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Hockey: Quebec lags behind in goalie development

Hockey: Quebec lags behind in goalie development

Before it once again becomes the goalkeeping breeding ground it once was, Quebec still has a long way to go.

In the past, Quebec has developed several goaltenders who have distinguished themselves in the National League and elsewhere in the hockey world. Many goaltenders have performed well, such as Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo, and Marc-Andre Fleury in particular, but in recent years, the number of Quebec goalies in the NHL has decreased significantly.

Switch to Hockey 360 Redeeze, Quebec Hockey General Manager Jocelyn Thibault confirmed that La Belle Province has declined significantly over the years. “We are lagging behind many countries. It will take time and a coordinated strategy because Canada is behind European countries.”

Hockey analyst and former NHL goalie coach Stephane White believes Quebec is aware of the situation, which is already a step in the right direction. “At least we know that. We are aware of that, it is a first step. We need to develop grassroots coaches and re-interest young people in the goalkeeping profession.”

But all is not gray in the skies for minor hockey in Quebec as we are seeing an increase in registrations. At the men’s level, this percentage is more than 10% this season, while the increase among girls is about 21%, which pleases the CEO of Quebec Hockey. “After years of uncertainty due to Covid-19, we had a great season last year and this year, registrations are on the rise. »

The increase in registrations is impressive at the women’s level, and Thibault believes that the creation of a new professional women’s hockey league, Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) could have a positive impact on the number of girls who choose hockey in the coming years. “I think it will be a new promotional tool. The more girls play, the easier it will be to retain the skills.”

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One of Thibault’s goals is to make sure young people who sign up for hockey don’t drop out and continue their journey for years. For him, the best way to ensure some form of player retention is to let players have fun. “We want the young people to have fun. Let them have fun. The coaches have a big role to play. We want the young people to have a good experience and to learn, develop and have fun. This is the best way to retain them.”