Sidney Crosby's former coach and mentor passes away at age 69

Published June 4, 2023 at 5:01 PM

Some sad news to report on in the hockey world this weekend as Sidney Crosby's former coach and mentor Doris Labonté has passed away at the age of 69 following a battle with cancer.

Labonté took Crosby under his wing during the latter's time with the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic. When Crosby was with the Oceanic, Labonté served as the team's assistant general manager, but was promoted to head coach mid-way through the 2004-05 season, leading them to a 28-game unbeaten streak and a QMJHL championship. Rimouski would go on to play in the 2005 Memorial Cup but lost in the championship game to a very strong London Knights squad.

"Doris had such a positive impact on me as a young player and even today as an NHL player," Crosby said.

He added, "I am grateful for the friendship we have developed and for the incredible memories we have had together. I will miss him and I want to send my condolences to the whole family,"

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League also mourned the loss of the longtime coach and assistant general manager with the following statement on Twitter:

We are extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Doris Labonté. All of our sympathies go out to the loved ones of this great man who left an important mark in the QMJHL history books, in addition to being the pride of an entire region. 💙"

Our thoughts are with Labonté's family and friends at this difficult time.

Latest 10 stories