QMJHL Trouble In Cape Breton

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QMJHL Trouble In Cape Breton January 14, 2013 7:43 AM

The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles have seen a drop in attendance, averaging 2,600 fans per night in 2011-12 and now under 2,500 fans per night after more than half of their home games in 2012-13.

While a drop of 100 on average may not be alarming in most cases, when you combine it with a record of 9 wins – 28 loss – 3 OTL – 4 SL you are not building a success story. Considering the Sreaming Eagles went 23-43-1-2 last season, and only having 14 games left to play this season, it is unlikely that they will equal last seasons win and point total.

Is there real reason for concern of the general health of the franchise?

If having QMJHL Commissioner Gilles Courteau in town and having these questions asked of him is an indication, then yes there should be real reason for concern.

Courteau was recently quoted saying “It’s not something we’ve seen on a regular basis in Cape Breton and we understand the situation,” he said. “They’re going through a rebuilding situation. Junior hockey is a cycle and they’re at the bottom of it. I’m sure they’ll be at the top of that rebuilding situation pretty soon."

“They’ve made some major changes lately and they have a very good person in Marc-André Dumont. He has very good experience and he’ll be a good guy for the organization. He’s a hard worker, so I’m confident he’ll bring the team back on the winning track as soon as he can.”

Having recently lost a bid to host the Memorial Cup because the on ice product of the Screaming Eagles, Cape Breton fans and business owners are loosing patience with ownership and management. With a team unlikely to make the playoffs, revenues for local business owners go down along with team attendance revenues.

Rumblings are now being heard that change not only needs to take place on, but off the ice.

By Joseph Kolodziej

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