Thursday 19 May 2011

Professional lacrosse returning to Montreal

At the age of 48 I am old enough to remember the days of the Montreal Québecois, perhaps our city's most successful professional lacrosse team. Hockey legend John Ferguson was the head coach and for a while fans packed the Montreal Forum to watch them play during the 1974 and 1975 seasons. I remember my dad bringing my brother and I to a game the night before the Habs were to host the New York Rangers. We were so excited to see New York general manager Emile "the Cat" Francis and Doug Risebrough of the Canadiens in the crowd. Their top scorer was a fellow by the name of John Davis. The game featured a lot of physical contact and fights.

In 2002 pro lacrosse returned as the Montreal Express played at the Bell Centre. That experiment failed and the team moved to Minnesota. Now Martin Routhier, who recently stepped down as president of the Montreal Juniors of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, is poised to announce a new Montreal entry in the National Lacrosse League. He will do so at a press conference on May 26.

Routhier (right), whose new company Rooths Sports Events is behind the initiative, is a smart cookie. He has a business degree for McGill, played hockey there and helped owner Farrel Miller successfully relaunch junior hockey here after an absence of a few years. He has also surrounded himself with two now former employees of the Juniors from the areas of communications and ticketing.

Lacrosse appears to be growing in popularity in the Montreal area at the amateur level so it will be interesting to follow this story.


  1. Hi..As a long time former resident of Montreral and a big time lover of Lacrosse, I remember very well The Montreal Quebecois Lacrosse Team and John Davis was their BIG STAR...
    And if I may make a correctiomn to your com,ment re John Ferguson, he was not the coach he was part owner.. If memory serves me right -the other co-owner was Nelson Stall.. The coach was Bill Bradly..
    I was a very close friend to Larry Reilly the p.r. man for Les Quebecois and in fact we were "compted: tickets to Boston Garfdens to see a game betwen the Bolts and QWuerbecois as we were going on holidays to Boston..
    And further when we left Montreal in 12983 for Vancouver, I worked with a former Quebecois
    Gord Osinchuk - I also have autographed 8 X 10s photos of each of the first years players..
    If at any time you'd care to discuss these menmories , drop us a lione, I'm always will to chat..
    Ray Hoare

    1. Dear Mr. Ray Hoare,
      I found your name and e-mail address in a Mike Cohen article in The Surbaban (2011/may/19) that discussed the old National Lacrosse League (version one) Montreal Québecois team of 1974 and 1975.

      If you have or know of any available photographs, programmes, sweaters (jerseys), penants and the like that are for sale could you please drop me a reply and let me know how I might make a purchase.
      Thank you very much for your time, and I hope that you do you not find this to be troublesome or annoying.
      Kim Gray