Retro Carbonneau

  Season 4: 1979-80  

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He could become the greatest scorer
in the history of the Saguenéens

Hockey Junior Magazine, January 4, 1980,
translated from the French

In his fourth season with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens, Guy Carbonneau displays the same determination he showed as a rookie, and seems to have discovered new sources of motivation.

Rather than relaxing after having his services claimed by the Montreal Canadiens in the last draft, the able player from the North Coast is fixed on new objectives.

Becoming the greatest scorer in the history of the Saguenéens, leading his team to greater honors, winning the scoring championship and thus demonstrating that the Canadiens have assessed him correctly, all figure among Carbonneau’s priorities this season.

According to his output the first half of the season, Carbonneau shouldn’t have too much trouble surpassing Sylvain Locas as the highest scorer in the history of the Saguenéens.

While Locas’ record is 174 goals and 214 assists for 388 points, the valiant captain of the Chicoutimi club has 99 goals and 154 assists for a total of 253, in other words, 135 fewer than the record holder.

Unless some unfortunate injury slows his pace, Carbonneau should have no trouble, in the regular season, amassing the 75 goals and 135 points necessary to make him the most prolific scorer in the Saguenéens’ seven year history.

Although preoccupied more with the success of his team than his personal stats, Carbonneau doesn’t hide that he would like to pass Locas and finish as leading goal scorer; however, leading his team to win the Memorial Cup is his foremost goal.

"I’m not fixed on a personal objective," declares the Saguenéens’ quick and elegant skater. "To me the team’s performance is the priority, because hockey is a collective discipline. All I want is the final victory for the club. In my last year of junior, I would like to see the Saguenéens go further than the quarterfinals, which has not yet happened while I’ve been with the team."

Chosen Best Offensive Player in November, Carbonneau agrees that being drafted before the end of his term in junior relieves him of some pressure, even though thousands of Saguenéens fans now expect even more of him.

"The fact that I have nothing more to worry about concerning the next draft relieves me of the pressure any junior feels his last year. The nervousness takes another form after you’ve been drafted because your supporters then require you to produce."

For his part, [Coach] Orval Tessier has only praise for his captain. "After having participated in training camp with the Canadiens, Guy could have returned to us with a swelled head and the idea that he has nothing left to learn, but he has proven the contrary. He is our uncontested leader and the guys have tremendous respect for him."

And concludes the experienced coach, "His speed and agility will certainly help him make his mark. In my eyes, he is not only the best center, but the best player in the entire league."
________

So what eventually happened in this scoring contest? As far as the career race, in total goals Guy came up three short with 171 for his four years with the Sags, but won the total point race by 47 with 435. For a single season total, Guy again fell shy of the goals record but did pass Locas in points with 182, and that total now stands as third highest in Sags history. It is also 30th on the all-time CHL list (all Junior A teams) for points in one season, tied with one Wayne Gretzky of the Soo Greyhounds.

Not bad. It was time to go professional. Carbonneau immediately joined the Nova Scotia Voyageurs for the playoffs, and participated in two games. The Habs’ farm team lost in the first round to the Maine Mariners, after a series of matches marked by brawling (one fight emptied both benches), lackluster effort, and tepid fan support. Unfortunately, these were all signs of what awaited Guy the following season…

On the Ice
The Sags' captain on the ice.

 

Info Guide Cover
Guy made the cover of the Sags'
79-80 Information Guide.

 

Hockey Junior Cover
Clipped from the cover of Hockey Junior magazine.

Resources:

Saguenéens de Chicoutimi (web site of Guy Villeneuve)
Hockey Junior, January 4, 1980
Kent, Jeffrey W., Here Come the Vees, Nimbus Publishing, 1997

Year's Stats:
 Events:
Regular Season
GP G A Pts PIM
72 72 110 182 66
PlayoffsSags
GP G A Pts PIM
12 9 15 24 28
PlayoffsVees
GP G A Pts PIM
2 1 1 2 2

 

  • Served as captain of the Saguenéens
  • Labatts Offensive Player of the Month for November
  • 1st in scoring on the Saguenéens
  • Named to QMJHL All-Star second team
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