No more MAINEiacs
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League said goodbye to its lone American franchise on Tuesday, announcing that the Lewiston MAINEiacs were to be bought out and dissolved immediately, their players set to become part of a special dispersal draft this upcoming Friday in conjunction with draft weekend in Victoriaville. The league also revealed that an expansion franchise would join the now-17 team league in 2012-13, as former QMJHL and NHL goaltender Jocelyn Thibault leads a group of investors in Sherbrooke (where ironically, the MAINEiacs used to be) ready to bring in a new hockey team.
"I am disappointed for the fans in Lewiston. The MAINEiacs enjoyed some very good moments, including a President Cup championship in 2007. I know that Mark Just and his ownership group did all that they could to save the franchise, but the situation was no longer viable." 
-Gilles Courteau, QMJHL commissioner
The Q is now the only league in the CHL without a US-based contigent, and with 17 teams left in it, playoff format and division formatting will also have to be remodeled. As for the players, the order in which they will be selected is likely to reflect the reverse of this season's standings. Skaters Matthew Bissonnette, Samuel Finn, Samuel Carrier, Michael Chaput, Stefan Fournier, Dillon Fournier, overage players Étienne Brodeur and Pierre-Olivier Morin, as well as goaltender Andrey Makarov will generate a lot of interest, and don't forget Kirill Kabanov, who could also potentially return next year.
Draft weekend: not quite as heavy as the NHL's, but...
The festivities in Victoriaville will be televised by VOX beginning Saturday morning at 9 a.m.! A webcast is also offered on voxtv.ca for those not in the viewing area. The QMJHL's website will offer extensive coverage as well.
Signing on the dotted line
Quebec Remparts goaltender Louis Domingue now has an entry-level deal with the Phoenix Coyotes. Newly-crowned Memorial Cup champion Steven Anthony of the Saint John Sea Dogs signed one of his own with the Vancouver Canucks, and forward Andrej Nestrasil of the PEI Rocket recently agreed to terms with the team that drafted him in 2009, the Detroit Red Wings. League scoring champion Philip-Michaël Devos, a 20 year old former free agent, joined the Tampa Bay organization in signing a two-year deal with the Norfolk Admirals.