QMJHL history.
The league and its teams are proud to continue their work with its community outreach programs, including educating our youth on the adverse effects of marijuana consumption, mental health awareness and the fight against cancer, but to name a few. Our players are great ambassadors for their communities.
Speaking of players, fans will be blown away by the talent on the ice and the quality of play. Junior hockey fans in Quebec and the Maritimes will undoubtedly be spoiled by young stars and their skills. Players such as Alexis Lafrenière, Joe Veleno, Maxime Comtois, Jakob Pelletier, Samuel Poulin, Colten Ellis, Olivier Rodrigue and Jared McIsaac are eager to jump onto the ice to offer a fast-paced, highly-skilled brand of hockey. Our new divisions will offer plenty of exciting rivalries and games ripe with action and emotion.
For those who would like to watch their favourite teams and players on the road, more than 140 games will be broadcast this season, thanks to our TV partners: TVA Sports, Sportsnet, maTV, RogersTV, tvRogers, Eastlink and Optik TV.
Finally, some great events are just a few months away:
- Games 5 & 6 of the CIBC Canada Russia Series will be held in Sherbrooke and Drummondville on November 13th and 15th respectively;
- The Sherwin Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospect Game will be played in Red Deer, on January 23rd;
- After an unbelievable experience in 2015, our 2019 Winter Classic is heading back to Saint-Tite. The Shawinigan Cataractes will host the Rimouski Océanic on February 9th, and then face the Quebec Remparts the next day as the Cataractes organization celebrates its historic 50thseason in the League;
- Finally, the 2019 Memorial Cup will take place in Halifax, from May 17th to May 26th.