At a time when the league could perhaps engage in a few days in a final involving two teams from the Maritimes – a nightmare of marketing, Gilles Courteau, was still wearing a broad smile Thursday morning following the press conference confirming the return of Patrick Roy to Quebec.
It is a real circuit that the QMJHL has just been hit with this news. Roy, probably the greatest goaltender of all time, takes his throne. There has not been a top seller of tickets in the province for at least two decades! His character boiling caused much ink to flow.
But it would be dishonest to summarize his impact only to his rants. Roy has always taken seriously its role as ambassador. Good weather, bad weather, he faces the music, it is available. So much for the media as for the hockey enthusiasts. A legend of this kind, which fully endorses this status, it has no price for a junior circuit.
Quebecor rubs him also the hands. Martin Tremblay could well bomber the torso in saying that its Walls have attracted more than 300,000 people in the Centre Videotron last season, a record of the canadian League, is that its great amphitheatre is often half empty. Quebecor paid a small fortune a few years ago to put the hand on the team. The return of Roy, it is beneficial to the four corners of the planet QMJHL, will first take to the red Devils. Count on them to use for their marketing campaigns!
A new approach?
At the counters, its impact will be automatic. On the ice, it is less clear. Before leaving the city Walls for the Avalanche, Roy had emptied the bank of choice of the organization. Philippe Boucher has not had optimal conditions to attempt to keep the team at the top.
The way hockey has also changed. Fewer Americans, fewer Europeans advanced in the locker room in recent years. As a result, the Walls have become a team like any other.
Roy said Thursday in a press conference have changed as a man of hockey. It will be interesting to see if he will agree to conform to the new policies of the dealership, or will he convince his employers to return to a more aggressive management. You know, there was a certain Alexander Radulov at his sides in 2006, when it raised the Memorial cup. However, Radulov was drafted to be the result of a questionable transaction with the Tigers, which has led to an investigation of the QMJHL, given that the Walls défrayaient the expenses of Jan Danecek, a player who has never belonged to!
During his first reign, there was also a parade in the Old Capital of the players who have impressed in the repechage. He has picked up Jordan Lavallee, Angelo Esposito and other Anthony Duclair.
With financial resources almost unlimited, Roy has always won more games than it lost between 2005 and 2013, including seven straight seasons of more than 40 victories. Its table of hunting is, however, not a lot less fleshed out in the series. A Memorial Cup as the second-guest team, not of the President’s Cup, a single final. He also escaped a lead of 3-0 in the second round of the series, in 2012.
Roy, of course, is a different man now. It has ripened. It has surely increased his store of knowledge from the NHL. We will see if it will directly influence the results of his team.
A short return?
One thing is for certain, Roy is back on the map by taking the decision to return with the Ramparts. Well beautiful Florida and the golf course, Roy is still too young to retire. He said it himself, there has been no offer or discussion with an NHL team since he slammed the door at the Colorado Avalanche two years ago.
His name circulates since one year as a potential successor to Marc Bergevin with the Canadian. However, the latter’s position has certainly weakened in the past few months. I wouldn’t be surprised if Roy did the calculation that it has more chances of landing this job by being active, if Geoff Molson decides to change the chef…