Mario Lemieux, and a group of businessmen, have purchased the Val d'Or Foreurs. After many years of dismal hockey, and a poorly run organization, Mario and co want to turn it around. "We are stripping this organization down to the core. We'll be having a dispersal draft for all of our players, and we'll receive further compensation later this summer. It's about time Val d'Or has a winning hockey team and we're here to change that." Lemieux said, at the press conference. It was also mentioned that coaching, and hockey operations staff will soon be named to the revamped franchise. For now, we're left astonished, with how quick this happened, but we should be excited to see how the franchise turns out.
Donald Audette, of Laval, is the new head coach of the Foreurs. He brings along with him assistants Connor Cameron, and Charles Leblanc, and also goaltending coach Jocelyn Thibault. Audette is coming from the Collège Esther-Blondin organization of Quebec Midget AAA. Cameron was an assistant coach of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, and Leblanc was with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Thibault left the Sherbrooke Phoenix to come here. "We are certainly excited, that's for sure," said Audette, "It's going to be fun building a team. I can promise Foreurs fans that we will bring a hard-working a physical effort night, and night out. I cannot wait for the fall!" Connor Cameron had this to say, "It's an honour to be coaching with these three guys, and I hope to bring some energy to the coaching staff, and like Donald said, the season can't come soon enough." Charles Leblanc was also very excited, "I'm ecstatic about coming to the Foreurs, at the same time I'm sad to be leaving the Titan, but when one door closes, another opens, so I'm excited to bring my knowledge to the franchise." "I can't wait to get started here in Val d'Or, and if I have anything to do with it, the Foreurs will become a goalie factory for years to come. I like to carry usually three or four goalies a season, and play them all equally, so going into the season, you won't see a surefire starter, but you will in the playoffs. See you in the fall!" Thibault added. Four strong coaches have been added to the franchise, and some more staff should be announced soon.
Dave Reid, of Toronto has been named general manager of the Val d'Or franchise. Peter Nevin was also named head scout of the organization. Reid was recently let go by the Peterborough Petes, of the OHL, and Nevin was fired by the Moncton Wildcats. "I'm honoured to be able to manage a CHL franchise again, and I'm here to assure Foreurs fans that in my time here, whether it be one, two, or if it takes ten years, we will be President's Cup champions." Reid noted. Nevin had this to say, "I too am honoured to be with a franchise as such, and when I got the call from Mario, I couldn't turn it down. I've been scouting all winter, so we should be set for the draft this year." Next up for the franchise is the dispersal draft.
In the recent Entry Draft, Val d'Or selected the first six players to their franchise. Jack Eichel, Julien Nantel, Julio Billia, Gabriel Gagne, Julien Pelletier, and Neil Robinson were all drafted by the Foreurs. Billia is a goaltender, while the rest are forwards. They're all 16, except Robinson who is 17. Eichel is an American born late '96 and there is talk of him being an early pick in the 2015 NHL draft. Head scout Peter Nevin said all players will play next year, and all can contribute, "Obviously with Eichel, you have a guy who can already play top six, and Robinson who should be a regular in the lineup, the rest are going to battle it out for icetime, and they are all hardworkers, so it's going to be fun to watch." Eichel will wear #20, Nantel #14, Billia #31, Gagne #28, Pelletier #22, and Robinson will wear #25.