Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
|Cape Breton Screaming Eagles|
|City||Sydney, Nova Scotia|
|League||Quebec Major Junior Hockey League|
|Home arena||Centre 200|
|Colours||Black, white, gold and grey |
|General manager||Marc-André Dumont|
|Head coach||Marc-André Dumont|
|1997–present||Cape Breton Screaming Eagles|
- 1 Franchise history (1969-1997)
- 2 Cape Breton (1997–present)
- 3 NHL alumni
- 4 NHL first round draft picks
- 5 Retired numbers
- 6 Award winners
- 7 Season-by-season record
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Franchise history (1969-1997)
The franchise was granted to the Sorel Eperviers (Black Hawks) for the 1969–70 season. They then moved from Sorel to Verdun in 1977 to become the Verdun Eperviers. In 1979, they played in both Sorel and Verdun before moving back to Sorel for the next season. In 1981, they moved to Granby to become the Granby Bisons, and in 1995 changed their names to the Granby Prédateurs. In 1996, the Prédateurs won the Memorial Cup. In 1997, they moved to Sydney to become the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles Prior to the Eagles' arrival, Sydney played host to the American Hockey League (AHL)'s Cape Breton Oilers from 1988 to 1996.
Cape Breton (1997–present)
Early years (1997–1999)
The Screaming Eagles' very first captain was Daniel Payette under coach Dany Dubé. They had very poor success in their first few seasons and often had difficulty earning respect around the League, with some players not wanting to come to Cape Breton or complaining while they were there. As enforcers were more common in the League at the time, the Screaming Eagles often made up for lack of skill by having an abundance of fighters.
The Vincent era (1999–2008)
The turn of the new millennium brought some hope to the Screaming Eagles franchise, as new Head Coach and General Manager Pascal Vincent was able to slowly turn things around. Some hardship continued when the Screaming Eagles attempted to strengthen the club by drafting future National Hockey League (NHL) star Ilya Kovalchuk tenth overall in the 2000 CHL Import Draft. However, Kovalchuk declined to report to the team. Along with star players Marc-André Fleury, Dominic Noel, Stuart MacRae and Stephen Dixon, the Screaming Eagles reached the QMJHL's conference final in 2002, only to lose in five games to Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Fleury's number 29 jersey went on to be retired by the Screaming Eagles in 2008. Kovalchuk's number 71 was retired in 2014, though it was soon revealed to be an April Fool's joke.
Vincent made a bold move and stacked the Screaming Eagles lineup with many NHL prospects for the 2003–04 season in hopes of bringing a League title to Cape Breton. Most of the players came from a notorious "boomerang" trade with the Halifax Mooseheads. After the Screaming Eagles won 49 games and captured a division title, Fleury returned from the Pittsburgh Penguins, leading many to think the team would be unstoppable in the playoffs. The Screaming Eagles, however, lost in the second round to the Chicoutimi Saguenéens.
Despite the embarrassment, President Greg Lynch opted not to fire Vincent. At the 2004 QMJHL Draft, the Screaming Eagles chose James Sheppard with the first overall pick. In 2006–07, along with star players Luc Bourdon, Ondrej Pavelec and Oskars Bartulis, Sheppard led the Screaming Eagles to the League semifinals, only to lose in seven games to the Val-d'Or Foreurs.
The 2007–08 season saw 16-year-old goaltender Olivier Roy rise to prominence. The Screaming Eagles finished fourth in their division and won their first round playoff series despite having a roster that normally dressed at least ten rookies. Vincent went on to be named the 2008 QMJHL Coach of the Year. However, following the end of the season, Vincent became the head coach and general manager of the Montreal Junior Hockey Club.
The post-Vincent era (2008–2012)
Following Vincent's departure, Assistant Coach Mario Durocher took over the role of head coach and general manager. In a bid to host the Memorial Cup in 2012, Durocher in 2010 added former NHL players Mike McPhee and Guy Chouinard, former NHL coach Pierre Creamer and Michel Boucher to the hockey staff in consulting roles. Durocher was relieved of his duties effective immediately on April 12, 2011, after a lackluster season in which the team finished 16th in the League and last in the Atlantic Division with just 41 points.
The team's then-Head Coach Ron Choules replaced Durocher as GM in April 2011, though the team failed to improve on the ice. After a poor start to the 2012–13 season, Choules himself was fired as head coach and GM on December 3, 2012, with former Val-d'Or Head Coach Marc-André Dumont announced as his replacement. The 2012–13 season was a poor one for the Screaming Eagles, as they failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. At season's end, Assistant Coach Jean-François David was fired, with no replacement immediately announced.
NHL first round draft picks
- 2003 – Marc-André Fleury, #1 overall Pittsburgh Penguins
- 2006 – James Sheppard, #9 overall Minnesota Wild
- 2015 – Evgeny Svechnikov, #19 overall Detroit Red Wings
- 2016 – Pierre-Luc Dubois, #3 overall Columbus Blue Jackets
- #29 – Marc-André Fleury
- Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (1997–Present)
- OL = Overtime loss, SL = Shootout loss, Pct = Winning percentage
- http://www.capebretonpost.com/Sports/Hockey/2014-04-01/article-3673374/Screaming-Eagles-pull-April-Fools%26rsquo%3B-joke-by-retiring-Kovalchuk%26rsquo%3Bs-number/1 Screaming Eagles Pull April Fool's Joke
- Choules fired as Screaming Eagles head coach, general manager http://www.capebretonpost.com/Sports/Hockey/2012-12-03/article-3132761/Choules-fired-as-Screaming-Eagles-head-coach%2C-general-manager/1
- Eagles will miss QMJHL playoff for first time in franchise history http://www.capebretonpost.com/Sports/Hockey/2013-03-03/article-3191562/Eagles-will-miss-QMJHL-playoff-for-first-time-in-franchise-history/1
- Screaming Eagles assistant coach David not returning http://www.capebretonpost.com/Sports/Hockey/2013-03-21/article-3205258/Screaming-Eagles-assistant-coach-David-not-returning/1
- Cape Breton Screaming Eagles season-by-season record on www.hockeydb.com