Gilles Courteau resigns, Mario Cecchini will replace him

Gilles Courteau resigns, Mario Cecchini will replace him


Political pressure finally got the better of QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau, who resigned last night. The Journal has learned that his successor has already been named and that it is Mario Cecchini.  

“I am no longer the commissioner of the QMJHL,” wrote Courteau in a missive posted on his Twitter account. When you have devoted most of your life to an organization, it is difficult to realize that the time has come to pass the torch. Although it is not an easy decision to make, it is necessary. 

“Furthermore, recent events have taken on such proportions that my family members were feeling the strain. To persist would have been stubbornness,” added Courteau. 

Courteau's deputy as commissioner, Martin Lavallée will act as interim commissioner until Cecchini takes office. 

Difficult week

Mr. Courteau is currently at the heart of a storm related to the initiation scandal in the world of hockey. Called to testify before a parliamentary committee in Quebec on February 23, Mr. Courteau answered questions from members of the National Assembly following the revelations of Radio-Canada on the request for class action led in particular by the former player of the NHL Daniel Carcillo and during which barbaric acts during initiation rites in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) were exposed. 

In the ensuing press scrum, the circuit commissioner revealed that only one of the 20-odd sworn statements in the class-action suit had been signed by QMJHL alumnus Stephen Quirk. , for events that occurred between 1995 and 1998. He then wore the colors of the Alpines, a team that became the Moncton Wildcats. 

“And there is nothing sexual in what is stated in his affidavit,” he assured the media. 

However, it was revealed a few days later that Mr Quirk's teammates had taken 'heating painkiller cream and they inserted it into [his] anus by penetrating [it] with their fingers. 

In an interview with the Journal on Wednesday, Mr. Courteau subsequently admitted that he had not read all of Mr. Quirk's sworn statement before appearing before the elected officials. 

“Should I have read the entire affidavit? Yes and I'm sorry I didn't,” he admitted.

Two days later, Prime Minister François Legault had added a layer of it by mentioning: “it is worrying, the contradictory declarations of Mr. Courteau”. 

Sucesseur Found

Before knowing that the commissioner was going to tender his resignation, the owners of the QMJHL had voted unanimously at the end of last week in favor of the candidacy of Mario Cecchini, according to our information. The latter currently holds the interim position of president of the Montreal Alouettes, a position he agreed to take over after the Canadian Football League placed the team under trusteeship and began the sale process. 

< p>Cecchini had been hired as president in January 2020 and had seen his contract not renewed last December. 

This is a certain surprise when these are rather the names of personalities from the world of hockey such as Marc Denis and Jocelyn Thibault who were mentioned. 

– With QMI Agency