Today marks the last official day of the 2022-2023 season. Teams have until 3 p.m. to submit their end-of-season roster.
Starting tomorrow, June 23, teams can begin signing players for the 2023-24 season.
On the other hand, on the Trois-Rivières side, it’s a completely different story that marks the end of the season. Indeed, it is the end of an era for the Lions. After the departure of coach Eric Bélanger earlier, followed by the departure of Mark Weightman at the end of the season to return to the Montreal Alouettes, it is now Marc-André Bergeron’s turn to leave the den.
Although Marc-André confirmed he was staying as a coach and GM a couple of weeks ago, Lions management decided it was time for them to move on without him with the team. This morning, the rumors were that he had been relieved from his duty, later confirmed during a press conference at the Colisée.
During his career as the head of the Trois-Rivières Lions, Bergeron had to do a lot of gymnastics to put a team on the ice by doing a lot of staff movement. Nearly 80 players’ signings marked the first year of operation. Despite this rough start, the team made the playoffs in his inaugural season.
His second season was not easy either. The DG filled the position of trainer left vacant by Bélanger while occupying his position as general manager of the club. In the stands, the supporters demanded change and a real coach behind the bench, which was not the case. Bergeron decided to remain in office to the great displeasure of the supporters, who demanded his dismissal at the end of the season.
A new sheriff in town
At a press conference this afternoon, the organization took the opportunity to present the new General Manager, Pascal Rhéaume, who will do double duty and be the head coach too. It’s a great promotion for him, and it’s well deserved. Pascal Rhéaume is a former assistant coach in the QMJHL and even held the coach position in this league. For two years, he had been an assistant coach with the Lions. Don’t forget that he also has experience as an assistant in the AHL with Iowa.
It is, therefore, a breath of fresh air blowing over the Videotron Coliseum and the Lions of Trois-Rivières. Fans I’ve spoken to are thrilled with those nominations and see a bright future for the team. It is now the turn of Pascal and his assistant Alex Cousineau to show creativity and help this young hockey club win.