Mike Sanderson

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  • Cataractes could be forced to get chummy with Trois-Rivieres if veto is pulled from QMJHL constitution

    The Shawinigan Cataractes have held a territorial veto over their surrounding 40 km, but that veto is expected to be taken away next month at league meetings. (Ghyslain Bergeron/The Canadian Press)The Shawinigan Cataractes have held a territorial veto over their surrounding 40 km, but that veto is expected to be taken away next month at league meetings. (Ghyslain Bergeron/The Canadian Press)
    The Shawinigan Cataractes have long believed that, since 1992, they owned the Mauricie region, including control over the neighboring, larger, Trois-Rivières.

    Apparently, if they still think that, the team will get a rude awakening, as it’s expected that the territorial veto will be waived in the QMJHL’s constitution during the upcoming league meetings in September in Quebec City.

    The current rule is that teams have the right to veto another team wanting to set up shop within 40 km. Shawinigan and Trois-Rivières are 27 km apart.

    This is particular interest to the Cataractes, as they have maintained a team in Trois-Rivières would sink the team financially and kill the inroads the team has made in the market since the Draveurs left.

    Trois-Rivières is the only real market possibility, barring a major surprise, for the league to rescind this rule and it seems like this change would be made to facilitate a team moving or starting up there.

    Investors like Réal Breton have been trying to set

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  • Olympiques threaten move, cry foul at costs of new building

    Halifax Mooseheads' Timo Meier battles for the puck in the corner against the Gatineau Olympiques. The Olympiques are threatening to skip town if the city doesn't kick in on a new arena project for the team. (Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)Halifax Mooseheads' Timo Meier battles for the puck in the corner against the Gatineau Olympiques. The Olympiques are threatening to skip town if the city doesn't kick in on a new arena project for the team. (Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
    Stop me if you've heard this before.

    A hockey team wants their city to kick in funding for a new arena for the team to play.

    The latest example: the Gatineau Olympiques.

    Olympiques governor Norman MacMillan said Thursday that the city's new arena project is a "matter of life and death" for his team, and they will be forced to move if the city doesn't support the team by funding a portion of a new arena project.

    But don't worry, it's only $25-million dollars or so.

    MacMillan urges the team can't pay for a private arena for themselves in the region. The money just isn't there.

    And hey, if you don't ask, you don't get.

    The call for a team to force its city’s hand to pay for a new building, or renovations to an old one, is not a new idea.

    Heck, three NFL teams are doing that right now. The St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are all threatening to move to the Los Angeles area if they don’t get new or improved stadiums.

    In monkey-see, monkey-do fashion, the behaviour has

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  • Bowers bucks Screaming Eagles in favour of the USHL

    Shane Bowers, centre, poses after being selected fourth overall by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the QMJHL draft in Sherbrooke, Que., on Saturday, June 6, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Perry BeatonShane Bowers, centre, poses after being selected fourth overall by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the QMJHL draft in Sherbrooke, Que., on Saturday, June 6, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Perry Beaton

    The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles thought they were getting a steal by picking potential superstar Shane Bowers fourth overall in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft.

    So far, all they’ve picked is a headache.

    Bowers has made his intentions on his future clear, deciding to report to the Waterloo Blackhawks of the USHL, and it was announced officially Monday, as Bowers no-showed in Sydney.

    It was a change of tune for the youngster, after saying originally on draft day he was excited to join the Screaming Eagles.

    The Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy reported Bowers was never going to report to them, opting for the U.S. college route.

    He says Bowers said what he said on draft day to stay polite and not rock the boat. Allegedly, he told the Screaming Eagles he wouldn’t report from the start.

    Bowers would be a key piece to the Cape Breton puzzle. The 15-year-old had 52 points in 34 games for the Halifax McDonald’s in the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League last season, and scouts praise his game-breaking

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  • 2015 QMJHL Draft: Veleno taken first overall by Sea Dogs as first QMJHL exceptional status pick

    The Saint John Sea Dogs, picking first for the second time in two years and the fifth time in their history, grabbed Joseph Veleno first overall. (Vincent Ethier)The Saint John Sea Dogs, picking first for the second time in two years and the fifth time in their history, grabbed Joseph Veleno first overall. (Vincent Ethier)
    The Saint John Sea Dogs followed the script Saturday and took the player everyone predicted, selecting Joseph Veleno first overall at the Palais des Sports Léopold-Drolet in Sherbrooke.

    Predicted since Thursday, anyway, when Hockey Canada finally allowed Veleno’s application for exceptional status. Veleno turned 15 years old in January. He is the first exceptional status player to enter the QMJHL.

    The Kirkland native had 52 points in 41 games in Quebec’s highest midget circuit. He also had 10 points in six games for Team Quebec at the Canada Winter Games this season, and added five points in five games for Quebec Blue at the Gatorade Excellence Challenge. He is a gifted offensive player but also plays a 200ft game, and will be a great asset for the Sea Dogs on and off the ice.

    There have been four other CHL players granted the exceptional status tag and all four entered the OHL draft.

    He’ll have his work cut out for him, as the Sea Dogs look to retool following a trying year with a

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  • 2015 QMJHL Draft Preview: Veleno declared exceptional status, likely to be taken first

    Hockey Canada changed their mind and gave Kirkland, Qc., native Joseph Veleno exceptional status for the 2015 QMJHL Draft, where he's expected to be picked first overall by the Saint John Sea Dogs. (Kevin Raftery/Postmedia)Hockey Canada changed their mind and gave Kirkland, Qc., native Joseph Veleno exceptional status for the 2015 QMJHL Draft, where he's expected to be picked first overall by the Saint John Sea Dogs. (Kevin Raftery/Postmedia)

    Hockey Canada shook up QMJHL team draft boards Thursday, reversing their original decision and allowing 15-year-old prodigy Joseph Veleno to enter the 2015 QMJHL Draft.

    Canada’s hockey brass originally said no to the young star from Kirkland, just outside of Montreal, as he submitted his papers for exceptional status after the deadline, but they changed their minds.

    The draft is set to run Saturday at the Palais des Sports Léopold-Drolet in Sherbrooke, home of the Phoenix.

    Veleno is a 200-foot player, rare at 15, and a great skater with great instincts. He immediately shot up the draft board into the number one spot and will most likely be the number one selection by the Saint John Sea Dogs come Saturday. His 52 points in 41 games were good enough for 12th in scoring in the Quebec Midget AAA Hockey League this season, as an underaged 14-year-old. He idolizes Jonathan Drouin, another talent from his Lac-Saint-Louis program, and he hopes to follow that path of QMJHL to NHL.

    It is the

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  • Memorial Cup preview: Top 10 Quebec Remparts observations

    The host Quebec Remparts came one goal away from winning the President's Cup title against the Rimouski Oceanic. (Vincent Ethier)The host Quebec Remparts came one goal away from winning the President's Cup title against the Rimouski Oceanic. (Vincent Ethier)
    With the King of Late Night signing off, Buzzing The Net is borrowing the Top Ten trope to profile the Memorial Cup teams. It's an homage. Or as David Letterman would say to someone who tried to slip a fancy word by him, "you mean stealing."

    Presenting the host Quebec Remparts, who are the only team to make a Memorial Cup tournament three times without winning the league championship. They last won the cup in 2006.

    10. “Man, that Erne guy can score.”

    The 2015 playoffs belonged to the American kid from New Haven, CT.

    Remparts forward Adam Erne fired 21 pucks past opposing goalies, well ahead of any other player in the 2015 QMJHL post-season. (Vincent Ethier)Remparts forward Adam Erne fired 21 pucks past opposing goalies, well ahead of any other player in the 2015 QMJHL post-season. (Vincent Ethier)Adam Erne dented the twine 21 times in 22 games for the Remparts in the 2015 playoffs, enough to win the Guy Lafleur trophy as the playoff’s most valuable player. He was the first player to win the honour in a losing effort since Alain Lemieux, Mario’s older brother, did it with the Trois-Rivières Draveurs in 1980-81. He’s only the second player ever to do so.

    The Tampa Bay pick had 41 goals in the regular season to go with his 86 points as he crept up the lineup and moved

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  • Memorial Cup preview: Top 10 Rimouski Oceanic observations

    The Rimouski Oceanic defeated the Quebec Remparts in the President's Cup final, winning both games 6 and 7 in overtime to win. (Vincent Ethier)The Rimouski Oceanic defeated the Quebec Remparts in the President's Cup final, winning both games 6 and 7 in overtime to win. (Vincent Ethier)
    With the King of Late Night signing off, Buzzing The Net is borrowing the Top Ten trope to profile the Memorial Cup teams. It's an homage. Or as David Letterman would say to someone who tried to slip a fancy word by him, "you mean stealing."

    Presenting the Rimouski Oceanic, who are looking to give the QMJHL its fourth Memorial Cup title in five years, and add to their team’s title in 2000.

    10. “We had it in the bag from the get-go.”

    Rimouski brings their best Oceanic team to the tourney since the Sidney Crosby-led squad in 2005.

    This year's team was never really tested until they got to the President’s Cup final, where it took game 7 overtime to dispatch the Memorial Cup host Quebec Remparts and claim the title.

    Rimouski only lost one game until the final, when they ran into big problems with 7-4 and 4-1 losses at home in the first two games. They regrouped and tied the series, dropped game 5 and won 6 and 7 in overtime.

    They swept a lousy Victoriaville Tigre team, beat a

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  • Rimouski, Quebec battle for President’s Cup after both earning berths in the 2015 Memorial Cup

    Alexis Loiseau and the Rimouski Oceanic will take on the 2015 Memorial Cup host Quebec Remparts in a rivalry showdown. (CP /Ghyslain Bergeron)Alexis Loiseau and the Rimouski Oceanic will take on the 2015 Memorial Cup host Quebec Remparts in a rivalry showdown. (CP /Ghyslain Bergeron)
    A major rivalry for a league final is always a good thing, and Rimouski-Québec is one of the biggest in the league right now.

    This will be a clash of the ages, as we predicted at the start of the season. (Don’t look at those other picks though. Those are an illusion. Especially the ones we were wrong about.)

    But it’s not how predictable the end result is, it’s the journey, and both teams proved to be the best ones in the league, through the regular season, with Rimouski at the top of the table and Quebec in fourth, and in the playoffs, as both teams swept through the Moncton Wildcats and the Val-d’Or Foreurs to get here.

    This leads to what should be a heck of a series, but will both teams keep a little left in the tank? Quebec, as hosts, are guaranteed a birth in the 2015 Memorial Cup, and Rimouski, as the next best team, be they winners or runners-up, automatically earn that second league birth. Will there be that same desire and passion to win the series and the President’s Cup? Or

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  • Oceanic join Remparts at the 2015 Memorial Cup with their sweep of the Foreurs: the coast-to-coast

    Louis-Philip Guindon's Rimouski Oceanic knocked out the Val-d'Or Foreurs Wednesday to make a date with the Quebec Remparts. (CP/Ghyslain Bergeron)Louis-Philip Guindon's Rimouski Oceanic knocked out the Val-d'Or Foreurs Wednesday to make a date with the Quebec Remparts. (CP/Ghyslain Bergeron)
    Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines…

    WHL

    The Kelowna Rockets bounced back from their most lopsided loss of the season and beat the Portland Winterhawks 3-2 on Wednesday night to make their series a best-of-three. Game 5 goes Friday. (PortlandTribune.com)

    The Brandon Wheat Kings are one win away from the WHL final after an 8-3 drubbing of the Calgary Hitmen. (CalgaryHerald.com)

    Speaking of the Winterhawks, their owner, Bill Gallacher, was busy on Wednesday, acquiring the Kloten Flyers of Switzerland’s NLA. (TheLocal.ch)

    Swift Current Bronco Jake DeBrusk and his father, former Oiler and current Sportsnet analyst Louie, are two completely different hockey players. (NHL.com)

    The Seattle Thunderbirds have some great rookie depth they hope will translate into more wins next season. (Seattle.CBSLocal.com)

    Winterhawks forward Nic Petan is nearing the start of his pro career, but his Portland team is still alive, and he’s okay with that. He

    Read More »from Oceanic join Remparts at the 2015 Memorial Cup with their sweep of the Foreurs: the coast-to-coast
  • Isles dump Dwyer after second round exit

    Gordie Dwyer was let go as head coach of the Charlottetown Islanders after they won their first series in 11 years. His team was bounced from the playoffs by the Quebec Remparts in a sweep in the second round. (CP/Ghyslain Bergeron)Gordie Dwyer was let go as head coach of the Charlottetown Islanders after they won their first series in 11 years. His team was bounced from the playoffs by the Quebec Remparts in a sweep in the second round. (CP/Ghyslain Bergeron)
    The Charlottetown Islanders won their first playoff round in 11 years this season, but it wasn’t enough to save bench boss Gordie Dwyer’s job.

    After praising his team’s ability to play through injuries and illness, Islanders GM Grant Sonier let the axe fall on head coach Dwyerafter four seasons at the helm.

    Dwyer and the Islanders were swept out of the second round by the 2015 Memorial Cup hosts the Quebec Remparts, but it only the second time the team had made it past the league’s opening round of the post-season.

    The team had to deal with several players on intravenous during and after their opening round six game thriller against the Sherbrooke Phoenix, and dealt with an injury to starting netminder Mason McDonald in that series.

    Backup goalie Daryl MacCallum filled in admirably for his injured partner, coming back to win the series against the Phoenix, but it wasn’t enough to save his coach’s job.

    Ultimately it was the four-game loss in the second round that was the last straw for

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