Thursday, June 19, 2014

News & Notes: Taking It Outdoors

The QMJHL and Shawinigan Cataractes announced on Wednesday that they will hold two outdoor games this coming January.

The two games will be played at the Saint-Tite Western Festival on Friday, January 23 against the Victoriaville Tigres and on Saturday, January 24 against the Quebec Remparts.

"This is the first time in league history that QMJHL players will play outside," said Commissioner Gilles Courteau in a release. “Outdoor games are great gathering events for a community and I'm sure the Shawinigan Cataractes, the oldest franchise in the League, will organize two great events. In addition, I would like to thank the Tigres and the Remparts who will collaborate in these inaugural games."

While outdoor games are new to the QMJHL, they have happened in the CHL before. But Shawinigan’s will be interesting because of its smaller scale. The facility will reportedly hold around 7,500 people.

If these games are a success, there will no doubt be more outdoor matches played in the Q in the future. From a Maritimes perspective, Moncton Stadium is by far the best option for a roofless contest. Having a weekend outdoors featuring Wildcats/Sea Dogs, Wildcats/Mooseheads, and maybe even an AUS or MHL game sounds pretty great. Just a thought.

Some other news and notes…
  • Jimmy Murphy, an NHL writer and radio talk show host, tweets that Gerard Gallant will be named the next head coach of the Florida Panthers. I personally don’t consider Murphy a terrific source, but you can make your own decision on that matter.
  • It was reported earlier this week that the Panthers job was down to Gallant, Dan Bylsma, and Marc Crawford.
  • The Sea Dogs website has a solid article on Alex Grant.
  • To the surprise of nobody, Jack Eichel has been invited to Team USA’s world junior team evaluation camp. The Eichel/McDavid showdown in New Year’s Eve is going to be something.
  • The MHL released the full results of their QMJHL Supplementary Draft today. Former Sea Dogs forward Nicolas Hebert was picked by the St. Stephen County Aces.
  • The NHL Draft is next Friday and Saturday in Philadelphia.

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