billsportsmaps.com

November 24, 2008

Junior Hockey in Canada: The QMJHL, 2008-09 Season.

Filed under: Canada,Hockey — admin @ 6:39 am

Please note: I have made a more recent map-and-post of the QMJHL (May 2016), here:
Ligue de Hockey Junior Majeur du Québec (LHJMQ) [English: Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)]: location-map with: 2015-16 attendance data, QMJHL titles & CHL/Memorial Cup titles listed/+ illustrations for the 2 QMJHL teams with the best attendance in 2015-16 (the Quebec Remparts & the Halifax Mooseheads), and the 2 QMJHL teams with the best-percent-capacity figures in 2015-16 (the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies & the Val-d’Or Foreurs).
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qmjhl_hockey-08-09_post.gif




The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League was formed in 1969,  from a merger of two junior leagues in the province of Quebec.  In the French it is called la Ligue de Hockey Junior Majeur du Quebec,  and its abbreviation in the French is LHJMQ. 

The QMJHL is one of three junior hockey leagues in Canada.  The other two are the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League.   These three leagues are governed by the umbrella organization called the Canadian Hockey League.  All three leagues are for players aged 16 to 20 years old,  after which they are eligible for the National Hockey League Draft. 

[Note: I made maps of both the OHL and the WHL earlier this year:  to see them,  click on "Canada" in the Categories list]. 

In the early days of the QMJHL,  most of the teams were within a few hours drive of Montreal.  Shawingun is the sole team that has remained in the same city,  uninterrupted.  Starting in 1994,  the ”Q” began to expand into the Maritime provinces of New Brunswick,  Nova Scotia,  Newfoundland,  and Prince Edward Island.  This was to fill the void left when the American Hockey League (the largest minor-league hockey entity) pulled its teams out of cities in the Maritimes.  In 2003,  the team from Sherbrooke,  Quebec moved across the border to Lewiston, Maine,  USA.  That club became the Lewiston MAINEiacs;  they won the league title,  called the President’s Cup,  in 2007.  Last season,  the championship was won by the Gatineau Olympique (Gatineau is just across the Ottawa River from the Canadian national capital of Ottawa).

The QMJHL is known for it’s swift,  offense-oriented style of play;  it has traditionally produced profficient skatrs and goal scorers,  as well as stand-out goalkeepers (the NHL is chock full of French-Canadian goalies).  QMJHL alumni who have been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame include Guy Lafluer,  Pat Lafontaine,  Mario Lemieux,  and Patrick Roy.

Here is a list of the 10 highest drawing junior hockey teams in North America [it has been updated] {Click here}.  The Qubec Remparts drew the most in 2007-08,  averaging 10,981;  the other team from the “Q” in the top 10 then was the Halifax Mooseheads, whose average gate was 7,589.  As a whole,  the QMJHL averaged 3,612 per game in 2007-08.

As with my other two Canadian junior hockey league maps,  this map is not an attendance map per se,  as it shows all the team crests at an equivalent size.  Attendances are listed in the chart on the left hand side,  though,  along with the populations of each team’s home metropolitan area.  In some cases,  of course,  there is no metro area…the team plays literally in a small town.  In fact,  the reigning champions,  the Rouyn-Naranda Huskies,  hail from a mining town of about only 40,000 inhabitants.  Two teams draw around 10% of their home town’s population: the Rimouski Oceanic,  and the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles,  of Sydney,  Cape Breton,  Nova Scotia.  On the other hand,  as with the OHL and the WHL,  there are QMJHL teams that play in the metro area of cities which have franchises in the world’s biggest hockey league,  the NHL.  Gatineau must “compete” with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators;  as must the new team called the Montreal Junior Hockey Club with the storied Montreal Canadiens (the NHL team with the most titles,  and the highest avearge attendance).  But fans in these cities who go to junior hockey games instead of NHL games do so for different reasons.  First of all,  it is way cheaper.  Secondly,  they can usually get better seats.  And perhaps most of all,  they can see the stars of tommorrow playing for a hockey club the fans can feel more a part of.

QMJHL site, in English  {Click here}.

QMJHL standings {click here}.

Wikipedia’s page on the QMJHL  {Click here}.

Thanks to this site,  for the attendance figures… http://www.mib.org/~lennier/hockey/leagueatt.cgi.

   

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