It’s during the quick spin between our regular winter season and our first summer season that I pause to take an overview of the nine months of action in our league’s second season. It was a season full of newness.
After a summer spent promoting the league through different street fairs and festivals such as the ones held on St. Laurent and Mont-Royal Boulevards and across social media platforms and through old-fashioned print promotional material, we recruited enough players to complete our expansion to six teams. We started the season as is our new tradition with our pre-season barbeque where the recruits could meet the players from the “original four” while admiring the assorted trophies of la Ligue Fédérale des As. It was also the chance to show “LFArevolution,” the highlight video of our inaugural season leading up to the first championship in league history. It remains a must see!
The second season would unfold with new begining such as the addition of Sher-Wood hockey as sponsor of the player-of-the-month award. Each month the winner received new pair of gloves, showing a marked advance on the home made Shepherd’s Pie Martin Desjardins won last year as our first player-of-the-month winner! Other partners also joined us over the season opening a world of possibilities for our members. In addition to meaningful monthly prizes, more than $5,000 in gifts were handed out over the season to our members and fans. A similar amount was given to two charitable works over the season through our fundraising for Movember as well as the SLAP hockey development program at Sun Youth. The LFA, with help from our partners, was able to inject money into the league to improve the hockey experience for our members with the purchase of new socks, sweaters for substitute goalies, and alterations to our sweaters and club logos. We also added scoreboard flags to help our fans keep track of the action as well as helmet stickers, and sweaters for tournaments, special events and an eventual all-star game. On top of that, we bought new bottles and carriers for our teams, game plan drawing boards for our captains and coaches, and a cooler for the stands so our fans don’t go thirsty. We also added spare equipment and even had music at our games for the end of the season. A scoreboard was added on our website and new sections such as the LFA bulletin board, poll and a prospectus for potential new partners.
With 433 active members including 112 goaltenders, we have experienced immense growth in the hockey world as well as online. In less than two years we’ve past from the sixth page on Google to the fourth position on the first page. The traffic on our site has increased 108 per cent with an average of more then 2000 visits per month, putting us among the hockey league champions in Quebec.
The 2014-2015 season was a season of other firsts: We saw our first father-son tandem take the ice reminding us that either we’re getting old or some of us started their kid factory hurly. We also saw a real baby boom lately, with several members adding new fans, including one new dad who ad is first at 51 years old. This year also saw the arrival of a pioneer in our league (and also the winner of “sub-of-the-year” at our year-end gala) with the first woman to play in the LFA. The moment marked a change values and a breath of fresh air in the league.
To close this brief summary of last season which saw the Rouge Horizon Tomahawks win a second consecutive championship and who's pictures of the road to the cup as well as the end of season's gala are now on-line, I want to thank certain league members whose involvement in the league separated them from others. Many members contributed in each their own way but these people rolled up their sleeves more than once to contribute to our optimal hockey experience: Laurent Quesnel, Jacob Poliquin, Sebastien Renault, Eric Drapeau, Matthew Perris, Tom Spencer, Les Perreaux, Pierre Ferland and Craig Higgins. To this list we could add people on the selection and discipline committees, our captains and assistants along with Donald Turcotte, José Cabral, Joe Villacrusis, Paul Rosa, Miguel Legault , Marc Godin, Bruno Petrozza et mes parents. I must also thank league members for the commemorative plaque I received during the finale. It touched my heart and was much appreciated.
I hope being part of the Ligue Fédérale des As as a player or fan brings you joy and good moments in your life. Have a great summer and don’t hesitate to join us for one of our games in the summer season, either as a player or spectator. We start May 31 at 7 p.m. at Collège Notre-Dame arena.
On a more somber note, Joel "angel face" Marceau from the championship team, the Tomahawks, had a motorcycle accident Friday morning and will likely be out for a long time. We wish him best of luck in his recovery and hope to see him soon in the league environement. Simon Lavery-Lebeau his long time friend and playing partner accepted to fill in for Joel as captain of the Shamrocks for our summer season to preserve the balance between the teams.
Best of luck buddy, we are with you on your journey back to health !!!
JFD (As translated by Les Perreaux)