Mario Cecchini confirmed as new Quebec Major Junior Hockey League commissioner
BOUCHERVILLE, QUE. -- The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has hired Mario Cecchini as its commissioner.
Cecchini replaces Gilles Courteau, who stepped down from that post Sunday after 37 years.
However, Cecchini won't officially take office until May 8 as he's currently the interim president of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes and involved in the impending sale of the franchise.
Interim commissioner Martin Lavallee will continue in that role until then.
"Mr. Cecchini is a very accomplished businessman with vast amounts of experience in sports and media," Richard Letourneau, president of the QMJHL's board of members, said in a statement. "He has been the president of several reputable organizations.
"He will undoubtedly be an important asset for the league going forward and we are extremely pleased to welcome him."
Courteau announced his departure just a year away from a planned 2024 retirement. He was in the middle of a political firestorm after testifying at provincial legislature hearings in Quebec City on hazing rituals in hockey last month.
Cecchini was first appointed as Alouettes president in January 2020. His contract wasn't renewed in December because of differences of opinion with ownership.
He was appointed interim president of the Alouettes last month after the CFL assumed control of the franchise.
"I am looking forward to the start of my mandate and I am excited to join the team," Cecchini said. "The QMJHL represents more than 50 years of elite player development, including some of the biggest stars in the history of the National Hockey League.
"But above all, it is an incredible school of life that offers players all the tools they need to develop in sports, academics and as individuals. Several excellent programs have been put in place. In the coming years, we will have the opportunity with the resources in place to see how we can improve and better communicate them.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2023.