The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is not looking at adding any new teams, its commissioner said during a recent visit to Charlottetown.
“There are no expansion plans at this time,” said Gilles Courteau, after giving a presentation to members of the P.E.I. Rocket, team supporters and local politicians.
Courteau, who was in the region to meet with league teams, said there are also no plans for any team to move to a new stadium being built in Rivière-du-Loup.
Earlier this year, Léo-Guy Morrissette, president and owner of the struggling Acadie-Bathurst Titan, denied a rumour he was planning to pack up and leave for Rivière-du-Loup.
“At this time, no teams are planning on moving,” said Courteau. “We’re solid.”
The Rocket (13-9-2-0) plays today versus the Voltigeurs (14-12) in Drummondville, then faces the Quebec Remparts (19-5-0-1) on Wednesday in Quebec City. Both games start at 8 p.m.
Drummondville is ninth overall, two spots ahead of P.E.I., while the nationally-ranked Remparts are third overall and lead the Eastern Division.
P.E.I. has been decent on road this this season at 5-4-1-0.
Drummondville is 7-5 at home while Quebec, winner of seven of its last 10 games, is 6-4-0-1 at Colisée Pepsi.
At home, the Rocket is living once again with low attendance numbers, averaging under 1,700 spectators per game at the Civic Centre, despite its improved record and solid squad.
Courteau said he’s confident attendance will improve.
“P.E.I. has gone through a couple of tough years,” he said. “But with a local coach (head coach Gordie Dwyer) and with the better team, I’m confident that starting after Christmas the fans will perk up and support their team.”
Moncton’s Allain Saulnier, Quebec’s Anthony Duclair and Rouyn-Noranda’s Alexandre Bélanger are the first, second and third stars of the week in the QMJHL.
Saulnier had nine points in three games, Duclair had seven points in three games and Bélanger went 2-0, including
a shutout, with a 1.00 goals-against average and a .961 save percentage.