May 10’s end-of-season availabilities concluded with president and chief executive officer Mark Weightman addressing the media.Weightman is extremely proud of the organization: The Lions completed a 69-game regular season and a playoff run that ended, unfortunately, in the seventh and deciding game of the North Division semi-finals against the Newfoundland Growlers. It’s quite an accomplishment, especially to think it was only 11 months ago when the team unveiled its name and logo. And this was precisely the point the team’s president and CEO made during his press conference."Exactly 11 months ago, we unveiled our team’s name. We had no coach or players signed at the time. Today, we can declare that although we are not entirely satisfied because our objective was to win the Kelly Cup, we are still very proud of the progress our team made during the season and the playoffs.”Just like his general manager Marc-André Bergeron said, Weightman emphasized the importance of producing a lineup with several Quebec players. "The most important element of our branding is having a Quebec identity. It allows us to distinguish ourselves from the other teams in the league, and to get the attention and the love of the province’s hockey fans.”This strategy appears to have been successful. Quebecers responded enthusiastically and quickly adopted the team as one of their own. In fact, excluding games that were played at either reduced capacity or behind closed doors, Colisée Vidéotron had an average attendance of 3,058 fans per game. This truly demonstrates the enthusiasm and passion of the fans who follow and support the Trois-Rivières Lions.Even though the president gave a glowing review of the team’s first season in the ECHL, there is still an opportunity to get better. "We plan to launch some new concepts in 2022-23,” Weightman said, “whether in terms of products, the customer experience or integrating into the community. We want to make some adjustments in order to continue to improve.”The team’s debut season has been a success on many levels. But all the same, it’s only Year One of a long-term project that promises to improve year-to-year. Make sure to join us for the ride next season as the Lions continue their quest for victories and aim to bring the Kelly Cup home.
President and CEO Mark Weightman's thoughts after a rollercoaster ride of a first season
Friday, May 20th
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