Patrick Roy had three objectives for his Remparts during the QMJHL trade period: get two forwards, add two defenders and not compromise the next seasons of the franchise by letting go of high draft picks.
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On Friday, the general manager and head coach was pleased to have ticked each of those boxes.
In recent weeks, Quebec has confirmed the acquisition of center player Justin Robidas. The organization also got their hands on left winger Daniel Agostino, defenders Jérémy Langlois and Thomas Darcy, as well as draft picks.
Then, on Thursday, the team announced they had secured another center, Cam Thomson.
In exchange, Roy notably had to part with a few first-round selections from the next few years. But the general manager said he was confident of being able to recover the selections of 2024 and 2025.
Five years of work
Patrick Roy was not only happy with the work he and his team have done in recent weeks. Friday, he was delighted with all that had been accomplished since his return to Quebec, five years ago.
“Last year, we had a great chance [to go all the way]. We are on a two-year program. […] We now want to have a second good “run”, a second good chance to win, ”he pointed out, reiterating the high expectations surrounding the current edition of the Remparts.
Roy admits having tried until the last minute to improve his training even more. He notably had the possibility of adding a European player, since Frantisek Ridzon left the team in mid-December.
“We had no changes to make among our first six attackers, he noted. We might have wanted to add more depth, but the last price to pay, sometimes, is the one that may hurt in the long run. We weren't ready to sacrifice some players. »
“And was it really necessary? Would that really make a difference? asked the general manager. We are comfortable with our defense and with our goalkeepers. And today, we are very comfortable with all the songs we have on the attack. »
"It's going to play elbow"
The former goalkeeper did not want to comment on the transactions made by some of his main rivals, including the Phoenix and the Olympiques (see other text), because each organization “has its own way of working”.
But one thing is certain in the eyes of Patrick Roy: “It will play elbow [in the league] until the end of the season. »
"It's going to be exciting hockey," he added. Gatineau, Sherbrooke, Victoriaville, Halifax... they all improved significantly. There are other teams that should not be forgotten too, like Rouyn-Noranda, which is having a good season, or Rimouski, which is on a good streak. »
“There are teams that are going to want to play spoilsports. But starting today, it's played on the ice! »
Lefty back with the Remparts on Monday
After winning gold with Junior Team Canada on Thursday, forward Nathan Gaucher will enjoy a weekend off. He will be back in the team entourage on Monday.
The double champion could also benefit from a week off in mid-January, so that he can "decompress".
“I think it will do him good, commented his trainer. It's really something special to win the World Junior Hockey Championship, we're happy for him and we're proud of him. »
Patrick Roy did not have time to watch many matches during the tournament, but he said he was "convinced that [Gaucher] had done that well".
“I have no doubt about it”, he launched, a smirk