Four new ambassadors were inducted tonight in the prestigious Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Hall of Fame – presented by RDS – in front of more than 350 patrons in attendance at the annual awards gala which was held at the Hyatt-Regency Hotel in downtown Montreal. Vincent Damphousse, Robert Desjardins, Harold MacKay and Martin Lapointe joined our hockey legends already inducted into the QMJHL Hall of Fame. A complete list of the inductees is located here.
“It is truly outstanding to look back at the rich history of the QMJHL and honour those who have made it possible for the league to flourish and grow” said Michel Côté, president of the QMJHL Hall of Fame Committee. “This evening, we inducted four important individuals who, in their own unique ways, contributed toward the expansion and notoriety of our league. These men are visionaries and athletes that have given their hearts and souls into the game of hockey. I’d also like to acknowledge and thank the other members of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee for their insight and support: Denis Baillairgé, Michel Gagnon, Marc Lachapelle, Albert Ladouceur, and Bertrand Raymond.”
Here is a brief overview of each candidate’s career.
Vincent Damphousse played three seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Laval franchise.
During the course of his major junior career, he collected 123 goals and 245 assists for a total of 368 points in 229 games; an average of 1.61 points per game.
In his QMJHL rookie campaign, he won the President Cup with the Laval Voisins.
He twice recorded 8 points in one regular season game (1 goal and 7 assists on February 25th, 1985; 3 goals and 5 assists on February 3rd, 1986) and 7 points in a playoff game once (3 goals and 4 assists on April 13th, 1986).
Following the 1985-86 season, he was named a QMJHL second-team All-Star.
In 1986, he was selected in the first round (6th overall) by the Toronto Maple Leafs at the National Hockey League Entry Draft.
During his eighteen NHL seasons, he collected 432 goals and 773 assists for a total of 1,205 points in 1,378 games with four franchises: the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Edmonton Oilers, the Montreal Canadiens and the San Jose Sharks.
While playing for the Montreal Canadiens, he won the Stanley Cup in 1993 and was the team captain from 1996 to 1999, succeeding Pierre Turgeon.
At the moment of his induction, he ranked 10th all-time in scoring amongst former QMJHL players who played in the NHL (44th overall).
Robert Desjardins played four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for four different teams: the Shawinigan Cataractes, the Hull Olympiques, the Longueuil Chevaliers and the Victoriaville Tigres.
He was named a QMJHL third-team All-Star in his rookie season (1984-85) and twice was named a QMJHL first-team All-Star (1985-86 & 1986-87).
In 1984-85, he was awarded the Raymond-Lagacé Trophy as the top defensive rookie. The following year, he won the prestigious Jacques-Plante Trophy after registering the best goals-against-average. Then, in 1986-87, he won his second Jacques-Plante Trophy as well as the Michel-Brière Trophy as the League’s most valuable player.
He helped the Hull Olympiques (1985-86) and Longueuil Chevalier (1986-87) capture the President Cup in back-to-back seasons. Moreover, he played in three Memorial Cup Tournaments in his four-year career.
He still holds the franchise record (Longueuil/Victoriaville) for most wins in a single season (37).
For more than 15 years, he held the record for most playoff victories with 30 and the record for best playoffs goals-against-average at 1.99.
Following his major junior career, he played university hockey for four seasons with Concordia University. (1988-89 to 1991-92). In each of his four seasons, he was named to the All-Star team while also earning most valuable player honours in 1990-91.
In 1992-93, je joined the Wichita Thunder (Kansas, U.S.A.) of the Central Hockey League where he played three seasons. He was named the Rookie of the Year in 1992-93 and captured the team’s MVP award the following season.
His jersey is one of only four jerseys retired by the Thunder.
Harold MacKay is considered in many circles as a visionary for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
He was behind the idea of establishing the first QMJHL team in the Maritimes even though the League’s operations were exclusively tied to the Province of Quebec.
He convinced Moosehead breweries’ administrators that the project was profitable and he obtained the backing of the President and CEO of the brewery: Derek Oland. 1994 would mark the first season of the franchise.
Although they didn’t win any awards, the team did manage to top the league’s rankings six times throughout the year. They finished the season ranked 6th overall and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, but Moosemania was officially born as the team attracted over 24,000 fans in just three games versus Beauport.
Several fans bought season tickets for the following season and Moosemania was here to stay!
In 1997, Harold MacKay won the John-Horman Trophy, which is awarded to the Administrator of the Year. MacKay was more than an administrator, he was a believer. He believed in the potential of expanding the QMJHL into the Maritimes where he thought that major junior hockey would prosper.
Martin Lapointe played four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Laval Titan.
During the course of his major junior career, he collected 149 goals and 189 assists for a total of 338 points in 195 games; an average of 1.73 points per game.
In 1989-90 and 1992-93, he was named a QMJHL first-team All-Star and in 1990-91, he was named a QMJHL second-team All-Star.
Following the 1989-90 season, he captured the Michel-Bergeron Trophy as the offensive rookie of the year. Then, in 1992-93, he was awarded the Paul-Dumont Trophy as the Personality of the year.
He won two President Cup titles: 1990 & 1993.
In 1993, he was named to the Memorial Cup Tournament All-Star Team.
He took part in three straight World Junior Championships (from 1991 to 1993), helping Canada win gold twice (1991 & 1993).
In 1991, he was selected in the first round (10th overall) by the Detroit Red Wings at the National Hockey League Entry Draft.
Over the course of his sixteen NHL seasons, he scored 181 goals and added 200 assists for a total of 381 points in 991 games for four franchises: Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks Ottawa Senators.
He won the Stanley Cup twice with the Detroit Red Wings (1997 & 1998).
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)