Friday, July 19, 2024

New General Manager of Quebec Hockey | Jocelyn Thibault wants to change hockey’s junior culture

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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Quebec Hockey’s new general manager, Jocelyn Thibault, is on hold, and he knows it. Its main goal? Changing the culture and tone within the Quebec mini hockey game.

Catherine Harvey Benard

Catherine Harvey Benard

Jocelyn Thibault officially took over as General Manager of Quebec Hockey on Monday morning. He succeeds Paul Maynard, who has been there since 2016.

The former National League goalkeeper spoke to the media for the first time on Monday afternoon at the Bell Complex in Broussard.

He quickly touched on the many challenges he would face in his new role. He doesn’t claim to have the answer to everything, but his priority is to “change the hockey minor tone, change the mood.”

“We’ve seen it recently: we lose players, players and referees. My job at the Federation is to get our youth back to the rinks, to bring back the fun, to rethink the development of our players, and to bring hockey back into the modern age. We have to look forward to five or ten years. What do families want?” What do young players want?”

The new CEO also insisted on the importance of taking one step at a time. take your time. To analyze, understand and quantify the challenges. The work to be done is “substantive” work.

“I will not change this on my own,” he warned. […] I’m not here to say that on December 4th, we’ll be there. There will be a lot of basic work that will take a few years. But if one day we don’t say to ourselves: Well, that’s enough… and it will continue. ”

The former General Manager of Sherbrooke Phoenix, who brings a lot of experience with him, appears to be spurred on by this new phase in his career. While his three daughters no longer lived in the house, he felt ready to take on the challenge.

“It is a great honor for me to be here,” he said. Obviously a great day for me and my family. It is a huge commitment for me to take part in this adventure, in spreading and executing the game of hockey here in Quebec. ”

“I wanted to make sure I played that part in winning the terms and felt the board’s support in the ideas I wanted to bring up, the things I wanted to bring,” he added.

Quantity vs Quality

It is known that the number of small hockey registrations in Quebec is decreasing year by year. Jocelyn Thibault, with his new team, wants to devise strategies to revive youth and families’ interest in hockey. When asked if he prioritizes the quantity or quality of players, the new general manager said that “one does not preclude the other”.

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“I want more players, I want better players,” he said. […] We want it [le nombre d’inscriptions] Increases. Along the same lines, we would like to put more players in the national and professional teams. No one goes without the other. ”

“This is the great paradox of sports: if you focus too much on the goal, you forget about the process. Me, the process is the most important. If we have a good process, if we develop our youth correctly, we will have more players because it will be more interesting. If there is a More playing, we have a better chance of bringing them to the national teams.”

The 46-year-old wants to meet the current needs of families and restore the joy of playing among the youth, to make them want to continue their development in hockey.

“What I don’t want is a player who was cut from an AAA pewi at the age of 11 or 12 and thinks his life is over. It is a late development sport. There is an escalation to be expected.”

He also indicated that he wants to better equip the county’s small hockey leagues, which are in direct contact with parents.


In December 2020, an investigation by Radio Canada highlighted the toxic work climate at the offices of the Sports Federation, in the Anjou region, in Montreal. It also reported that several employees left at short notice. A mediation process with the Ministry of Labor has since begun.

Jocelyn Tebow said he met his new employees when he took office Monday morning. He appreciated their dynamism and willingness to put their shoulder to the wheel to make a difference in the little hockey game.

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“I hope that working in Quebec hockey will be an element of pride,” he said. I am proud to partner with the Federation, to have an impact and influence within our National Sports Federation. I hope they find that torch again. ”

“The other element is enhancing their expertise,” he continued. I’m a bit of a leader in this organization, but we have a good staff and I want employees to participate, appreciate, and be part of the discussion. ”

Ultimately, the goal of the new GM is to bring the hockey community together so that the league is “the standard in the world.”

“I want hockey to be proud here. Beyond everything.”

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