Following the loss of offensive juggernauts such as Morand, Galipeau and Balmas, is it fair to state that the team has officially begun its reconstruction phase?
After earning the franchises’ first Memorial Cup last spring, the Titan enters the 2018-19 campaign without its top three scorers from last year – Antoine Morand, Olivier Galipeau and Mitchell Balmas. All told, the club stands to lose six of its top seven scorers from 2017-18.
“We look at it as a transition phase”, Titan General Manager Sylvain Couturier said. “We’ve obviously lost a number of key pieces [from last year’s team]. Every team goes through it. We have several good key players that are returning. We also have a solid base for the future [with young players and several high 2019 draft picks].”
It’s the beginning of the Bryan Lizotte era behind the bench. How will the new head coach leave his stamp on the squad during his first season?
After guiding the club to a national title, Mario Pouliot moved on to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies during the off-season. His assistant from the previous two seasons, Bryan Lizotte, now takes the reigns as the Titan bench boss.
“We’re confident with Bryan”, Couturier explained. “He has seven years of experience as a Head Coach in midget. He knows the league, and his experience as an assistant [with the Titan] will be an asset. To have Bryan right in our own backyard and be able to make him our Head Coach was a great thing for us.”
After winning the President Cup and Memorial Cup last year, what does the Titan need to do to keep a winning tradition going this season?
The Titan features at least eight returning players from last year’s title-winning club. Couturier feels this will play a critical factor in any success the team may earn.
“Our [returning] guys learned how to win”, he observed. “They know what to bring to the office each day to be successful. That type of experience is valuable. We have a good mix of younger and older players. We feel the mix will be good. We’ll see what we have at Christmas and where we are at and go from there.”