Chandler wants his own major junior hockey team

For the moment, no details allow to specify if it would be a transfer or the creation of a new team.

The instigator of this project is an entrepreneur from the city of Chandler, Martin Duguay. Involved for several years in the hockey community in the region, he confirms his wish to obtain, with a partner, a team for the city.

 » We have already met the senior leaders of the League, all the people who are in position. Now it’s up to us to do our homework, do our thing, then when we’re ready, we’ll file a formal request if necessary. »

A quote from Martin Duguay, instigator of the QMJHL team project in Chandler and investor

The information was confirmed by the director of communications and media relations of the QMJHL, Maxime Blouin, and by the mayor of Chandler, Gilles Daraîche. The latter is also very enthusiastic.

Gilles Daraîche is mayor of Chandler.

Gilles Daraîche is mayor of Chandler.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Roxanne Langlois

 » We had discussions on that, on the possible possibility of one day having a team from that league […]. There is potential in Chandler. »

A quote from Gilles Daraîche, Mayor of Chandler

The mayor adds that Chandler is a city of great hockey fans, to the point where he is convinced that the municipality would be able to sell out if the project sees the light of day.

Even though Chandler has just under 8,000 citizens, he says it’s virtually certain that neighboring municipalities would also be on hand to attend future games.

Serious investors only

For Maxime Blouin, of the QMJHLthe creation or relocation of a team requires a prior, but above all serious, commitment on the part of the investors.

He explains that one of the objectives of the commissioner’s office is to keep the franchises in the locality planned in the project. This implies that the investors are local.

Long steps ahead

Maxime Blouin adds that the acquisition of a team in a new location is part of a process that involves several constraints to be respected.

 » The franchise must meet certain standards, which include having an amphitheater of 5,000 seats, have corporate boxes, a certain pool of hotels and sponsors who will be able to support the sustainability of the team in its market. »

A quote from Maxime Blouin, QMJHL Communications and Media Relations Director

Gilles Daraîche, however, seems quite convinced of being able to adjust to these requirements.

It is certain that we would have to make certain modifications to our amphitheater, make dressing rooms… It is a major and very expensive project. On the other hand, it is a project which in my eyes is feasible if we prepare ourselves properly.advances the mayor.

Cars driving through a municipality

Downtown Chandler

Photo: Radio-Canada

It is only once all the criteria have been met that the application for franchise approval can go ahead. This request will then be submitted to the commissioner’s office for approval, then to that of the 18 other owners of the QMJHL.

With information from Pierre-Gabriel Turgeon

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