The end of Courteau, the nine lives of Cecchini

The end of Courteau, the nine lives of Cecchini


What do we usually do on Sunday? We cut ourselves off from the outside world, we relax. However, this was not the case yesterday in the small universe of Quebec sport. At 4 p.m., Gilles Courteau announced on his Twitter account his resignation as commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. At 5:30 p.m., my young colleague Kevin Dubé revealed that Mario Cecchini would succeed him. The king is dead, long live the king! 

Let's start with the Courteau case.

The pressure had become unbearable. Not just for him, but for his wife and children, as he mentions in his letter.

When the whole family is suffering, it is better to make the necessary decision.

Anyway, Courteau had no choice.

What could he have said in his defense if he had appeared a second time before a parliamentary committee?

It was painted in a corner since the publication by journalist Martin Leclerc, of Radio-Canada, of the testimony of Stephen Quirk, former player of the LHJMQ, who told of having been the victim of a violent and sexual initiation during his season rookie with the Moncton Alpines. 

His revelations contradicted statements made under oath by Courteau before government authorities.

Nothing to do

The league tried to save Courteau by appealing to public relations specialists. 

However, the excuse given that the ex-commissioner had not read the affidavit signed by Quirk in its entirety did not hold water.

No matter how much Courtteau repeated that he would not leave his post, he was cooked.

The storm redoubled its ardor.

Sports Minister Isabelle Charest has requested that Courteau return to testify in parliament.

The final nail in the coffin was driven on Friday when Premier François Legault said he would await the second appearance of Courteau before passing judgment.

Courteau had to bend his back a little more when he learned of Mr. Legault's remarks. He probably thought his dog was dead.

Sad exit

It's a very sad end to his career for this man who devoted his life to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. 

His forced departure calls into question the duration of his mandate. from the first leader to the head of a league. 

Not just for the QMJHL, but for all the sports leagues in the world. 

Twenty years, twenty-five years, thirty years, thirty-five years, forty years is a long time.

Too long.

There comes a time when a new voice and new ideas are needed.

Just in Quebec?

Ironically, Courteau is the first to fall by the wayside in the wake of the information that can be read in the class action brought before the Superior Court of Ontario with Daniel Carcillo as main spokesperson.

Judge Paul Perell dismissed the case citing technicalities, but the subject has been in the news daily ever since.

And it doesn't seem to be stopping any time soon!

But I ask myself the following question: if the government of Quebec deemed it necessary to summon Courteau to the bar, how can it be explained that the government of Ontario and those of the provinces of Western Canada do not do the same?

< p>Does that mean that what can be done in Quebec junior hockey is worse than in the rest of Canada?

Strange, isn't it?

Isn't it not in London that a young woman was the victim of a gang rape?

Hockey Canada and the National Hockey League are slow to make their judgments known about the culprits in this case.

Cecchini is still bouncing back

Let's move on to Cecchini. According to the information obtained by my colleague Dubé, his hiring would have been unanimously accepted by the board of governors of the QMJHL last week.

Was it the result of research carried out by the selection committee mandated to choose Courteau's successor or was the long-time commissioner expected to leave soon?

Hopefully the answer will be transparent.

No future with the Alouettes

Cecchini is like a cat. He always bounces on his feet. Looks like he has nine lives.

Sacked as president of the Alouettes by the chic and delicious Gary Stern shortly before the last holiday season, he was reinstated in his duties in mid-February when the Alouettes fell back under the supervision of the Canadian League for the second time since 2019.

It was however on an interim basis until the arrival of new owners.

Gold , according to my information, the executives of Quebecor who would negotiate the purchase of the Alouettes would have let Cecchini know that they would not retain his services if they became owners.

Can we deduce that this day is close?

The end of Courteau, the nine lives of Cecchini