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Montreal announces bid for 2009 World Junior Hockey Championship

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

Montreal Host Organizing Committee Chair Pierre Boivin (center) addresses members of the media on Friday alongside fellow HOC member Ray Lalonde (left) and Hockey Advisory Board member Gilles Courteau (right).


MONTREAL - Canadiens President Pierre Boivin confirmed Friday that Montreal will be submitting its official bid to host the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championship, to be presented from December 26, 2008 to January 5, 2009. The announcement was made at a press conference at the Bell Centre with Qubec Major Junior Hockey League Commissioner Gilles Courteau.

This initiative was made possible thanks to a partnership between the City of Montreal, the Government of Qubec and Hockey Qubec.

Bid documents had to be submitted to Hockey Canada by 2 p.m. today, while presentations in person will be made in April. Hockey Canada's Board of Directors will announce the location of the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship during the month of May.

The Organizing Committee for the Montreal bid is made of Pierre Boivin, President of the Montreal Canadiens, Andrew T. Molson, Vice-Chairman, Legal Affairs and  Corporate Secretary for National Public Relations, Pierre Gauthier, Director of Professional Scouting with the Montreal Canadiens, and Ray Lalonde, Vice President, Marketing and Sales for the Montreal Canadiens.

Jean Bliveau and George N. Gillett Jr, the Canadiens' team owner, will act as Honorary Members.

"We are particularly proud to submit the application for the City of Montreal to host the World Junior Hockey Championship in 2009. This is a prestigious international event that enjoys tremendous popularity among hockey enthusiasts from around the world. As the Canadiens will be celebrating their Centennial in 2009, we want the city of Montreal to be a unique catalyst for our national sport, and hosting this tournament will provide the city of Montreal and the Province of Quebec with a wonderful opportunity to be the focus of the entire hockey world," said Pierre Boivin.

The Montreal bid will have a stamp of originality with a special Hockey Advisory Committee made of several former players and coach who starred in Junior Hockey in the Province of Quebec. This Committee, which will play an important role because of the experience and the impact of its members, includes Guy Carbonneau, Associate Coach with the Montreal Canadiens, Mario Lemieux, owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Luc Robitaille, of the Los Angeles Kings, Mathieu Dandenault, of the Canadiens, Brad Richards, of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Bob Hartley, head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers, and Gilles Courteau.

"We are extremely pleased to support the Montreal Canadiens organization in its quest to host the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championship. Over the years, the Montreal Canadiens have hosted a vast array of prestigious events at the Bell Centre, and their implication as a major partner in the community is well known. We certainly welcome this initiative and firmly believe that hosting this prestigious event in Montreal will have a positive influence on our goal to bring back a Qubec Major Junior Hockey League franchise in the Greater Montreal area," said Gilles Courteau.

Ten nations will take part in the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships. The Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens (27 games), and the Maurice Richard Arena (14 games) are the proposed venues for the event.

Canada has hosted the World Junior Championships seven times since its inception: Montreal (1978), Hamilton (1986), Saskatoon (1991), Red Deer (1995), Winnipeg (1999), Halifax (2003) and Vancouver (2006). Before the 2009 event, the World Juniors will be hosted successively by Sweden (Leksand and Mora), in 2007, and by Czech Republic in 2008. Canada has won the gold medal in 2005 (Grand Forks, North Dakota) and in 2006 (Vancouver).

Hockey fans are invited to visit for further information and to support the bid and bring the event to Montreal.

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