In a press conference on November 18, Premier Legault announced that the government set up a committee dedicated to boosting the number of Quebecers in the National Hockey League as well as getting more youth involved in the sport.
A press release explains that the committee aims to "restore our national sport to its former glory, to instill a love of hockey in young people and to properly develop Quebec talent in a positive and safe environment."
"Hockey is our national sport. It is part of our identity, our pride and also part of the pleasures of life. With the creation of a committee of experts to revive the development of hockey, I hope that we will see the renaissance of Quebec hockey. This is how we will become a breeding ground for talent again. That's how Quebec will become a hockey powerhouse again," Premier Legault said in a statement.
This isn't Legault's first time speaking publicly on this subject. In October, he tweeted a photo of himself with the general manager of Hockey Quebec, stating, "We discussed ways to have more Quebec players in the NHL."
Le Comité québécois sur le développement du hockey, as the committee is being called, consists of 15 people, including the committee leader, Marc Denis, a former NHL goalie who's "actively involved in the sport in Quebec," according to the press release.
It also includes women hockey players who the press release says will "identify issues related to the development of women's hockey."
The committee is set to address everything from athlete development structure to player coaching, educational success, accessibility to the sport, safety and integrity, and more.
A final report from the committee is expected to be submitted on March 31, 2022.
Habs land is a bit of a mess right now so who better to save it than Montreal Canadiens legend Patrick Roy? At least, that's what he believes. At a press conference, the former Canadiens goalie and four-time Stanley Cup champion threw his hat in the ring to become the team's new general manager. But not everyone seems to be on board with the idea.
"Would I have interest? Obviously," Roy told reporters on Tuesday. "But at the same time, I know it's a process."
"If they give me a call, I'll listen."
On Twitter, some people have been critical of Roy's outspokenness on his candidacy. TSN analyst Eric Macramalla commented that Roy should be disqualified from the job because of his "lack of restraint and respect for the process."
Roy spoke at length with reporters, declaring his love for the team and explaining how he understands the depth of the responsibilities should he be chosen as the new general manager. He said that while he still loves his current job as the head coach of the Quebec Remparts, he would be open to an offer with the Habs.
When asked if he would like the chance to win another Stanley Cup with the team, Roy asked, "What would they have to lose by giving me a chance?"
For those keeping score at home, Roy was the Habs goalie last time they won a Stanley Cup in 1993.
But despite Roy's storied 11-year career with the Habs, there seems to be a feeling among some that it wouldn't go over too well if he was appointed GM.
Some observers have commentedon his lack of experience as a general manager in the NHL. However, it's important to note that Marc Bergevin had not previously been a general manager when he was hired for the position.
With many GM candidates apparently under consideration by the organization, Roy would certainly be among the most high-profile and controversial choices for many fans.
Would you be happy if Patrick Roy was chosen to be the new Canadiens GM?
Quebec Premier François Legault wasn't looking for a negative reaction when he announced his hockey plan, which plays directly to one of the province's passions, but that's exactly what he got.
Late Thursday afternoon, Legault announced the creation of the Comité québécois sur le développement du hockey, a committee that will aim to "restore our national sport to its former glory, to instil a love of hockey in young people and to properly develop Quebec talent in a positive and safe environment," according to the premier.
But Legault is being dragged over his plan that some have called a "populist" distraction from more important issues.
Aujourd\u2019hui, j\u2019\u00e9tais au Centre Bell avec la ministre d\u00e9l\u00e9gu\u00e9e \u00e0 l\u2019\u00c9ducation, @IsabelleCharest, pour faire une annonce importante pour nos jeunes et notre sport national, le hockey.\n\nPour en savoir plushttps://www.facebook.com/FrancoisLegaultPremierMinistre/posts/4687617071295286\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/XmgHaRALbA
Allan Walsh, a well-regarded hockey agent who represents several Quebec-born players like Jonathan Drouin and Marc-André Fleury, took to Twitter to comment that growing hockey in Quebec is "not rocket science."
"Start with developing players at the QMJHL level instead of exploiting them. There [are] a few teams that do a great job, the majority will do anything to maximize profits to the detriment of players' futures."
Somebody may want to tell Legault and Plante that Belzile and Ouellet are in the lineup tonight, so a provincewide cataclysm as been averted and they can get back to that pesky little pandemic that's killed thousands of the same people they want to see on the hockey team so badly
The committee is tasked with addressing several major issues — including athlete development, the development of women's hockey, coaching, accessibility, safety and integrity — with a final report due on March 31, 2022.
For now, though, it's mostly rhetoric. In a statement, Legault exclaimed that hockey "is part of our identity, our pride and also part of the pleasures of life."
"This is how we are going to become a breeding ground for talent again. This is how Quebec will once again become a powerhouse in hockey."
Legault qui s\u2019occupe du hockey pr\u00e9sentement , cet homme est une honte pour le Qu\u00e9bec , alors que 6700 vies fauch\u00e9es par la COVID-19 dans les CHSLD \u00e0 cause d'une gestion de merde , le gouvernement a d\u00e9truit des rapports d\u2019inspection,a emp\u00each\u00e9 des a\u00een\u00e9s de dire un dernier adieu
Several more people criticized Legault for announcing this plan while his administration is in the middle of an inquest into the number of deaths during the peak of the pandemic at the province's CHSLDs. Over 4,000 elderly people died in CHSLDs during the first wave of COVID-19.
"When will you have a conference to explain your catastrophic management of CHSLDs?" inquired one Twitter user.
The premier was mum on that issue during his hockey press conference.
Kuei , je ne comprends pas pourquoi qu\u2019il n\u2019y a pas une personne issue des 1ers nations au comite . Il y a des experts autochtones qui ont jou\u00e9s dans la LHJMQ et LNH et vous savez qu\u2019il y a eu du racisme au hockey dans les arenas au Qc.
Montreal Canadiens fans have Carey Price's back. After he released a statement saying he had entered a substance abuse treatment program and was focusing on his mental health, tons of praise and supportive messages poured in on social media.
Universally beloved by his teammates and Habs fans near and far, Price is poised to be welcomed back with open arms and even more open hearts.
Tyler Toffoli and Ben Chiarot show their support for Carey Price.\n\n#GoHabsGopic.twitter.com/fa1Cndv9mB
I don't know Carey Price personally but, as with all of you, I have been involved in his life from a professional and personal standpoint for 16 years. He has the hardest job in hockey. To see him be this open about his struggles, to inspire others to get help...I'm proud of him.
Several Habs fans took to Twitter to share similar sentiments about Price. Many posts exclaimed how Price's honesty and openness would "open the door" for athletes and inspire others to seek help for their issues.
Carey Price better get a 5 minute standing O his first game back at the Bell Centre
In his statement, Price said he was in "a very dark place" in the past few years and explained that he "didn't have the tools to cope."
His decision to enter a treatment facility for substance abuse was brought on by a need to "prioritize my health for both [himself] and for [his] family."
He also encouraged others to seek help if that's what they need to do.
Friendly reminder that Carey Price doesn\u2019t owe anybody anything. He doesn\u2019t need to tell the public what he\u2019s going/went through. All that matters is him and his family\u2019s well being. Nothing but positivity towards them!pic.twitter.com/uSVKWIwWSX
Montreal Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme has confirmed that Habs goalie Carey Price is set to rejoin the team next Monday.
Price, who has firmly established himself as a living legend in Montreal, took a leave of absence at the beginning of the season to enter the NHL's Player Assistance Program.
Dominique Ducharme indique que Carey Price sera de retour lundi pour rencontrer les th\u00e9rapeutes du club et d\u00e9velopper un plan \u00e0 suivre.\n\nDominique Ducharme confirms that Carey Price will rejoin the team on Monday to meet with athletic therapists and develop a plan moving forward.pic.twitter.com/7gPAxoVJl0
According to a social media post, Price will meet with "athletic therapists and develop a plan moving forward."
Price, whose voluntary leave of absence sent shockwaves throughout the hockey world, will be welcomed back with open arms.
The Habs are currently in a huge slump, with only three wins in the past 12 games. There's no word on whether Price will start any games soon but his presence in the locker room is sure to be a welcome sight for a team that really needs a leader right now.
His decision to return will also certainly be a relief to Habs general manager Marc Bergevin, who was reduced to tears speaking at a press conference in October about Price.
On Saturday, the Habs will face the Las Vegas Golden Knights at the Bell Centre.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.