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Montreal Canadiens ECHL Affiliate Tumultuous Year Continues



Canadiens Bergeron

While the Montreal Canadiens are busy preparing for the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, their ECHL affiliate, the Trois-Rivières Lions, continue to deal with a chaotic summer.

The Lions have announced that former Canadiens defenceman Marc-André Bergeron has departed from the organization. Bergeron had served as the team’s general manager and vice president of Hockey Operations since the club’s inaugural season in 2020-21.

Bergeron also served as the interim head coach following the departure of head coach Éric Bélanger, who resigned from his position in November.

Manon Rhéaume’s brother, Pascal, will take over Bergeron’s duties as general manager and coach. Rhéaume, 50, has served as the Lions’ assistant coach since 2021-22.

The Lions In The News

The change in management comes on the heels of rumours that Deacon Sports And Entertainment (DSE), the company that owns the Lions, is currently trying to sell the team. DSE denied that they were looking for a buyer earlier this month.

DSE also received a formal notice from the city of Trois-Rivières on May 12, citing unpaid debt that had reached over $600,000. Trois-Rivières noted DSE was no longer in good financial standing with the municipality due to the operating costs of the Colisée Vidéotron, the home of the Lions.

This is not the first time DSE was embroiled in legal proceedings with one of their hockey organization and their respective arena landlord. St-John’s entered into proceedings with the company in 2021, regarding a potential lease renewal at Mile One Centre. That case went to arbitration, with both parties eventually agreeing on terms for a three-year lease.

It should be noted that despite the affiliation with the Montreal Canadiens, the team in Trois-Rivières is funded and run by a completely different parent company, which means there’s little to no impact on the Canadiens when it comes to the recent chaos in the ECHL.

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