Re-launch of hockey in the province | Quebec hockey is preparing for its “revolution”

(Saint-Hyacinthe) “The ball is in our court. For Jocelyn Thibault, General Manager of Quebec Hockey, it is now his federation’s turn to organize his ‘revolution’.

Posted at 3:36 p.m.

Jean Francois Teutonio

Jean Francois Teutonio

Hockey Quebec held its annual general meeting on Saturday at a hotel in Saint-Hyacinthe. In particular, the report of the Quebec Committee for the Development of Hockey, formed by the Lego government headed by Marc Denis, was discussed.

The document, submitted in early May, offered at least 190 potential solutions to reviving hockey in the county. The focal point: “Take fun seriously,” or make sure you “put youth back first,” according to Mark Dennis.

The latter corroborates the statement of the General Manager of Quebec Hockey.

Me, what I want is for us to take the ball for a jump. Hockey needs leadership. The driving is up to you.

Mark Dennis

Minister Isabelle Charest, who is specifically responsible for recreation and sports, said she “agreed” with the recommendations contained in a pre-recorded video at the start of the meeting on Saturday.

But the parliamentary session has just ended. At the beginning of the school year, Quebec will be in election period. So we can’t expect major decisions, financial or structural, to be made between now and the start of the county’s next hockey season.

However, Hockey Quebec is already working on “concrete actions” for this summer. Among other projects, he wants a “national mobilization campaign”.

“One of the things that worries me the most is the players’ psychological well-being, as Jocelyn Thibault confirms in Journalism. All the stories we’ve heard this winter, the racist, homophobic, acts of aggression… We’re short on financial resources, but we’d like to raise the awareness of people at the county level about this. »

“We have to strike in the fall. It needs a change.”

So the main parts of the “reinvention” that Quebec hockey wants won’t start right away. That was to be expected, says Yves Seguin, president of the federation.

We understand the political situation. […] For our part, we will work. There will definitely be things we will be working on all summer. Once the government returns in the fall, we will be ready to work with them. »

“Gather all the players together”

For Mark Dennis, it is still essential to ensure that the report is not set aside.

Explains in an interview with Journalism. There is still a lot of material. We move wide. »

The head of the Quebec Committee for the Development of Hockey had outlined during his presentation. We want ‘more players’. We want to “keep them longer”. In addition to “providing a better environment for them”.

The issue of retaining the lead surfaced several times during the morning. Too many players leave hockey after adolescence, due to the lack of ways to play.

Yves Seguin wants “a union of all territory hockey players”. To ensure that you have a “top-down relationship”.

The solution can also go through college hockey. There are only three Quebec men’s teams (UQTR, Concordia and McGill) and three women’s teams (McGill, Concordia and Montreal) in the current network. This creates a brain drain to the US NCAA.

Archive photos of the sun

Marc Denis, President of the Quebec Committee for the Development of Hockey, and Isabelle Charest, Minister in charge of Recreation and Sports.

“We found there was a gap,” Mark Dennis explains.

“The goal is to eventually get into a college league,” says Stéphane Auger, who is responsible for development and hockey operations at RSEQ.

This is one of the most important recommendations from a financial point of view in the report. Could such an investment become an obstacle to implementing this idea?

“It depends on what level they want to participate in,” Auger says. […] But the benefit is there. »

“Ideally, it would be as soon as possible,” he answers questions about a possible timeline. In the medium term, sure. We have already begun to work at this level. »

For Yves Seguin, “partial shoes have to follow the cut” at the government level. A concept shared by all.

“Of course there will be cases that will not see the light, acknowledges Mark Dennis. We will not strike for 1000. It is impossible. »

Is he disappointed that the CAQ has not yet begun to implement the recommendations?

“There is no disappointment yet,” he said, before drawing a mischievous smile. We’ll talk about it in a year or two. »

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