That Kid From Austria – Ottawa’s Marco Rossi Impresses On OHL Day In Cornwall

Fall has finally made its warm greeting into Canada and you know what that means. It’s hockey season! After a dreadfully hot summer it felt great getting into the crisp atmosphere of a hockey arena again. And I started my 2018/2019 season with quite the barn burner.

The Ottawa 67s and Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League graced the City of Cornwall with their exhibition presence on Labour Day. It was the first time the OHL had returned to Cornwall since 1993 when the Royals moved to Newmarket.

I didn’t think I was going to hop into scouting mode for an exhibition game but after a couple minutes into the first, I was kicking myself for not bringing a notepad.

Only one player really stood out to me and that’s unusual. I’ll usually pick a couple guys on each team to look at but this time was different. I could only focus on one kid because he was just that good.

I went into this game blind. I’ve been away from the major junior world for a bit now so I didn’t know who was who on the roster. I didn’t know who to look for and I didn’t know if any of these kids were drafted. What I do know is that one kid stole the show.

Mf131db750823a6f50d71d513d4fd0be2arco Rossi is a 16-year-old centre from Feldkirch, Austria.

You read that right.

Austria.

And you know what? This kid is going places.

Unbeknownst to me, Rossi was selected 18th overall in this year’s import draft by this 67s. He committed early which tells me he’s serious about his future. Picking the OHL at an early age is a hard-enough decision to make for North American skaters let alone somebody from across the pond. Commitment is half the battle.

What I saw on the ice was something I’ve seen lacking a lot in today’s junior game. One is hunger and the other is a hockey mind. Marco Rossi was the hungriest guy the ice. He never stopped from puck drop to the game ending horn. Lazy he is not a word in his vocabulary.

He created space if needed and played with his head. Always thinking. He was constantly moving, looking for any opportunity to present itself. He went hard to the net and was one of the only few on both teams who consistently got in the front of it.

It seemed to me that his hockey knowledge is vastly wise for his age. The maturity of play from this 16 year old is astounding. I mean, he still looks like a baby. Even with that white turtleneck tucked underneath.

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At 5’9 and according to Elite Prospects, 156 pounds, Rossi just flew up and down the ice. There is no worry about cement skates here. His skating ability is right up there on the list of his greatest assets. His edges are so clean, crisp and full of speed. Don’t even get me started on his back check. Which brings me back to the hunger. His hunger for the game made everybody else look a couple speeds slower then normal. Kingston was slow to begin with so they looked like molasses out there whenever Rossi was around.

Another thing I liked about him was that he really wasn’t afraid to throw a check and follow through. So many guys don’t finish their checks these days so it was refreshing to see. There is definitely a hint of the North American style play in his game already.

Rossi clocked in the first goal of the 3-2 shootout win for the 67s. Again, Rossi made the space and the play for himself and provided quite the stick handling procedure and accurate shot. Rossi liked to shoot in this game so it will be interesting to see how he adapts in the OHL. Last season he notched 51 points in 34 games with the GCK U20 Lions in the Elite JR. A league over in Switzerland. That looks great on paper but it might be difficult to translate that into high numbers on North American soil.

Hockey prodigy’s coming out of Austria are not unheard of but they are few and far between. Austria has been a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation since 1912 when they introduced their men’s team. They haven’t claimed a medal since the men claimed bronze in 1947. They are at almost 10,000 players registered with 75 outdoor and indoor rinks in the country. Compare that with Canada who has 631,000 registered players and 8,300 outdoor and indoor rinks. You do the math.

 

 

The National Hockey League is home to a few Austrians. Thomas Vanek, Michael Grabner and Michael Raffl were likely dreamt about by a young Rossi as he skated on the rink. Is it premature to compare him to these fellow Austrian greats? I’d say yes if we were comparing styles of play. But if we’re just talking chances of making a GOOD career out of if? This early snapshot says he’s definitely on the radar. He’s already being lauded as a high pick in the 2020 draft.

What is going to help is he got picked up by a great team. Last year Ottawa was running near the bottom rungs in the standings. That’s a terrible position for the team but it’s great news for a skilled player. More ice time to go around.

I’m hoping for the best with Marco Rossi. He got me excited not only about hockey again but major junior hockey in general. Let’s see how he gets settled with the atmosphere of being on a Canadian hockey team and everything that goes with it. Hopefully his energy and determination will translate well onto the scoresheet. He is a much-needed breath of fresh air on the ice.

 

Hey, has anybody made Marco Polo/Barber Pole joke yet?? Get at it Ottawa 67s fans!!

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An Open Letter To The Cornwall Hockey Fan

So Sportsnet is bringing its big shiny Hometown Hockey production to our fair city. Ron McLean and Tara Slone are lucky to be broadcasting from a city with such a rich and interesting hockey history. (And if you don’t know why, go do your research. Or have a chat with Thom Racine. You won’t regret it.)

Of course, that brings a smile to everyone’s face but I think we need to be reminded of some things.

Every sports loving citizen of the city of Cornwall should be well versed in the historical nature and importance the sport of hockey has had on it’s footsteps. A long and sometimes per petulant journey to win over the masses, Cornwall hockey is in a breed and distinction of its own. Not just because of players who have come and gone, fans who have cheered, cried or hell, thrown beer cans. But because of that face one gives you when you bring up Cornwall and hockey in the same breath. You know the one. It’s a mix of fear and more recently, a slight bit of disgust.

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But we love it.

We thrive on being the outcast. We thrive on being the unwanted. It’s how we grew up. It’s what we know. We left our dreams at center ice on the rinks in the parks of Mattice, King George, 8th Street, Optimist, and Reg Campbell among others. Throwing our sticks into a pile and one by one having them re-emerge as the National Hockey League player we were going to be that day. A select few of us were Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Joe Sakic or Sergei Federov. A player of a high skill. But most of us knew we didn’t have those kinds of hands. No, instead we were another set all together. We were Wendel Clark, Bob Probert, Tie Domi, Theo Fleury. Players we felt were one of us.

Some of us were guys we got to see every week. Mike Hurlbut, Serge Roberge, Josef Marha, Aaron Miller and Paxton Schulte each made us believe that Cornwall hockey will always have a place, however misguided and undesired by some it might be.

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The outcast and the unwanted.

There’s no better way to burst that stigma then to be an Ontario team in a Quebec league. I’m sure there was plenty of cursing going on when our Comets won the senior league championship. Only Ontario team in the mix and we proved our little city belonged with the big boys.

Not just us either. Our friends to the south own the distinction of being the Federal Hockey League’s first ever champions. I was there the night the Akwesasne Warriors won that Cup and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Turtle Dome that packed for a hockey game. After a brief absence, it was nice to have a winning atmosphere back in the community.

Lately, Cornwall fans have worn the distinction of being the unwanted with pride on a couple of occasions. Whether you agree with how some go about it or not, there’s one thing that never changes here. Passion.

And passion describes a very important part of the fanbase that’s fleeting. They’re the ones who sit in the stands and remind you of when they saw Maurice Richard at the Water St. Arena. Or when a then superstar kid from Brantford lit up the Ed Lumley with Team Canada. How about when Cornwall cemented its legacy in hockey history with back to back Memorial Cup wins?

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The Royals and their second straight Memorial Cup in 1981.

These stories need to never die.

And as much as we want to erase the River Kings fiasco, it’s now part of our hockey history. Its story very much needs to be told to serve not only as a reminder of how ugly things can get between a team, its city, its fans and more but to show that we never once lost sight of the fact that hockey brings us together in many ways. Everyone wants to remember the bad. Nobody wants to remember the good. And there was a sure lot of good things that also took place. What other fan base have you heard of that collected money to pay the players themselves? I bet that hasn’t happened often.

And some stories need to be followed.

With a solid developing system in place thanks to the CCHL, the Cornwall Colts will be churning out tons of collegiate players to the fold. Did I mention in our own backyard? NHL teams are looking at Junior A teams more then ever so it would be wise of the Cornwall fan to have their eye peeled on the ice. Speaking of Cornwall stigma, there’s one behind Cornwall hockey fans and the Colts. There’s no reason why one can’t take in a game here in there if you’re a hockey fan. There’s more hitting then you think. The Cornwall Colts fill the outcast and unwanted void more then words can describe. That’s not a good thing.

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(Photo: icelevel.com)

And new stories need to be told.

The Federal Hockey League, however wishy-washy it may be, has put trust in the Cornwall market. This is a special time for the Nationals and a special time to be a fan. You’ve stuck through every other team through thick and thin so why stop now? Stop saying things that will bite you in the behind if they come out blazing out of the gates.

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The Cornwall Nationals are a story that is waiting to be told. Who is going to tell it if there’s no one in the stands? No one in the stands to witness what could become a Cinderella story in the making. That’s the beauty of hockey. Things change by the minute.

So, with the news that Ron McLean and Sportsnet’s Hometown Hockey will be making a stop here in March of 2018, I challenge every Cornwall hockey fan to not be fake when you’re out there cheering and smiling for the big jumbo screens. Go to some hockey games in your city. Cheer on the Nationals, support the Colts, watch the Ontario Hockey Academy teams at the Benson Centre, check out the SLC Sharks as the go for the umpteenth championship, support the Typhons, support Junior B. The list goes on.

We live in a world that gets crazier by the day; sometimes it’s nice to have something like hockey to believe in.

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FORMER ROYALS CAPTAIN JASON CIRONE BATTLING CANCER

A former captain and fan favourite of the often-missed Cornwall Royals is under going a battle for the ages. Jason Cirone, the once hard shooting centreman at Ed Lumley’s center ice, has been diagnosed with an aggressive stage 4 cancer. Back in May, doctors found a tumor in Jason’s calf. Labeled as a rare but aggressive soft tissue cancer, myxoid liposarcoma, Cirone underwent five weeks of radiation in an attempt to stunt the tumor’s 59572-3342612Frgrowth in time for it to be surgically removed.

In the meantime, more tumors were found. Another in his calf and another in his chest, just below his throat. Both turned out to be malignant. The tumor in his chest was removed during biopsy.

Myxoid liposarcoma is a chronic reoccurring cancer. As seen from the incidences of how quickly the tumors have come about, doctors have diagnosed it as stage 4. There is hope however as myxoid liposarcoma may go into remission.

Jason Cirone played 4 years with the Royals and was an integral part of the team not only on the ice but in the locker room as well.  Notching 250 points in 189 games, the Toronto native was also a main driving force in the Royals playoff runs from the early 90’s. Drafted in the 3rd round of the 1989 NHL Draft by the Winnipeg Jets, Cirone played 3 games and managed a shot on net with a minor penalty. He then headed to Europe to close out his playing career.

As with most retired players, Cirone is currently in the coaching circuit. Cirone started assistant coaching in the NAHL and NA3HL before making the jump to head coach for Midland University. Located in Freemont, Nebraska, the Midland University Warriors play out of the American Collegiate Hockey Association.

Jason’s family has set up a Go Fund Me page for his ever-accruing medical bills. You can help with financial assistance by clicking the link below. Every little bit helps.

https://www.gofundme.com/helping-heal-jason-cirone

Cornwall is rooting for you Jason!

Once a Royal, always a Royal.

Protect The Nation: Cornwall Nationals And Their Big Off Ice Turn Around

Well look at what we have here Cornwall, a REAL hockey team.

Relax, I’m not talking about on the ice.

Even though the Cornwall Nationals sit in the bottom rungs in the Federal Hockey League standings, the turnaround this organization has had off the ice is nothing short of impressive. This is what hockey in Cornwall has needed for a long time. A plan in what seems like it’s heading in a solid steer headed direction.

In the couple of weeks that have passed since GM duties have been handed to Basem Awwad and Kris McCarthy becoming Sales and Marketing Director, the Cornwall Nationals are finally making a name for themselves. Quite a few events of getting players out into the community have happened in this short period. It’s more then can be said for Cornwall teams in the past who were focused on events to make money. Of course, money is a good thing (they needed it to stay afloat) but players donning their jerseys and showing their face around town shows pride and a sense that they care about the city and not just the hockey. (Exception being the Colts. They’re all over town but that’s a junior hockey staple.)

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The Nationals attend the grand opening of Rachel’s Kids, House of Hope by Dr. Rachel Navaneelan

It shows longevity. It tells the hockey fans of the city of Cornwall that they believe that hockey can work here. They are determined to make it work and fans can look to them in joining the fight that is the long-term vision of hockey at the Ed Lumley Arena. Be it the FHL, the LNAH, or if major junior decides to knock on the door again, community involvement goes a long way.

This is what happens when you put real hockey people in hockey positions. People who are familiar with both the league and its players on a face to face level. They’ve been around a few years, got a few notches in their belt and are not afraid to strive. They know what works and what doesn’t already.

In a recent interview with the Standard Freeholder, GM Basem Awwad mentioned that he was cutting ties with part time players and looking to set up player housing in Cornwall. Once again, someone with a straight vision for what is needed to help the team both on and off the ice. Part time players do nothing but hurt the team in the long run. The FHL is trying to become a legit developmental league on the path to the NHL. The Nationals also need to start attracting players from other areas then in our back yard.

"The Autograph Zone" taking place after a home game.
“The Autograph Zone” taking place after a home game.

The way this whole team and season was put together was very fast. I get that they needed big local names to get people in the seats and still do. It might be time to take a minor step back from that approach. You’re limiting your hockey pool by so much. At the same time, posting Facebook comments that complain about the calibre of hockey are probably some of the stupidest things I’ve read. You expect them to be top of the league all season with a team that was put together a month before the season started then complain about scheduling? Give your head a shake, this isn’t your precious National Hockey League.

I wish the team would have taken the season off to garner more community interest and market themselves before making the big splash onto the ice. Unfortunately for me there’s no time machine but I must say that I’m thoroughly impressed with how the new front office has a core belief system showing through. Players are having fun and when that happens, the fans will follow.

Time for me to take in a couple more games and see how we look on the ice now that my surgery is behind me. Look for that article in the coming weeks.

Fans, would you be interested in player interviews or stories about them? Send me a message on Facebook or in the comments of this Facebook post and I’ll see what I can do!

(Oh! And before I forget: #ProtectTheNation sounds better then #ProtectingTheNation. Just some friendly teasing. The new Nationals players will get used to me in a jiffy! Haha)

Another Era in Cornwall Hockey – The Revamped FHL

Hockey season is here again and once more we have another foray into semi-professional/professional hockey by the city of Cornwall. City council came out and said they don’t want to get into the “hockey business” but let’s face it, the name of the city is smack dab on the name of the team. Kind of have to go with the flow now. And they are. Just this week the city of Cornwall bought a rink board inside the Ed Lumley Arena. If that’s not a step in the right direction of a city giving a blessing for the team, then I don’t know what is.

But, why now? Well, for one, the Cornwall Nationals are in a completely different league. A league that has a bit more of a favourable opinion in the hockey world and a league that is trying to actually develop players to the next stage in their career (three FHL players signed with SPHL teams this week, a goaltender attended LA Kings training camp, some are on loan with AHL teams, and some have had ECHL try outs last year). It is not the same FHL that held the Akwesasne Warriors as champions. There’s no staged fighting and you’re not guaranteed a fight every game. I’ll let you decide on the quality of play when you see it.

14291702_184075755356901_2702889070874924457_nThat’s not to say you’re not going to get entertaining hockey out of this venture. Cornwall fans know how to make any team feel like Stanley Cup Champions no matter their record. You can’t deny the heart they put into saving the LNAH’s Cornwall River Kings and I expect that passion to continue with the Nationals especially since most are familiar with the FHL landscape. And for $13.00 a ticket? That’s cheaper then the Junior A Cornwall Colts for crying out loud.

Another thing worth pointing out with the Nationals is the crazy experience they are going have with their roster. A simple click on Elite Prospects can show you the average age of each team in the league. (excluding Cornwall because they are obviously not at full roster status yet). Luckily for you, I went and did this so you don’t have to: (Brewster either folded or went dormant for this year so I’m not counting them and St. Clair is starting up this year and in the middle of signing guys as well, as far as I recall.)

Average age based on 2015-2016 season

Watertown Wolves: 25 years old
Berlin River Drivers: 24 years old
Danbury Titans: 25 years old
Danville Dashers: 25 years old
Port Huron Prowlers: 25 years old

Most of the guys Cornwall has already signed are well above 25 years old and are coming off extraordinary pro careers. The majority of this league picks up guys just turning pro from junior or NCAA. Don’t get me wrong, there’s extreme talent happening in those two categories but you absolutely can not push aside the wealth of experience the Nationals already have in signing what, 7 guys already? Insane.

A lot of people brush me off with my opinions of hockey in Cornwall and that’s their right to do so. Just let me say one thing. The way this team is coming together in this league so far, I have my doubts that anyone will be able to stop them.
As long as the team doesn’t fold at Christmas.

Just kidding.

Check back once the roster is complete for a complete player profile and run through so you can have an idea of who you’ll be cheering on!

A competitive Cornwall River Kings? They just may surprise you

It’s felt like 40 degrees for the past couple weeks and doesn’t seem to stop for the foreseeable future. It’s time to start thinking winter and with winter comes hockey! In my temp neck of the woods of Cornwall, Ontario, that means it’s time the Cornwall River Kings to come gliding out onto the ice of the Ed Lumley Arena.

I’m sure you’re wondering why I haven’t written about them lately. I know most of you turned a blind eye to some of my articles when I was elaborating on issues and moves. (Hey, I spoke the truth and I was right.) However, it’s time to speak up once again.

Why haven’t I been writing about them?

Because they’re doing things right.

And it’s now, more then ever, that we need to praise them for it.

Now I can only talk about roster moves because I’ve been blocked from seeing things on facebook but for the first time in several seasons and maybe since the inaugural season, the River Kings are going to ice a competitive team. Overall, they’ve traded better, they’ve acquired better, they’ve drafted better and they’ve signed better. The brass has gone after guys with exceeding reputations. Likely the work of Bob Desjardins that I hope Rick Lalonde is exemplifying his valuable input.

Let’s take a look at some of the newcomers that are going to grace the bench of the very quite possible Big Red Machine of the Cornwall River Kings.

MARTIN LARIVIERE

Back in the beginning of June, the River Kings sent Maxime Vachon to the Thetford Assurancia in exchange for tough guy Martin Lariviere. Lariviere has spent his entire hockey career in Quebec having his Jr. A days with the Lachine Maroons and bouncing the around the old crazy Quebec senior league and the LNAH. It will be different to not show up to the arena in Thetford this season as spent the past 8 years with the squad.  However, it was here where he fine tuned his reputation as a pest and an agitator. While not a big lad, 5’9 on skates can be just as intimidating as 6’4. After leading the team in PIMs with 210 last season, you can look for the big man from Verdun to put up just as much.

 

OLIVIER CROTEAU AND JEREMY VIGNEAULT-BELANGER

QMJHL (LHJMQ) hockey profile photo on Prince Edward Island Rocket Olivier Croteau December 16, 2011 at the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec city.
Croteau

In the middle of June, the Kings acquired Croteau and Vigneault-Belanger from the Jonquiere Marquis for a draft pick. Heck of a deal I might add.

Croteau has a couple of really decent Jr. A seasons combined with experience from not only teams in the QMJHL (Gatineau Olympiques and PEI Rocket) but with Team Canada U-17 World Championships as well. At 6’2 and boasting a left handed shot that is much needed on the depth chart, Croteau will be a nice welcome to the younger guys on the squad and on the ice.

 

 

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Photo: Mariane L. Gelais

Another young kid that has QMJHL experience is Vigneault-Belanger. A season with the Quebec Ramparts was enough to cross over into the LNAH territory. Two years ago he put up 58 points in 38 games with St. Georges. Last year while bouncing between St. Georges and Jonquière, Vigeanaut-Belanger was almost a point a game player with 35 in 38 games. Given the right players to play with him, this kid could turn out to be something.

 

LOU DICKENSON

When Dickenson retired from pro hockey earlier this off-season I shook my head when the River Kings drafted him. (I still forget that the LNAH is semi-pro!) I knew how great of a player he is and was equally excited and disappointed at his retirement. After I finally realized my mistake, I jumped for joy and wondered how the hell the Kings pulled this off.

ag_HLh5lDickenson, who you may remember from CBC’s Making the Cut back in the early 2000s, has had a huge and lengthy pro career that has taken him almost everywhere. Well, at least all over Europe. He’s a scoring machine which is definitely needed badly for Cornwall. Even if those European clubs are sometimes a lesser calibre it is not a knock on Dickenson’s play. Those pictures out there with him in a gold helmet? That’s to showcase the top scorer on the team. Neat thing to have.

He played 13 games with Olimpija Ljubljana in Slovenia, crushed out 20 points in 13 games and took home the championship. Last season he spent it with the Dundee Stars of my beloved EIHL and went over a point a game. Another asset is he’s a big guy who can skate and can hold his own. He’s another left handed shot (told you they need them badly) and accustomed to the bigger ice. If Bob Desjardins can put a smart right winger who isn’t flashy and sticks to the little things on his line combined with the smaller ice, Dickenson will be scoring for days in this league.

 

JEFF LEGUE

Legue_Lifts_the_TrophyIf you’re a hockey fan that lives in Cornwall and don’t know who the hell Jeff Legue is then I’m sorry, you need to get out to the rink more. Legue, who has reached legendary status in Sheffield, England, had decided to retire from pro hockey and move back home to Cornwall with his family. It was obviously a no brainer that a conversation about playing for the River Kings was going to come up at some point. I’m not going to ramble about how much Legue’s hockey means to the city (and to the country of England) because like I said, if you don’t know then there’s a problem. But if you do want to brush up on his career, have a read at a sort of biography I did with him a couple yeas ago. You can check it out here:  Jeff Legue: Two Cities and the Sport of Hockey

I can truly say with all honesty that for the first time in a while it is an exciting time to be a Cornwall River Kings fan. They celebrate a milestone this season in turning 5. I hope we can look forward to different events and celebrations to mark this feat. Maybe there’s a 5th Anniversary patch in the works?  Who’d ever thought we’d last this long? Who knows.

What I do know is it’s only 3 more months until you can start chanting “Go Kings Go.”

Is It Time For A Cornwall River Kings Mutiny?

(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.)

CORNWALL’S EASTERN CANADA ALL STAR CHALLENGE ROSTERS REVEALED

An exciting three day tournament is being held in the city of Cornwall, Ontario that is sure to showcase the best of Junior A hockey this side of the Manitoba border. The Eastern Canada All Star Challenge is set to take place November 16-18 at the Benson Centre.

Returning to it’s founding league of the CCHL, the Challenge is slated to have numerous NCAA and NHL scouts in attendance to watch the nine teams battle it out. The CCHL will supply two teams, Team Yzerman and Team Robinson with Cornwall Colts bench boss Ian MacInnis headmanning the latter. The Nothern Ontario Hockey League will send one along with the Quebec and Maritime Junior Hockey Leagues.

The Ontario Junior Hockey League based in and around Toronto will send four squads to Cornwall, a total of 80 players with 20 of those committed to Division 1 NCAA schools.

The round robin begins on Monday the 16th with the QJHL taking on OJHL Team Coffey at 6pm. For more info, head on over to www.centraljuniorhockeyleague.ca

The complete rosters are as follows:

CCHL TEAM YZERMAN

LAST NAME FIRST NAME MONTH-DAY-YR POS SHOT HT WT NCAA STATUS CURRENT TEAM
Coughlin Ryan April 19 1997 G L 6-1 188 Cumberland
Andriano Ian August 11 1996 G L 6-0 186 Ottawa
White Cameron March 12 1997 D L 6-2 187 Ottawa
Joseph Marcus May 8 1997 D L 5-8 181 Sacred Heart (17-18) Carleton Place
Lawson Geoffrey May 15 1997 D L 5-11 195 Robert Morris (17-18) Ottawa
Kovacevic Johnathan July 12 1997 D R 6-3 217 Merrimack (17-18) Ottawa
Rappleyea Sean February 3 1995 D R 5-10 177 Ottawa
List Cale August 8 1998 D L 6-2 193 Umass Lowel (17-18) Pembroke
Croteau Louis-Charles May 9 1996 F R 5-8 176 Kanata
Vella Paul March 2 1996 F L 5-9 178 Gloucester
Billings Jack October 4 1995 F R 5-9 182 Brockville
Mereiles Greg January 1 1999 F R 5-9 173 Ottawa
Makara Branden May 22 1997 F R 5-9 174 Cumberland
McCaw Luke May 31 1996 F R 5-11 180 Nepean
Cameron Shawn August 30 1995 F R 5-11 189 Cumberland
Blais Jesse April 27 1995 F R 5-11 189 Pembroke
Pearson Jim Dec 14 1995 F R 5-8 170 Ottawa
St.Pierre Maxime April 26 1996 F R 6-2 222 Carleton Place
Larose Michael Dec 13 1997 F L 6-1 187 Cumberland
Frechette Martin May 4 1997 F L 5-7 155 Vermont (16-17) Cumberland
 
NAME TITLE TEAM
Martin Dagenais Head Coach Ottawa Jr Senators
Sylvain Favreau Assistant Coach Cumberland Grads
Dan Sauve Assistant Coach Ottawa Jr Senators
Richard Dupuy Trainer Cumberland Grads
Carmelo Pugliese Equipment Manager Nepean Raiders
Sean Marcellus CCHL Staff CCHL

CCHL TEAM ROBINSON

LAST NAME FIRST NAME MONTH-DAY-YR POS SHOT HT WT NCAA STATUS CURRENT TEAM
DeBrouwer Evan Jan. 31 1997 G L 6’1 201 Smiths Falls
Point Colton March 7 1998 G L 6’3 220 Colgate (17-18) Carleton Place
Henry Jared March 21 1996 D L 6′ 188 Smiths Falls
MacMillan Chris June 13 1995 D R 6’1 192 Smiths Falls
Craig Ross Nov 1 1996 D R 5’11 186 Colgate (16-17) Cornwall
Grant Owen Jan 22 1998 D R 5’11 181 Vermont (17-18) Carleton Place
Wichers Quinn Aug 19 1997 D L 6’4 215 Kemptville
Russell Cameron Aug 25 1995 D L 5’11 175 Kemptville
Curran Johnny March 14 1995 F R 5’9 175 Western Michigan (16-17) Smiths Falls
Batt Lucas May 4 1996 F L 5’11 194 Carleton Place
Larson Jordan May 13 1995 F L 5’9 191 Alabama-Huntsville (16-17) Carleton Place
Murray Brett July 20 1998 F L 6’5 211 Penn State (17-18) Carleton Place
Cooper Grant July 20 1996 F L 6’0 180 Dartmouth (17-18) Cornwall
Lalonde Nick Jan 30 1998 F R 5’9 168 Cornwall
Spink Tanner Sept 4 1996 F L 5’10 175 Cornwall
Folkes Liam Feb 26 1996 F R 5’8 167 Penn State (16-17) Brockville
Tackett Jason Aug 13 1995 F L 5’11 177 Ferris State (16-17) Kemptville
Tugnutt Matt May 14 1996 F L 5’10 181 Kemptville
Cyr Jonathan May 4 1996 F L 6’1 213 Hawkesbury
Van Horn Bryce May 3 1996 F R 6,0 199 Carleton Place
 
NAME TITLE TEAM
Ian MacInnis Head Coach Cornwall Colts
Mark Grady Assistant Coach Smiths Falls
Rick Dorval Assistant Coach Hawkesbury Hawks
Sheldon Adams Trainer Nepean Raiders
Sean Marcellus CCHL Staff CCHL

TEAM MHL

LAST NAME FIRST NAME MONTH-DAY-YR POS SHOT HT WT NCAA STATUS TEAM
Sommers Tanner May 13 1998 G L 5-10 150 Miramichi Timberwolves
Mann-Dixon Blade April 29/1997 G L 5-7 150 Valley Wild
Bernier Alexandre May 26 1997 D R 5-9 160 Dieppe Commandos
Baggs Riley May 5 1997 D R 6-2 175 Truro Bearcats
Paul Matthew May 7 1997 D R 6-0 173 Amherst Ramblers
Dower Lee April 26 1996 D L 5-11 180 Miramichi Timberwolves
Morgan Matthew October 3 1997 D R 5-9 170 Pictou Weeks Crushers
Poirier Michael August 31 1995 D L 6-1 195 Dieppe Commandos
Banville Eddie July 30 1997 F L 5-9 150 Campbelltpn Tigers
Barron Matt March 25 1999 F R 5-10 170 Yarmouth Mariners
MacLeod Gregor June 7 1998 F L 5-11 160 Campbellton Tigers
Hastings Curtis December 27 1996 F L 5-9 170 County Aces
King Sammy May 11 1998 F L 5-9 165 Woodstock Slammers
Deacon John April 8 1995 F R 6-0 175 Valley Wildcats
Erbs Johnny April 9 1996 F L 5-8 177 Woodstock Slammers
Shatford Josh December 3 1996 F R 5-9 180 South Shore Lumberjacks
Stavert Thomas February 20 1995 F L 5-10 185 Summerside Western Capitals
Young Ricky March 19 1996 F L 5-11 180 County Aces
Bridges Blaize February 7 1995 F R 5-8 175 Summerside Western Capitals
Soper Jimmy May 19 1995 F L 6-1 175 Truro Bearcats
NAME TITLE TEAM
Dave Ritcey President NOJHL
Shawn Evans Coach Truro Bearcats
Nick Greenough Coach Valley Wildcats
Josh Heptich Coach County Aces
Ashley Merrithew Athletic Therapist Dieppe Commandos
Steve Lindsay Equipment Manager Truro Bearcats

TEAM LHJQ

LAST NAME FIRST NAME MONTH-DAY-YR POS SHOT HT WT NCAA STATUS TEAM
Dube-Rochon Sebastien July 13 1995 G 5-11 190
Labrecque Brady February 13 1997 G 6-0 176
Fillion Jonathan August 24 1996 D 5-10 177
Larouche Keven April 19 1996 D 6-0 188
Cote William March 14 1997 D 5-9 190
Amyot Mathieu July 12 1996 D 6-3 220
Marcotte David February 17 1995 D 5-11 180
Michaud Edouard September 22 1997 F 6-0 172
Brennan Joey May 1 1997 F 5-7 160
Ouelett Jonathan February 10 1997 F 5-11 185
Caron Joel May 1 1996 F 5-6 172
Boullion Marc-Antoine Februray 16 1995 F 5-10 170
Auger Jeremy March 28 1996 F 5-8 175
St-Hilaire Deven March 3 1995 F 6-0 180
Bernier Justin September 16 1997 F 5-7 150
Pouliot Antoine June 21 1996 F 6-2 200
Lapierre Tommy November 8 1996 F 5-11 190
Beaulieu Jean-Philippe May 19 1996 F 6-1 190
Plante Maxime August 15 1996 F 6-1 175
Boucher Felix November 23 1995 D 6-3 200
NAME TITLE TEAM
Pierre Petroni Head Coach
Jean-Philippe Hamel Assistant Coach
Gianni Cantini Assistant Coach
Stephan Blanchet Assistant Coach
Denis De Lafontaine Trainer

TEAM NOJHL

LAST NAME FIRST NAME MONTH-DAY-YR POS SHOT HT WT NCAA STATUS CURRENT TEAM
Forrest Garrett 07/07/1997 G L 5’11” 170 Powassan Voodoos
Lauzon Jamey 01/10/1997 F L 5’11” 175 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Arseneau Marc-Antoine 09/11/1995 F R 5’11” 170 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Pilon Darian 10/02/1998 F R 5’10” 170 Soo Thunderbirds
Jeffries Brett 10/06/1995 F R 5’11” 175 Soo Thunderbirds
Maguire Seamus 12/31/1995 F R 6’1″ 190 Cochrane Crunch
Mooney Ryan 05/05/1998 D R 5’10” 180 Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Chenier Bradley 01/20/1999 F R 5’10” 175 Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Bellini Jaren 05/22/1996 F R 5’9″ 180 Soo Thunderbirds
Desgagnes Adam 03/09/1997 D L 6’0″ 180 Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Nagy Eric 10/28/1997 D R 6’0″ 190 Powassan Voodoos
Harland Steve 05/10/1996 F R 5’10” 170 Powassan Voodoos
Campbell Nathan 04/27/1995 D L 6’0″ 160 Elliot Lake Wildcats
Boman Caleb 11/04/1997 D L 6’0″ 205 Soo Thunderbirds
Salerno Aiden 11/02/1995 D R 6’3″ 210 Soo Thunderbirds
Atchison Hunter 11/06/1996 F R 6’2″ 210 Cochrane Crunch
Peters Tyler 04/21/1996 F R 6’1″ 212 Powassan Voodoos
MacKenzie Alec 04/16/1996 F L 6’4″ 190 Elliot Lake Wildcats
MacLean Spencer 03/26/1996 F L 6’5″ 225 Elliot Lake Wildcats
Mackay Aaron 10/10/1997 G L 6’0″ 190 Elliot Lake Wildcats
NAME TITLE TEAM
Mike Mooney Director of Operations Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Kevin Cain Ass’t Dir. of Operations Soo Thunderbirds
Nathan Hewitt Head Coach Elliot Lake Wildcats
Scott Wray Assistant Coach Powassan Voodoos
Jason Young Assistant Coach Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Lisa Parise Athletic Trainer Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Carla Vine Athletic Trainer Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
Bryan Workman Equipment Manager Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Marc Hebert Equipment Manager Soo Thunderbirds
Robert Mazzuca Commissioner NOJHL

TEAM OJHL COFFEY

LAST NAME FIRST NAME POS. DOB HT WT S/C TEAM COMITTMENT
MASTERS Andrew G 25/May/95 6’1″ 210 L Georgetown
LATINOVICH Nick G 4/Mar/97 6’2″ 185 L Orangeville
CURRIE Tyler D 11-Feb-95 5’11” 173 R Toronto Patriots
FALCAO Jake D 3-Feb-97 6’1″ 180 R Wellington
PANETTA Jacob D 16-Jan-96 5’11” 195 L Wellington Colgate (NCAA)
PAUL Willy D 22/Jun/96 6’1″ 195 L Burlington
FERRARO Mario D 17/Sep/98 5’10” 160 L Toronto Patriots Western Michigan (NCAA)
DICLEMENTE Kristopher D 19/Jan/98 6’3″ 195 L Lindsay
CORIC Nikolas F 19/Jan/96 5’10” 175 L Whitby
HUDGIN Jon F 10/Feb/96 5’10” 180 R Pickering
HARDIE Daniel F 11/Jun/98 5’10” 170 L Georgetown
DICKINSON Josh F 17/Nov/97 6’2″ 185 L Georgetown
KEENAN Luke F 22/Jul/98 6′ 185 L Whitby
SEKELYK Chris F 6-Aug-96 6’1″ 200 L Pickering
BERETTA Thomas F 8/Apr/95 6’1″ 192 R St. Michael’s Michigan Tech (NCAA)
FARGEY Hunter F 23/Feb/95 5’11” 185 R Trenton
HANLON Danny F 3/Jan/95 5’10” 177 L Trenton
MORGAN Liam F 27/Jun/98 5’10” 215 R Trenton
JORDAN Noah F 8/Mar/97 6’5″ 219 R St. Michael’s
LATTAVO Thomas F 5/Apr/96 6’2″ 210 R Mississauga

 

Co-Coach:  Joe Washkurak (Mississauga Chargers)
Co-Coach: Brendan Taylor (Oakville Blades)
Athletic Therapist: Sarah Ditmars (Trenton Golden Hawks)
Equipment Manager: Derek Ho (Mississauga Chargers)

 

TEAM OJHL HAWERCHUK

LAST NAME FIRST NAME POS. DOB HT WT S/C TEAM COMITTMENT
COLITTO Nathan G 29-Jun-95 5’11” 170 L Markham
DURANTE Stefano G 4/Jun/96 5’11” 158 L Cobourg
DUNLOP Matthew D 31/Mar/95 5’10” 165 R Markham
BERNARD Matthew D 6/May/97 6’1″ 188 R Aurora Niagara (NCAA)
SMITH Adam D 6/Nov/96 6’2″ 200 L Newmarket Bowling Green (NCAA)
PIZZO Andrew D 8/Aug/96 6’2″ 177 L Buffalo
KUDLA Patrick D 2/Apr/96 6’3″ 185 L Oakville
LOCKE Kyle D 9/May/96 6’2″ 220 R Aurora
VALKO Brendan F 23/Jul/96 5’10” 165 R Markham
RAJIC Christian F 2/Jun/97 5’8″ 155 R Oakville
BOARD Drake F 8/Jan/96 5’7″ 150 L Aurora Niagara (NCAA)
MANTENUTO Daniel F 18/Oct/97 5’10” 165 L Aurora Robert Morris (NCAA)
RINALDI Anthony F 17/Aug/95 6′ 180 R Kingston
TONGE Colin F 10/Feb/98 5’10” 180 L Kingston Princeton (NCAA)
SPIVAK Aaron F 13/Jan/95 6′ 185 L Markham
WISEMAN Ethan F 14/Sep/97 6’1″ 190 R Orangeville
GARVEY Ryan F 27/Jun/96 6′ 190 L Oakville
STACK Connor F 7/Jul/95 6′ 180 L Orangeville
WORRAD Drew F 30/Jun/97 6′ 175 R Oakville Clarkson (NCAA)
RIGNEY Colin F 16/Aug/96 6′ 180 L Orangeville

 

Co-Coach: Dan West (Lindsay Muskies)
Co-Coach: Brent Hughes (North York Rangers)
Athletic Therapist: Julie Chiu (Aurora Tigers)
Equipment Manager: Harvey Boutilier (Toronto Patriots)            

TEAM OJHL NIEUWENDYK

LAST NAME FIRST NAME POS. DOB HT WT S/C TEAM COMMITMENT
URBANI Daniel G 21/Jun/95 6′ 200 L Trenton
McGRATH Jacob G 11/Aug/99 6′ 152 L St. Michael’s Sudbury (OHL)
OLIVER Blayne D 17/Mar/95 5’11” 185 L Trenton
ROY Brennan D 1/Nov/96 6′ 192 L Cobourg
O’HARA Jon D 2/Apr/95 6′ 185 R Whitby Mercyhurst (NCAA)
THOM Matthew D 18/May/98 6’3″ 200 R Georgetown Princeton (NCAA)
DUNN Sam D 11/Mar/98 6’2″ 218 R Cobourg
CAIRNS Matthew D 27/Apr/98 6’3″ 203 L Georgetown Cornell (NCAA)
SMILSKY Lucas F 26/May/97 5’7″ 160 R Orangeville
MAIOLINO Justin F 1/Feb/95 5’7″ 165 R Toronto Jr. Canadiens Niagara (NCAA)
URSITTI Nicholas F 1/Feb/96 5’8″ 170 R Toronto Patriots
BERGER Christopher F 14/Apr/98 5’10” 171 L Buffalo Brown (NCAA)
EVANCHO Zach F 2/Jun/95 5’8″ 160 L Buffalo Army (NCAA)
NICKSIC Tim F 15/Mar/96 5’10” 175 R Buffalo
LOCKE Brenden F 9/Oct/97 5’10” 176 L Cobourg
KIRTON Scott F 24/Aug/96 6’1″ 175 L Whitby
McLAUGHLIN James F 13/Apr/96 6′ 200 L Orangeville Dartmouth (NCAA)
TAYLOR Ryan F 27-Jan-96 6′ 180 R Whitby
BROWN Lucas F 25/Sep/96 5’10” 190 R Trenton
LEWIS Theo F 2/Jul/96 6’3″ 205 R Cobourg

               

Co-Coach: Mark Jooris (Burlington Cougars)
Co-Coach: Kirby Tokarski (Burlington Cougars)
Athletic Therapist: TBD
Equipment Manager: Craig Clayton (Oakville Blades)    

TEAM OJHL OATES

LAST NAME FIRST NAME POS. DOB HT WT S/C TEAM COMMITMENT  
BAGGETTA Gianluca G 31-Dec-95 5’10” 170 L North York
LOPAPA Daniel G 2/May/96 5’10” 175 R Toronto Jr. Canadiens
DeSOUSA Daniel D 14/Mar/96 5’11” 180 R Mississauga
TOPATIGH Derek D 3/Mar/97 5’11” 185 R Orangeville Princeton (NCAA)
COFFEY Blake D 27-Jan-98 5’11” 180 R Pickering
SZABO Jeremy D 7/Apr/95 5’11” 200 L North York
BRAND Justin D 12/Jan/96 6’2″ 185 L Whitby
O’GRADY Ryan D 27/May/95 6′ 205 L Cobourg
MORGAN Michael F 27/May/95 5’9″ 165 R North York
TEOFILO Joseph F 26/May/97 5’9″ 160 R Milton
SOKAY Ben F 24-Jan-97 6′ 175 R Wellington Niagara (NCAA)
GOMES Nathan F 23/Sep/96 5’10” 185 L Burlington
JEFFERS Jack F 21/Sep/97 5’11” 175 L Burlington
THOMSON David F 8/Oct/97 5’10” 180 L Burlington
VOLPE Dan F 19/Mar/95 5’11” 190 L Burlington
CAMPOLI Nick F 16-Feb-99 5’11” 174 L North York
TAKAMATSU Ryan F 23/May/97 6′ 170 R North York
BALES Jackson F 28/Aug/97 6’1″ 180 R Oakville Merrimack (NCAA)
KOSACK Josh F 25/Jun/97 6′ 185 R Oakville
BROWN Luc F 27-Apr-96 6′ 175 R Wellington Union (NCAA)  

               

Co-Coach: Jamie Caruso (Orangeville Flyers)
Co-Coach: Mario Cicchillo (Toronto Jr. Canadiens)
Athletic Therapist: Amanda Gilroy (Markham Royals)
Equipment Manager: Andrew Groombridge (Georgetown Raiders)                                                                                        

Tyson Spink earns Colgate University milestone

(Photo: Colgate University Athletics)

The Colgate University Raiders skated to a 5-2 victory over the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers on Friday night but it was a lone maroon senior that stole the show.

Williamstown’s Tyson Spink recorded two goals and an assist in the win with the assist coming on on a slapper from his brother Tyler. The three point night puts the senior into some select Colgate company.

Spink becomes the 51st player in Colgate history to reach the 100 career point milestone. He joins fellow local Colgate Raider, Jesse Winchester in the feat.

The Colgate University Raiders are based in Hamilton, New York. They currently sit third in the ECAC Hockey conference.

NEWSY LALONDE: TIME FOR THE CREDIT HE DESERVES

(Originally posted for the Seaway News on Sept 22nd, 2015. Reprinted with permission. Special thanks to Todd for reaching out.)

By Todd Lihou

CORNWALL, Ontario – Where would the Montreal Canadiens be today without the likes of superstars like Georges Vezina and Cornwall’s own Edouard ‘Newsy’ Lalonde?

To put it bluntly – maybe nowhere.

Lalonde enshrined inside the Ed Lumley arena at the Cornwall Civic Complex.
Lalonde enshrined inside the Ed Lumley arena at the Cornwall Civic Complex.

The fabled National Hockey League team that has won more Stanley Cups than any other franchise can, in large measure, thank the exploits of Vezina and Lalonde for helping to solidify a foundation of greatness that later spawned the legends of household names like Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau and Guy Lafleur.

“When he (Lalonde) was signed, all the other players signed with the Canadiens too, because they knew it would be a success,” said Andre Rivest, a sports journalist who specializes in history with La Presse in Montreal.

Ambrose O’Brien, the owner of the team, had hired Jack Laviolette to build the Canadiens and one of the first names on the short list of players was Lalonde.

“The name he really wanted was Newsy Lalonde,” said Rivest. “Without him, there would be no Montreal Canadiens.”

While Vezina has a trophy named after him, which is awarded to the league’s best goaltender every season, there’s relatively little else left for the likes of Lalonde – a man who scored more goals than any other Canadien from 1917 to 1922 when hockey had none of the stability and name-recognition of today.

lalonde2Perhaps that is why his exploits have been relegated to history.

There’s a small bronze plaque at one of the entrances to the Bell Centre in Montreal, the home of the Canadiens, that bears Lalonde’s name. His visage is also included among a row of others in a banner in the Habs locker room that speaks the immortal words: “To you from failing hands, we throw the torch.” He’s also a member of the ring of honour that circles the Bell Centre – the list of Canadiens players and builders in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

But that’s it. While other superstars have had jerseys retired, statues erected and numbers immortalized, Lalonde appears to some to be an afterthought in a city, and hockey temple, where former glory is discussed on a daily basis.

It was pointed out to Lalonde’s grandson Richard Quintal, who lives in Montreal, that Newsy shares some select company when it comes to the number he wore with the Canadiens, the 4 immortalized by Beliveau.

“Yes, but how many number 1s are up there?” said Quintal. “There are more than one number duplicates hanging from the ceiling. I don’t think it would be a problem.”

Well, kind of…and not really.

newsyThere is only a single number 1 retired by the Canadiens – Jacques Plante. The number 4 was thought by some to be “co-retired”…once for the great Beliveau and again for Aurele Joliat. But you won’t find Joliat’s name hanging from the rafters, only that of Le Gros Bill. Joliat attended the retirement ceremony in 1984 for Beliveau and got his own jersey with number 4 and “Joliat” on the back…but the jersey retirement belongs strictly to Beliveau.

In Cornwall the city finally got around to paying some respect to Lalonde, naming the paved entrance to the Cornwall Civic Complex off of Water Street ‘Newsy Lalonde Way’ back in 2010.

The dedication ceremony was attended by throngs of fans and Canadiens greats including Henri Richard and Rejean Houle.

CANADIENS FIRST SUPERSTAR?

Lalonde lived in Cornwall until he was 16, and then rode the boxcars out to Renfrew and Sault Ste. Marie to play hockey….when he wasn’t on the lacrosse field.

Before playing professional ice hockey, he worked in a newspaper plant, where he acquired the “Newsy” moniker and was regarded by many as one of hockey’s and lacrosse’s greatest assets of the first half of the 20th century.

“He used to say that he played hockey in between lacrosse seasons,” laughed Quintal.

lalonde1Lalonde scored 124 NHL goals for the Canadiens, beginning in the 1917-1918 season, including a remarkable 37 in 1919-1920 in just 23 games.

It is said that he even scored the first goal in Canadiens’ history in 1910. In the 1919 playoffs he scored 17 goals in just 10 games.

“Let’s be honest: he was a puck hog,” said Quintal, chuckling. “His goals versus assists is insane.”

Indeed, Lalonde ‘only’ had 41 assists in his five NHL seasons with the Canadiens. But he was also a champion, winning the Stanley Cup with the Habs (the first in team history) in 1916 as a playing coach. He scored 28 goals that season, in 24 games.

In 1950 he was enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Surely all that (and more) has to be worth something more than he’s received thus far by way of tributes?

“When you look at what he accomplished, it’s hard to argue against what he did in those seasons,” said Steve Dryden, senior managing editor of hockey content for TSN in Toronto and a sports journalist who honed his craft at the Standard-Freeholder in Cornwall before ultimately becoming editor-in-chief of The Hockey News.

Dryden suggested other great Canadiens from the era prior to the Second World War have had their numbers retired or been honoured in some way.

“You’ve got Howie Morenz – he was the Babe Ruth of hockey – Aurele Joliat,  why not Newsy Lalonde?”

one_lalonde07Quintal is a little blunter in his assessment of the team and the way it has honoured Lalonde.

“The team’s recognition of him is non-existent,” said Quintal. “Jean Beliveau once, many years ago, I was talking with him and he recalled me from Grandpa’s funeral. He said the team should do something for him.”

When Lalonde died in 1970 his Cornwall funeral was attended by most, if not all, of the Canadiens legends to that point.

But it was an event just a few years prior to that that may have set Lalonde and Canadiens just a little bit apart, said Quintal.

The Molson family, owners of the team then (and again today) made the decision in the mid-1960s to discontinue free tickets to former players like Lalonde. A rift, however small, was started.

“His lifetime tickets didn’t last his lifetime,” said Quintal. “He didn’t really forgive them for that.”

But in the same interview Quintal suggests there was still a connection with the team in spite of the perceived snub: “By the time my brother and I were born…he was already 64 or 65. He was always fond of the Canadiens. He loved the game.”

Would the lack of a retired jersey irritate Cornwall’s most famous hockey export?

Not on your life, suggests Quintal.

0newsy“Without a doubt, he was one of the most humble men you could meet,” he said. “He’d blush. To him hockey was his job…yes he loved doing it, but he was not self-centred to say he was the first (superstar).

“He’d talk about it because he enjoyed playing.”

To be fair, Lalonde’s is not the only debate the Canadiens have had to deal with when it comes to retiring the numbers of its stars. There’s been a campaign to have Toe Blake’s number 6 raised to the rafters. He enjoyed success and Stanley Cups on the ice with Maurice Richard and later as a coach.

Jacques Lemaire is the only player from the Habs’ dynasty of the 1970s that does not have his number retired. He notched 835 points in 853 games. Bill Durnan’s number one is missing from the Bell Centre rafters…all he did was win six Vezina trophies (there’s that name again) and serve as a first-team all-star six times.

Canadiens archives and team history manager Carl Lavigne said the Habs have done it to themselves in a lot of ways.

“Obviously we’re victims of our own success – there’s no way around it,” he said. “It’s just like the (selections) for the Hockey Hall of Fame. They’re dealing with the same thing.”

Lavigne shied away from addressing a specific question as to why Lalonde’s number has not been retired.

He suggested such a decision is made by a committee of alumnae, journalists and Canadiens owner Geoff Molson. Lavigne added no jersey retirements are planned for this season.

“They decide when to look at it, and when to review it,” said Lavigne.

In the meantime, the debate, not unlike the ups and downs of a hockey season, will continue.

If you would like to add your name to a list of people looking to see Lalonde’s jersey retired, click here to join a social media group with similar thoughts.