The Commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Gilles Courteau today officially launched the League’s 44th season during the first Ambassadors Golf Tournament.
“The 44th season of the QMJHL will likely be as exceptional for our fans, partners and 18 teams as the last one,” said the Commissioner. “The talent of our players is sure to make for a high quality brand of hockey; fast, physical and emotional. Moreover, only a few months after the Shawinigan Cataractes won the MasterCard Memorial Cup title and the Saint John Sea Dogs hoisted the President Cup, we’re starting off the new season on the right foot. We’re looking forward to defending our double MasterCard Memorial Cup championship title this season in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for the 95th edition of the tournament and the 15th year with our sponsor, MasterCard.
TELUS lets junior hockey fans follow all the games
In 2014, TELUS will have invested 11 million dollars since the beginning of its partnership with the QMJHL. This financial support is inline with TELUS’ strategy to contribute to junior hockey outreach on top of offering a vast selection of entertainment products to satisfy the biggest hockey fans. TELUS offers multiple ways of following QMJHL athletes, either at home or on the go:
- All the regular season and playoff games will be presented thanks to Webcasting on montelus.com/lhjmq;
- Telus will broadcast a total of 25 games of the regular season for the Oceanic, Remparts and Drakkar on Télé OPTIK, on top of many playoff games. These games can be viewed on channels 535 (HD) and 135 (SD) and the schedule is available at : telusquebec.com/lhjmq;
- Sports fans will also be able to view games broadcasted on Télé OPTIK live on their mobile phones, regardless of where they are, thanks to the QMJHL mobile application for iPhone and Android phones.
“The QMJHL and TELUS have been partnering together for the past 12 years and share a long history marked by the desire to contribute to the promotion of junior hockey and its athletes. Our partnership allows us to give back to the community. In fact, since last season we have given the chance to 1500 young people, from across Quebec and the Maritime Provinces, to attend free games by giving out tickets to charities,” said Ginette Paquin, Vice President, Marketing Communications at TELUS Québec. “Some lucky people will even be selected for special faceoff ceremonies. We hope that junior hockey fever gets transmitted to younger generations this way.”
The QMJHL: A season full of emotions
Junior hockey fans will have a lot to watch this season on television. Télé OPTIK will broadcast 33 live games in Quebec, Baie-Comeau and Rimouski whilst Canal VOX will present about 25 games. Eastlink will be broadcasting from the Maritime Provinces with more than 20 games from Cape-Breton, Halifax and Prince Edward Island. Finally Sportsnet and TVA Sports will take control of national broadcasts. Other games might even be added in the calendar during the next several weeks.
The best development league in the world
Last June, in Pittsburgh, the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) proved once again why it is considered the best development league in the world with just fewer than 50% of its players drafted. Furthermore, 18 of the first 30 players chosen were products of the CHL, including Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting who was selected first overall. The sixth consecutive year that a CHL player gets this honour.
In all 19 QMJHL players were selected during the NHL Draft this year, and 2013 will be even more impressive. According to many experts, Nathan MacKinnon of the Halifax Mooseheads is likely to be chosen first overall during the Draft while other players such as Anthony Duclair, Adam Erne and Nick Sorensen of the Quebec Remparts, Zachary Fucale and Jonathan Drouin of the Mooseheads, Matt Murphy of the Val-d’Or Foreurs, Yan Pavel Laplante of the PEI Rocket, William Carrier of the Cape-Breton Screaming Eagles and Samuel Morin of the Rimouski Oceanic are likely to be chosen early on.
Some 2012-2013 highlights
This season, the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and the Gatineau Olympiques will celebrate their 40th season while the Val-d’Or Foreurs will be hitting a 20-year milestone. The Shawinigan Cataractes will play their 3000th regular season game on Tuesday October 30th, which will be the first time that this mark will have ever been attained by a franchise based out of one city. Several days later, on November 4th, the Titan will mark its 1000th game since its arrival in Acadie-Bathurst. It’s also worth noting that the Drummondville Voltigeurs might reach the 1000 victory mark during the second half of the season.
During the first game of the season, André Tourigny of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskie will become the first head-coach in QMJHL history to lead a team for an 11th straight season. Denis Francoeur had helf the title with the Cataractes for 10 consecutive seasons prior to that. Patrick Roy (Quebec Remparts), Eric Veilleux (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) and Yanick Jean (Victoriaville Tigres) will mark their 500th game as head-coaches in the QMJHL during this season.
Subway Super Series
The Armada’s Centre d’Excellence Sports Rousseau will host Game 1 of the series on Monday, November 5, with Game 2 of the series to be played at Centre airCreebec in Val-d’Or on Wednesday, November 7, 2012.
The 2012 SUBWAY Super Series marks the tenth straight year that regional teams of CHL All-Stars will compete against the Russian National Junior Team as part of a six-game series. Last season the CHL edged Team Russia with a 3-2-1 record to win the series by a 10-8 margin in points, just one year following Russia’s first ever series victory in 2010. Canada and Russia would later meet at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship hosted by Calgary and Edmonton, AB, with Russia winning the semi-final contest with a roster that included 16 players from this event. 19 CHL players from the 2011 event competed on the bronze medal winning Team Canada.
All six games of the SUBWAY Super Series will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet with TVA Sports televising both games from the QMJHL.
Home Hardware Top Prospects Game
The 2013 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will be held for the first time in its history in the Maritimes at the Halifax Metro Centre, home of the Mooseheads, on Wednesday January 16, 2013. The 2013 edition will mark the 18th annual showcase of the CHL’s top-40 NHL draft eligible players featuring talent from the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Next season will mark the second time the game will be hosted by the QMJHL following the 2007 event in Quebec City. Since the event was first introduced in 1996 the game has featured 10 players that were selected with the first overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft including Chris Phillips, Joe Thornton, Vincent Lecavalier, Rick Nash, Marc-Andre Fleury, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Taylor Hall, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who was one of 19 CHL players from the 2011 event that were selected among the record 21 CHL players chosen in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
A big year for new partnerships
The QMJHL welcomed several new partners over the course of the summer who will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the overall product, its players and fans.
Individualised Development Program
Following the Molson Export Quebec Hockey Summit, an independent Technical Commission was created and was mandated to define the orientation of the Individualised Development Program (IDP) and to make recommendations to the League. With the assistance of this Commission, the League concluded partnerships with Asentri, Carré Technologies and Vêtements BODYHYPE to put in place pilot projects with the Sherbrooke Phoenix and the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
Asentri’s goal will be to elaborate a solution which will ensure the development of the player, both as an athlete and a student, while following the guidelines set forth by le Ministère de l’Éducation, du loisir et du sport (MELS) through the creation of a registry of sporting accidents and injuries. Asentri will also look to deploy a test-solution for the IDP.
BODYHYPE & Carré Technologies
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is proud to announce that BODYHYPE, a manufacturer of sporting uniforms in Quebec, will partner with the IDP to produce a new BODYHYPE sensor.
Armed with HEXOSKIN technology which records, manages and analyzes physiological data deemed to be necessary for the IDP, the BODYHYPE SENSOR will play a crucial role in the development of player performance profiles for each athlete. The HEXOSKIN technology which was developed in Quebec by Carré Technologie is integrated in the BODYHYPE SENSOR apparel and specifically adapted for the sport. This partnership equips the League with a complete performance and physical conditioning athlete evaluation system while helping the QMJHL put protocols in place for players coming back from injury.
QMJHL Central Scouting
RinkNet has come to terms on an agreement with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. QMJHL Central Scouting will use the software’s functionalities to evaluate midget players for its annual entry draft by keeping information on players, protection lists and schedules. The League will also use the company’s services on draft day enabling teams to select players in real-time with the help of RinkNet terminals.
RinkNet has become an invaluable tool for franchises and their staff in order to keep them well-informed and effective.
International Scouting Services
Moreover, the League has now partnered with International Scouting Services (ISS) in order to maximize recruitment practices in the greater New England area, the United States and Europe. The goal is to offer the best possible information for recruitment practices. ISS is recognized as a leader in information services for several enterprises.
Dr Michael Czarnota
Prevention of head injuries (especially concussions) in sport and particularly in hockey is one of the industry’s biggest challenges and is a subject of concern for all those involved. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s desire it to remain proactive in regards to the problems which can occur following head trauma. That is the main reason why the League has entered into a partnership agreement with Dr. Michael Czarnota, the official neuropsychologist for the QMJHL and the CHL. His role will be to assist in integrating ImPACT software. He will also be available for consultations in cases of concussions which can occur over the course of the season. Furthermore, he will train QMJHL athletic therapists and educate them on the latest trends and offer input and guidelines regarding neurocognitive testing programs, concussion recognition, post-traumatic evaluations and return to action protocols while offering contacts for in-clinic consultations.
Cortex Medecine and Readaptation
The League has partnered with CORTEX Medecine et Readaptation, the first clinic entirely dedicated to the monitoring and treatment of mild cerebral trauma. This clinic will also offer sports medicine services and therapy – support equivalent to what is offered at the professional level. The company’s recommended approach will follow the latest scientific guidelines when evaluating return to action factors following mild head trauma. A respected team of highly qualified professionals which includes doctors in sports medicine, certified athletic therapists, physiotherapists, neuropsychologists and kinesiologists.
Image of the League
Furthermore, the QMJHL has partnered with Danalco communications-marketing for the creation, conception, production and printing of strategic marketing and communication materials, including official League letterhead, brochures and signage. The company will also develop materials and programs to better the League’s branding practices and provide consistent media communication pieces and marketing tools.
The QMJHL continues its fight against breast cancer
The QMJHL is back for another round in the fight against breast cancer. The 18 clubs have been hard at work developing new prototype pink jerseys which will be worn by players during a game in October. Each of the game-worn jerseys will be sold, put up for auction or raffled off with the proceeds benefiting the Breast Cancer Foundation or a local chapter dedicated to the fight against breast cancer.
The QMJHL is also very proud to support Veterans’ Week for a ninth consecutive year. During Veterans’ Week, special puck drop ceremonies will be held in every QMJHL arena to honour our fallen heroes.
During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in Canada and around the world. The annual month-long moustache growing and appreciation charity event helps raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer. The funds raised are directed to programs run directly by Movember and men’s health partner, Prostate Cancer Canada. Together the two channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programs in line with strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research. Last year, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League officials, supervisors as well as league office staff raised a total of $4,410.
The Ambassadors Club under the presidency of Guy Darveau, has as mandate to gather QMJHL alumni and organise various events to strengthen the bond that unites us all: junior hockey. The League needed this type of group to create a feeling of belonging among alumni. The creation of the Ambassadors Club is a way to unite people that have in some way been part of the League. Former players, leaders, officials and staff are welcomed. During the September 19th press conference Guy Darveau alongside Gilles Courteau unveiled the Club’s logo.
New managers in Chicoutimi and owners in Val-d’Or
The QMJHL is proud to welcome the new group of managers of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens and owners of the Val-d’Or Foreurs. The group led by Laval Menard, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Alain Deschênes and Martin Lavoie was chosen among five candidates for the Saguenéens’ team. The radio host, former referee and inductee into QMJHL’s Hockey Hall of Fame presented by RDS, Phil Desgagné is the new member and governor of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens.
It’s important to note that the QMJHL’s 2013 Annual session will be held in Chicoutimi. The Montagnais hotel will be the headquarters of the event, the golf tournament will be held at the Chicoutimi Golf Club, the Draft will be in the Georges-Vézina centre and the teams will have their kiosks setup in the Agricultural Pavilion.
Furthermore, the group of owners of the Val-d’Or Foreurs, led by Daniel Massé, was also welcomed by the League. The former defenseman of the team, Alexandre Rouleau, is the new General Manager and Director of Administrative Affairs and Marketing.
The Commissioner also highlighted the important contributions of its major partner, TELUS. In addition, he thanked the CHL’s associate partners: Shreddies (POST cereal) the official cereal of the CHL and Old Dutch Foods, which has increased its involvement this year. He also thanked Subway, Home Hardware & MasterCard who are all coming back once again as major sponsors as well as BMO, associate partner and official bank of the CHL, Reebok / CCM, official on-ice partners, Irving, Graduor, Comfort Inn and Danalco marketing communications. Kijiji will also announce a partnership with the League on Thursday in Quebec City.
AirMedic offers medical aid and helicopter airborne services throughout Quebec. All QMJHL players will receive personal protection for the 2012-2013 season. This means that they will have a helicopter made available anywhere in Québec and be assisted by AirMedic professionals if required. The AirMedic team has advanced training in aerial rescue to cope with medical emergencies on the frontline. Rescue operations are launched from five strategic bases either in St-Hubert, Laurentides, Quebec CIty, Saguenay and Chibougamau.
QMJHL Hall of Fame – presented by RDS
Once again this year, RDS will present the QMJHL Hall of Fame during the League’s annual Golden Puck Gala in Montreal. Moreover, RDS will be present during the event with live coverage on its different platforms, on top of awarding a $1 000 scholarship to the RDS Recruit of the Year.
Of note, the 2012-13 regular season kicks off tomorrow as the Acadie-Bathurst Titan travel to Saint John to face the defending President Cup champion Sea Dogs. September 21st will be the inaugural Sherbrooke Phoenix game when they will face the Rimouski Oceanic. The Shawinigan Cataractes will raise the MasterCard Memorial Cup banner that same night when they meet the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
About the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s mission is to develop players for professional hockey while supporting them throughout their academic endeavors in order to mold them into responsible and educated citizens. It must offer high entertainment value within a profitable framework in order to ensure the continued success of its activities.
An important fact worth noting for the previous season: 545 players of the Canadian Hockey League were studying in postsecondary institutes on top of the 722 former players that took advantage of the various scholarship programs offered by the CHL. Over 5.22 million dollars were spent in scholarships alone last season. The CHL and QMJHL cultivate a real school of life!
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Source : Photi Sotiropoulos
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