(Photo: Robert Lefebvre)
Enough is enough.
I shook my head at the decisions that were made this off season. Between drafting a player who had already signed for another league, drafting kids from junior A who 9 times out of 10 will play pro somewhere else in the world before the LNAH, signing guys whose highest level of play is junior B, and so on.
You can’t blame the players; they’re busting their asses no matter their skill level. But this is not a developmental league. You’re playing and drafting to win. Not to develop. And I’ve said it before but you’re either a hockey guy or you’re not.
Of course I was met with the opposition of “Give them a chance! They haven’t even played a game yet!” and rightfully so.
But take a look at the standings right now.
The River Kings, at the time of writing this, are 2-12-1 with a total of 5 points. Obviously last place. The next team ahead of them, Laval, currently have 17. Recipe for disaster? You bet.
You see when teams don’t win, fans don’t show up to games. And when fans don’t show up to games, owners lose money. Mr. Moreau said he needed between 1500-2000 fans at each home game just to break even this season. Tonight’s game (a 6-2 loss to Trois Rivieres), had not even 1000.
When Steve Moreau bought the Cornwall River Kings and became the fan base’s saviour, there was a glimmer of hope in the struggling semi pro hockey club.
That is until he kept Rick Lalonde as coach and gave him the General Manager position at the same time. Giving someone both of those positions is a HUGE red flag. Who, from a hockey mind or hockey guy stand point is going to hold him accountable for his decisions? Sure, he had his “advisors”, but he has the final say.
What’s he going to do, fire himself if things go sour?
Rick Lalonde may be a great junior coach and had a great junior career. But he is not capable of keeping a locker room at the pro level in the LNAH. Former players have expressed to me their distaste of his coaching style. If it would be one thing if it was just one or two guys, but I could ice a full line of players.
Some trades have been made for a couple of up and comers, which is great and a positive step in the right direction. However, I feel it might be too late. Not just for the season but the team in general. I’d say to prove me wrong but how many times have I said it in the past? Something needs to be done. The hardcore fans who have stuck by this team through thick and thin don’t deserve this.
Where the hell is Steve Simoes when you need him?
(P.S. I know I shouldn’t have to say this but I know people will twist my words. This is nothing personal against Rick Lalonde, obviously. It’s strictly hockey.)