New Coaches, Schedule in the 'Q'

The question that had been hanging in the balance regarding the bench boss of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens was finally solved Wednesday morning, with the club announcing that they would be bringing back former interim Marc-Étienne Hubert in a full-time capacity as head coach of the Saguenay franchise.

Hubert has been in the organization well beyond his 6 years in the coaching staff.  His career as a hockey player began with the Sags before he wore the colours of Laval, Val-d’Or, Drummondville and Baie-Comeau, leading him to become a 9th round selection of the Phoenix Coyotes in 1996.

This means, of course, that former Montreal Canadiens' captain and head coach Guy Carbonneau will not be resuming that position with the Saguenéens, as he had done after Hubert played the role of interim for three games since the firing of Chicoutimi's longtime head coach, Richard Martel.  It also leaves him open for other coaching jobs, and the rumours sending him to the New Jersey Devils have already begun flying.
 
Meanwhile, Marc Fortier, an ex-captain of the Sags who was recently inducted into the QMJHL Hall of Fame, was named general manager of his old team.  Martel had also held this position prior to being let go by Chicoutimi last season.  The situation looks much brighter in Chicoutimi this year, as despite being a fairly young group, they will be able to count on several of their key players returning.
 
Another head coaching position was locked up on Wednesday, as Acadie-Bathurst's assistant coach Éric Dubois took over from the newly-named head of the University of Ottawa GeeGees' hockey program, Réal Paiement.  Dubois has coaching experience in the Q with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, and will be joined behind the bench by current general manager Sylvain Couturier.
 
Also announced was that the 2011-12 QMJHL season will officially get underway on September 8th, a Thursday night (and this TCL blogger's birthday, if anyone with access to discount airline tickets is reading), as the Moncton Wildcats are the inaugural visitors to the Memorial Cup-winning Saint John Sea Dogs.  The new Blainville/Boisbriand franchise begins its course the following day in a road match against the Rimouski Océanic.  Their first home game will be against league finalists Gatineau the following Friday, September 16th.
 
The full regular season schedule can be found here.
 
Naturally, for those that can't wait, including any followers in Magog, La Tuque, Trois-Rivières, Montmagny, Ste-Marie-de-Beauce, Lévis, Ottawa (interleague matchup between the 67s and the Remparts), Timmins, Kirkland Lake, Port Hawkesbury and more that will be featuring games, the preseason schedule can be found here

Photo: sagueneens.com