Tuesday, May 31, 2011

League Acquires MAINEiacs

Press Release

BOUCHERVILLE, Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - The Commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Gilles Courteau, today announced that the Lewiston MAINEiacs franchise will be bought out by the League.

The decision was rendered this afternoon following a vote from League Members. The financial terms were not disclosed.

"Following a vote from League Members, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is purchasing the Lewiston MAINEiacs franchise," said the Commissioner. "Therefore, the franchise will be dissolved and the players submitted to a special draft which will in most likelihood be held on Friday. I am disappointed for the fans in Lewiston. The MAINEiacs enjoyed some very good moments, including a President Cup championship in 2007. I know that Mark Just and his ownership group did all that they could to save the franchise, but the situation was no longer viable."

Details surrounding a special dispersal draft will be unveiled as soon as they become available.

"I am truly sad for MAINEiacs fans," added the majority owner Mark Just. "For those that supported the team over the past few years, I would like to thank you. Nonetheless, mounting financial losses became too much to bear for our ownership group."

The Commissioner also announced that following the 2011-12 season an expansion team will be awarded to a group of investors which is led by former QMJHL and NHL All-Star Jocelyn Thibault. The team will begin play in the 2012-13 season and will play its games at the Palais des Sports Léopold-Drolet in the city of Sherbrooke.

"The QMJHL is very excited to welcome Sherbrooke back into its fold," said the Commissioner. "With strong local ownership, I am convinced that major junior hockey will once again flourish in Sherbrooke.

In the next few days, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will work toward completing a seventeen team 2011-12 regular season schedule.

(Nathan can be reached at fourniern@students.nescom.edu)


Anonymous said...

Why wont it work in Lewiston? Are people not showing up and why?

Nathan Fournier said...

Thats a big art of the reasoning and a owner who lived in Chicago was another reason and ut his trust in others.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear. Atlanta and now Lewiston. I know sometimes people say that they dont want to watch "kids" but..
Even thought I am biased to the US/college system, if you have nothing else the CHL is still decent and better than nothing. IMO, when the Q decided to accept the ME team they should of agreed to disperse the costs among all teams. Canadians can be a bit finicky when it comes to growing the game in the US..
All the best. Hopefully something good comes up..

Anonymous said...

Are you able to comment on whether the MAINEiacs demise will affect youth hockey in a positive or negative way?

Nathan Fournier said...

I dont know what the affects will be, I dont think it will sway either way. The youth hockey organizations in the area were operated separately but the Lewiston Youth Hockey League had mites, pee-wee, bantam teams called the Jr. Maineiacs.

Its something I can look into

Anonymous said...

Is the elite progam still in play? I guess it may be gone now?
The first part of the article alludes to the MAINEiac influenced program.

Nathan Fournier said...

I don't think that program ever got off the ground