It’s the smallest market in the CHL. The organization doesn’t have the best track record or easiest time attracting the top players in the League. That was then, this is now. As the newly-crowned President Cup and Memorial Cup champions, the Titan is enjoying the view from the top.
The club’s success comes as no surprise to Sean Couturier and a few dozen local business leaders. Five years ago, the Flyers’ forward was one of the men who helped saved the team from bankruptcy by investing a great deal of money to keep it afloat.
“There were some tough years there for sure, but it was all worthwhile. There was so much work to do. The owners who took things over did a phenomenal job. And today, the enthusiasm has returned to the city. Now bringing two Cups to our fans is a special feeling that’s difficult to describe,” said Couturier, who is proud of how far the team has come.
Couturier is quick to credit the great job done by the business leaders, but shies away from taking any credit for success the organization is enjoying today.
“It’s not about one owner. There were 30 of us at the outset when we acquired the team. As for me, I watched it all unfold from afar. Between how far I live from Bathurst and the demands of my NHL schedule, I had no choice. However, in the offseason, I get as involved as I can, like today at the draft. In the end, it’s really their work that makes all the difference.”
A family success story
He spent his junior years with the Drummondville Voltigeurs, but his link to the Titan is simple: the hard work put in by his father Sylvain who happens to be the club’s GM.
“Since I was a little kid, I’ve seen my dad work almost 24 hours a day as he made trades to improve his team. It’s common to see him on the phone at 10 pm. It all takes a lot of time. For him, these two championships are the reward for all that work done over the years. I’m so happy for him.”
The page has turned
Things are already turning around for the Titan, this Memorial Cup crown has just officially ushered in a new era in Bathurst.
“There was a time where budgets were tight. Shareholders invested a lot in recent years. The plan was to take good care of the players and make it so that others would want to come play in Bathurst. Today, I doubt many players would turn down a chance of playing for us,” smiled Couturier, after glancing over at the two trophies placed in front of him at the Titan draft table.