MONTREAL, Wednesday, April 1, 2009 - The Golden Puck Awards Gala, which underlines the exceptional seasons of the QMJHL’s elite, was held tonight at the Hyatt-Regency Hotel in downtown Montreal. In addition to the twelve trophies which were handed out to the most deserving players, four hockey legends were inducted into the Hall of Fame, presented by RDS.
"Tonight, we celebrate the careers of four hockey legends, individuals who left their mark on Quebec Major Junior Hockey League history," said Michel Côté, the President of the QMJHL Hall of Fame Committee. "We have the pleasure of inducting three players and one official: Lucien Deblois, Marc Fortier, Jean Gagnon and Richard Trottier. I would like to welcome them to this prestigious institution and congratulate them on a well-deserved honour."
Here is a brief career overview of each inductee.
First choice of the Sorel Éperviers in 1973, Lucien Deblois played four seasons in the QMJHL. In his first season, he helped the Éperviers capture the Jean-Rougeau Trophy, which is awarded to the regular season champions. In addition, he was named a First Team All-Star twice: 1975-76 and 1976-77.
After a major junior career in which he collected 188 goals and 221 assists for a total of 409 points in 270 games, he was drafted in the first round (8th overall) by the New York Rangers at the NHL Entry Draft.
The right-winger played 15 years in the NHL for six different organizations: the New York Rangers, the Colorado Rockies, the Winnipeg Jets, the Quebec Nordiques, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens with whom he won a Stanley Cup in 1985-86.
Marc Fortier played four seasons with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens (from 1983-84 to 1986-87). During his career, he scored 164 goals and added 314 assists for a total of 478 points in 271 games.
In his last season, he was named a First Team All-Star and captured the Jean-Béliveau Trophy after a 201-point campaign. He holds the record for most consecutive games with at least one assist with 37. Moreover, he still holds the record for most assists in a playoff year when he registered 40 in 19 games in 1987.
Following his major junior career, he played six seasons in the National Hockey League for the Nordiques, the Senators and the Kings.
Jean Gagnon wore the Quebec Remparts’ colors for three seasons, from 1973-74 to 1975-76. During his career, he scored 34 goals and added 131 assists for a total of 165 points in 208 games.
He helped the Remparts win two President Cups. He was named a First Team All-Star in 1975-76 and collected the Émile "Butch" Bouchard Trophy as the League’s top defenseman.
He was named to the All-Star Team of the Memorial Cup Tournament in 1976.
Chosen in the 5th round (52nd overall) by the Indianapolis Racers in the World Hockey Association Entry Draft, he enjoyed a lengthy career (19 years) in the Suisse Elite League.
Richard Trottier was a linesman during the first five of his twelve seasons in the QMJHL.
He worked 380 games, including 86 games in the playoffs and 9 in the President Cup final, leaving a strong impression on the young players of his era. He has three Memorial Cup tournaments to his credit: 1979 in Trois-Rivières as a linesman, 1985 in Drummondville as a referee and 1988 in Chicoutimi also as a referee.
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) requested his services on two occasions to referee at the World Junior Hockey Championships: 1985 in Finland and 1987 in Czechoslovakia.
Following his major junior career, he spent 13 seasons in the NHL, refereeing 550 regular season games as well as 10 playoff games. He also worked the 2001 NHL All-Star game in Denver, Colorado.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)