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Commissioner of brawling Quebec minor pro league Michel Gaudette steps down

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MONTREAL - Michel Gaudette has stepped down as commissioner of the Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey, the rough and tumble Quebec minor-pro hockey league.

Gaudette said he was worn out after seven years as commissioner. He informed league governors of his decision Tuesday.

"I think I gave enough," he said in a statement Wednesday. "We did some good things.

"But a time comes when you need to move onto something else. Everything was working well. We have a good structure and everything was running on ball bearings. It was the best time for me to leave."

Vice-president of marketing Serge Forget has also left his job.

Vice-president for hockey Michel Godin and executive vice-president Gilles Rousseau will run the league on an interim basis, with help from Yves Desharnais, co-owner of the Sherbrooke franchise.

League governors will meet Jan. 13 to discuss naming a new commissioner and whether administrative changes are needed.

"We thank Michel Gaudette for the years he spent running the league," said Godin. "He was able to keep alive a league that has been counted out many times.

"Eleven years later, the league is still alive and still offering hockey fans in Quebec a quality product with high standards."

The nine-team league is known as a haven for brawlers, where fans expect at least a fight or two per game. NHL tough guy Donald Brashear spent the 2004-'05 lockout season with an LNAH club in Quebec City.

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