For those of you who didn’t follow the Montreal Juniors last season, this blog entry should provide you with a brief summary of the 2008-2009 season, the club’s first in Montreal after the franchise played three seasons in St. John's Newfoundland as the expansion Fog Devils.
The Hockey News Magazine ranked the Montreal Juniors 6 / 18 going into the 2008-2009 season. The team was stocked with QMJHL star players like forwards Angelo Esposito (ATL - seen in photo), Luke Adam (BUF), Captain Matt Fillier (LAK), defenseman T.J. Brennan (BUF) and goaltender Jake Allen (STL), but was also invested with solid young yet inexperienced players like Guillaume Asselin, Louis-Marc Aubry and Jean-Francois Berube (LAK).
The team flirted with a .500 record for most of the season and team chemistry seemed to be a bit of an issue. After the January trade deadline, both Esposito and Adam suffered season-ending injuries and the Juniors' focus became building for the 2009-2010 season.
Montreal finished 2nd in their division and 8th overall with a record of 34-30-2-2. In round 1 of the playoffs, Montreal beat the Rouyn Noranda Huskies in a tough fought 6 game series. In round 2 the Juniors were swept by the eventual QMJHL Cup Champions, the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
Year one was considered as a successful return of QMJHL hockey to Montreal, a city where the Montreal Canadiens remain the hottest ticket in town while other sport clubs fight for attention. In terms of attendance, the team built a solid foundation of season ticket holders and game sales averaged 3,100 fans per game. The Verdun Auditorium which has a legal capacity of 3,700.