Friday, July 16, 2010
July by the Numbers returns to Quebec for jersey #16.
Rimouski Océanic was founded in 1969 as the Sherbrooke Castors until 1982 when they moved to Saint-Jean from 1982 until 1989. They then changed their name to the Saint-Jean Lynx from 1989 until 1995 when they relocated once more and took the name Rimouski Océanic.
During the 1999-00 season, their fifth in Rimouski, the Océanic finished first overall during the regular season with 102 points, thanks in part to Brad Richards league leading 186 points while leading the league in both goals and assists. During the playoffs they proceeded to win the QMJHL championship to advance to the Memorial Cup playoffs.
There, they defeated Kootenay 3-1, Barrie 7-2 and hosts Halifax 5-3 to complete the round robin portion undefeated to advance directly to the final. Barrie won the right to challenge Rimouski and Océanic captured the championship with an easy 6-2 win.
Following their championship, Rimouski fell on hard times for the next three seasons, including a 11-58-3 record in 2002-03. Help arrived the following season in the from of one Sidney Crosby, who proceeded to lead not only the team, but the league in scoring for the next two seasons.
During the second of those seasons, Rimouski set a record with 28 consecutive games without a loss. Océanic then won the QMJHL playoffs when they defeated Lewiston, Chicoutimi and Halifax while winning 12 games and losing but one. Their league championship earned them a slot in the Memorial Cup playoffs. They lost their first game to London, but defeated both the defending champions Kelowna and then Ottawa. Ottawa was again dispatched in the semifinals to earn Rimouski a place in the finals against London, who prevailed to deny Océanic a second championship.
Aside from future Conn Smythe Trophy winner Richards and NHL superstar Crosby, other recognizable names who's route to the NHL has passed through Rimouski include Eric Belanger, Ryane Clowe and Vincent Lecavalier.
The presence of Crosby on the team has raised their profile among fans in the United States and Crosby Rimouski jerseys have become a hot commodity for those looking to break out of the mold of a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey.
Today's featured jersey is a 2003-04 Rimouski Océanic Erick Tremblay jersey. At first glance their logo appears to be a shark leaping from the waves, but it is in fact an ocean liner sporting an enormous set of jaws.
Our video section today is a profile of Sidney Crosby during his days with Rimouski Oceanic.