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QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau resigns after 37 years

By Evan Taylor Mar 6, 2023 | 4:05 PM

QMJHL Comissioner Gilles Courteau resigned on Sunday. Photo: QMJHL

Gilles Courteau, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) commissioner, has resigned amid intense scrutiny from the province’s political class over hazing and initiations.

Courteau, who had been at the helm of the junior hockey league for 37 years, announced his departure a year before his planned retirement in 2024.

The resignation came after he testified at legislature hearings in Quebec City on hazing rituals in hockey last month. Courteau reassured politicians that none of the allegations described in a Radio-Canada report about an Ontario Superior Court ruling involved the league, but the former QMJHL player who was part of that lawsuit alleged he experienced sexual misconduct.

Courteau was under pressure to testify a second time after being accused of perjuring himself by Opposition members of the legislature.

The Quebec legislature studied the issue of hazings and initiations in February after a recent Ontario court decision revealed details of sexual assault and torture suffered by teenage hockey players in the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League and QMJHL going back to 1975.

Martin Lavallee, the current assistant commissioner, will assume the top job in an interim role while the recruitment process for a new commissioner is concluded.


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