Cornwall River Kings name Robert Desjardins as head coach

(For Immediate Release)

There’s a new King in town.

Wasting no time in finding a replacement for the surprising leave of Jean Francois Labbe, the Cornwall River Kings announced today that they hired Robert Desjardins as their new head coach. Labbe left the team following a job offer near his hometown in Quebec.

1173754_10151540224797204_842303894_nRobert Desjardins is no stranger to the hockey world and to Quebec hockey in general. When it comes to coaching, Robert “Bob” Desjardins will bring leadership, character and hard work to the team. He already brings coaching experience having been the bench boss for the Marquis de Jonquiere and the former Saint Hyacinthe Chiefs of the LNAH.

Desjardins is a hockey man who has been around rinks a long time. He knows the business inside and out and will be able to provide the players the leadership and spark to ignite the team on the ice. After the long summer months of controversy, this could just be the thing the River Kings need.

Even more big changes are in store for the Cornwall River Kings as they enter their second LNAH season this September. This season is proving to be one of change, speed, and aggression. Be ready to rock the Ed Lumley Arena fans because this wild ride is just starting.

Cornwall River Kings new coach, J.F. Labbe resigns

JF Labbe. (Photo credit: Jean Doyon, Sorel Tracy Magazine)
JF Labbe. (Photo credit: Jean Doyon, Sorel Tracy Magazine)

Already dealing with a blockbuster trade that sent one of their fan favourites in Mario Joly to the Valleyfield Braves, the Cornwall River Kings were dealt yet another blow today as it was announced that interim coach Jean Francois Labbe has resigned.

Labbe had signed on after original coach Al Wagar left the team earlier this year. After viewing his coaching abilities last year  with Trois Rivieres, Cornwall felt he was the right fit to lead the team. In a phone interview with Jean Doyon of Sorel Tracy Magazine, Labbe made this statement:

“Last week, I received an offer I could not refuse. I am responsible for a Sport-Études du Triolet High School in Sherbrooke. I’ll take care of the Bantam AA team, in addition to courses in hockey concentration. This is a full time job that will allow me to work in my area.”

You can’t really blame the guy for leaving. Yes, he would’ve been an integral help to Cornwall’s second LNAH season but a pay raise and a chance to work close to family is an offer that nobody in their right mind would turn down. This has nothing to do with internal politics.

Winning the Calder Cup with Hersey.
Winning the Calder Cup with Hersey.

Labbe has had enough time in the spotlight with a very lengthy goaltending career. After completing his junior years in the QMJHL he went on star in the AHL with the Cornwall Aces, Hartford Wolf Pack and Syracuse Crunch among others. He even had minor stints with the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets. With no North American teams calling his name, he headed over to Europe and played in the German Elite League and in Austria. Last season, Labbe started his coaching career in the LNAH with Trois Rivieres.

The hunt is on for the next coach of the Cornwall River King. They better have a few in mind as training camp and exhibition games are slated to get started soon.

Cornwall River Kings: Examining the Joly trade

Late last Friday the Cornwall River Kings dealt fan favourite Mario Joly up the road to the new expansion team of the Valleyfield Braves.

maxresdefaultOf course, there was immediate backlash and who’s to say is wasn’t warranted. However, when it comes down to reasoning in a trade, you may never find out the real reason. Maybe management decided it was time to move on; maybe it was the player. You can speculate all you want and come up with a million reasons. (Hell, when Rod Brind’Amour was with the Flyers, he was traded to Carolina because Eric Lindros was having an affair with his wife. But I digress.) The fact of the matter is, what’s done is done and it’s time to move forward.

The River Kings are entering their second LNAH season this year. While they bolstered their line up last year to make an impact, things can change in an instant. With a wild and bumpy road that’s been the past few months and as a second year team, its only right to work your way up the league with experience and determination. You’re not going to win the championship overnight. Let me repeat that for certain people.

YOU’RE NOT GOING TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP OVERNIGHT. But, what do I know. Anyway.

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Yvan Busque.

In return, the River Kings picked up Yvan Busque and Sebatien Payette.  Busque was acquired by Valleyfield from St. Georges where he notched 26 points in 28 games. Compare that to Joly’s 16 in 31. (Yes I realize he was injured for the most part too.) Busque has put up solid numbers for his 4 years with St. Georges and a year long stint in Austria.

Payette just finished his junior career in the QMJHL with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. He’s a rugged defenseman who picked up 32 points in 54 games. A solid final year.

There’s more to a hockey team then just grit, strength and toughness. Case in point, Mario Joly. Joly was linked to the Coventry Blaze of the EIHL the past two seasons and it wasn’t because of his fists. Most leagues are trying to move away from that aspect. The game just isn’t the same anymore and it’s time people start realizing.

Whether you like it or not Cornwall won that trade. But what do I know right?

Cornwall River Kings trade tough guy Mario Joly to newly formed Valleyfield Braves

While this summer has been relatively quiet on the River Kings front, today was handed a piece of news in the form of a shocker. Tough guy and fan favourite Mario Joly has been traded up highway 401 to the Valleyfield Braves.

Although no official statement has come from the team yet, it was Joly himself who announced his being traded on the Cornwall River Kings facebook fan page.

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Joly is no stranger to LNAH rinks having spent the past four years in the league with stops in Saguenay, Windsor, Cornwall and now Valleyfield. Starting his hockey career off with the Hull Olympiques in the QMJHL, hockey has brought Joly all over North America including an amazing 2 year run with the Odessa Jakalopes of the Central Hockey League.

mario-jolyIn his one year he spend with the Cornwall River Kings, Joly notched 16 points in 31 games. However, he was more known for his fists as he wracked up 110 penalty minutes. It will be interesting to see who, if anything, Cornwall gets in return.

Just this week the city has agreed to keep the River Kings in Cornwall for another two years. Sharing rink time and space with the Junior A Cornwall Colts, Cornwall hockey fans should be delighted that they have two teams competing for them.

Training camp opens up for the River Kings on September 14th and 15th followed by four exhibition games at the end of September and beginning of October. Hold on to your hats Cornwall, it’s going to be a wild ride!

LNAH: Valleyfield Braves And Their Expansion Draft

The newest expansion team to come into the LNAH is the Valleyfield Braves who is sure to start a rivalry with their “down the 401” brothers in the Cornwall River Kings.

valleyfieldAt the LNAH expansion draft, the Braves aquired a total of 28 players from the 7 remaining teams. Here is who became property of Valleyfield and where they were taken from:

1. Cornwall River Kings: Karl Fournier, Shawn Collymore, Steve McJannett and Bryan Luker

2. Marquis de Jonquiere: David Masse, Pierre-Luc Emond, Maxime Daigneault, Eric Laplante

3. Riviere du Loup 3L: Jeremie Gouchie, Philippe Lauze, Pier-Olivier Pelletier, Drew Paris

4. Sorel Tracy HC Carvena: Alex Alepin, Bryan Main, Guillaume Monast, Mike Varhaug

5. St Georges Cool FM: Philippe Seguin, Cory Pecker, Vincent Grondin, Remi Royer

6. Thetford Mines Isothormic: Jean Charles Charette, Pierre Luc Lessard, Francis Lemieux, Eric Lecompte

7: Trois Rivieres Caron et Guay: Charles Fontaine, Michael Pregent, Anthony Mezzagno, David Rose

The Braves should be able to ice a fairly decent team from this collective amount of players. It’ll be interesting to see what happens on the ice in Cornwall this season.

All The Kings Men: River Kings 2013 LNAH Draft

Oh dear.  What a circus act it has been this past year for the Cornwall River Kings. First losing critical pieces in management, then coaching staff, it’s actually quite shocking that the team is still here in the first place. Of course there’s plenty of rumors swirling around but I’m not about to gossip. Instead let’s criticize one of the worst drafts I’ve ever seen!

Loic Lacasse. Cornwall River Kings. (PHOTO: Allison Papineau.)
Loic Lacasse. Cornwall River Kings. (PHOTO: Allison Papineau.)

First things first. Cornwall has a remarkable goaltender in Loic Lacasse. In case you’re not keeping track, Lacasse went 181st in the 6th round in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft to the Montreal Canadiens. And you want to know a fun fact about that statistic? He got drafted HIGHER then PEKKA RINNE. Rinne went in 258th in the 8TH ROUND.

And in case you’ve been living under a rock, Pekka Rinne plays for the Nashville Predators and was nominated for the Vezina 2 years in a row (2011, 2012). I don’t know about you but being drafted higher then a two time Vezina trophy nominee AND winning the league’s award for best goaltender says something in my books. But what do I know.

So we come to the 2013 LNAH draft with our heads held high. After all of this management fiasco, we are determined that we will be able to snag a few brilliant pieces into the fold.  And in the first round we draft………a goalie.

Sigh. Brilliant. 2 of Cornwall’s 10 picks turned out to be goaltenders. I wasn’t aware that our goaltending situation was in trouble.

Jonathan Zion. Chicago Express. (PHOTO: Farm8. Flickr.)
Jonathan Zion. Chicago Express. (PHOTO: Farm8. Flickr.)

Anyway, with the second pick Cornwall selected Jonathan Zion. A huge defensive  addition that will hopefully fill the hole left from Sasha Pokulok who is heading off to Russia next season.

Here’s the final draft order:

1) Josh Tordjman ……..Goalie
2) Jonathan Zion ……..Defence
3) TRADED
4) TRADED
5) Christian Boucher……Goalie
6) Carl Tatonetti …….Forward
7) Danick Paquette …….Forward
8) Brett Angel …….Defence
9) Myke Byrd …….Defence
10) Chris Ayotte …….Forward

 

Hey, it can’t get any worse. Right?