Hockey under construction | The Journal of Montreal

A 50-page report, nine key priorities, some sixty recommendations and no less than 190 possible solutions… The Quebec Commission for Hockey Development proposes a good project to give something back to the national sport of Quebecers. nobility.

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The 15-member committee formed last November presented its report titled “Hockey, Our Passion” in Quebec City on Thursday.

Former goalkeeper and now analyst Marc Denis, who chairs the committee, revealed the main points of this document, which is moving in different directions, along with the Minister of Education and the Minister responsible for the status of women, Isabel Charest.

Denis mentioned a few times that we should ‘take fun seriously’ and listed several elements that could shake up the current culture by tilting it towards the pleasure of practicing sports.


The chairman of the Quebec Commission for the development of hockey in Quebec, Marc Denis, and the Minister of Education responsible for recreation and sports, Isabelle Charest, presented their report on Thursday after several months of consultation.

Photo QMI Agency, Marcel Tremblay

The chairman of the Quebec Commission for the development of hockey in Quebec, Marc Denis, and the Minister of Education responsible for recreation and sports, Isabelle Charest, presented their report on Thursday after several months of consultation.

Starting school skating as part of primary school, abolishing statistics and rankings for children under 13, and tax breaks to improve the accessibility of hockey for all social classes are just some of the proposed measures. †

“I really like the idea of ​​focusing on fun again,” said Minister Charest.

“One thing is certain, we are not going to put this report on the shelf and we are determined to act on it quickly,” she said.

Padless youth

During his presentation, Marc Denis repeatedly mentioned that 13.6% of players who make it to the NHL are not drafted. “In Quebec, too often these players don’t have a path,” he said.

In order to alleviate this problem, which mainly affects young people aged 17 and 18, the committee again proposes a number of avenues, including the creation of a university circuit and the creation of a national center for young people who cannot find their place in the QMJHL .

Para hockey and women’s hockey would also be targeted for the implementation of national programs.


The committee also noted that 1.7 times the population of Quebec, Ontario, relies on eight times more female players, an abnormal phenomenon.

“In recent years, there have been worrisome signals about the sport we so cherish. Quebec hockey is about to change, to evolve for the better. The committee has thought about how hockey can be brought into the modern age”, Ms Charest delighted.

However, there is no doubt that we should turn to the model of the US under-18 development program, which, in the eyes of Marc Denis, mostly benefits “the most privileged young people”.

Important investments

The latter and his acolytes stressed the importance of establishing a registry of arenas in Quebec and investing in aging infrastructure, especially by paying more attention to covered and refrigerated ice rinks, which are cheaper.

However, adding various tax measures to ease the parental burden of registration fees and other related costs could add to the bill for the government and taxpayers.

“It will be important to give ourselves the means for our ambitions,” Denis insisted, as Minister Charest pulled out her skates.

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“We received the report on April 22 and we do not yet have all the ins and outs on how we are going to implement the various recommendations. We sit around the table, consult with the partners, set priorities and quantify them. There are big financial commitments and we’ll see what happens after that,” she said.

And the NHL?

And whether all of this work will eventually see more Quebecers break into the NHL, Marc Denis is clearly optimistic.

“The short answer is yes, we think these recommendations will bring more Quebecers to the NHL, even if that wasn’t the primary goal. The primary goal is to have more of them, to be better supervised and in a better environment, so that they stay attached to hockey longer, so we give ourselves better opportunities.”

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