Behind the scenes at the QMJHL with Matthew Vachon

With the publication of his first book entitled “Junior Stories, Behind the Scenes of the QMJHL”, former La Nouvelle Union sportswriter Matthew Vachon (now a journalist at the Nouvelliste de Trois-Rivières), offers 37 anecdotes (more the last) showing behind the scenes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

This idea of ​​​​telling what happens behind the scenes of the Courteau circuit came to him during the pandemic, after reading the book “Beauties” by James Duthie. “I was talking about professional hockey. He wanted to do a junior version of hockey,” he said in an interview at his home in Saint-Ferdinand.

It must be said that he knew this league, which he covered for a few years during his time at La Nouvelle Union. For this reason, he embarked on this project that sought to demonstrate that the QMJHL is not just goals scored, saves or victories, as indicated in its prologue, but a breeding ground for interesting, funny, sad, moving or inspiring stories. “And books 100% dedicated to young people, there aren’t that many,” he remarked.

So he embarked on a literary adventure with, to begin with, the hockey player Simon Lafrance (who today plays for the Patriotes de Trois-Rivières) who was the first to agree to tell him a story… and even several.

Seeing that there was potential, Matthew followed up with a series of interviews with various players on the Courteau circuit. Managers, coaches, players, recruiters, agents or journalists, all allow a different light to be shed, in short, to show behind the scenes. “These guys eat and breathe hockey. Live in them all the time. »

I wanted to get stories from people I already knew (Shawn Element, Mavrik Bourque, Carl Mallette), but also other people I wanted to include. “Personalities like Denis Gauthier, Bruno Gervais, Gaston Therrien, Richard Martel, etc. “, he affirms.

Matthew confesses that among all the stories he’s been told, he has a soft spot for Pierre Cholette’s, about Yanni Gourde. In addition, he was moved by Mathieu Marchand who recounted the last hockey trip of coach Daniel Fréchette, now deceased.

Most of the people he asked for interviews agreed, but some, like Patrick Roy or Philip Danault, refused. “I can understand. I came with a project, a bit like the wind, without an editorial”, he justifies.

The result is a book that will interest sports lovers, especially hockey, and those who want to discover stories that we hear less often.

Whether they’re regular junior hockey viewers or young athletes dreaming of the QMJHL, everyone will find what they’re looking for. “People can read the story they want, stop and resume reading later,” he says.


It was not long before Éditions Hurtubise accepted his manuscript. Indeed, the publisher showed interest, to his great pleasure, he who had a dream, now realized at the age of 26, to be published.

And it’s probably not his last book, he who really appreciated the experience, even if he had to spend most of his free time there. “I learned that I had a drive to be successful in the things that I do,” he discovered.

However, he does not plan to repeat the same process with the East Coast League (ECL) that he currently covers for Le Nouvelliste. “We don’t have the same closeness with the players that we do in the QMJHL,” he notes.

He also has another manuscript in the drawer, a novel written before “Junior Stories”, which he has put aside. Regardless of the projects, Matthew knows that he will always write, whether as a journalist or as a writer.

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