Sports Gilbert Rousseau is going national


    MONTREAL, April 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Sports Gilbert Rousseau is pleased to
announce that it has teamed up with a group of private equity investors led by
Champlain Financial Corporation, in partnership with the Company's senior
management, as well as with Jack Steckel, a founding member of Golf Town and
Capital Canada Limited, an independent investment banking firm, setting the
stage for the creation of a nationwide "category killer" hockey specialty
retail chain to operate under the banners of "Pro Hockey Life" across Canada
and "Rousseau Sports" within Quebec. Building on Sports Gilbert Rousseau's
success in the Montreal area, the company, to be renamed Pro Hockey Life
Sporting Goods Inc., will launch its Canadian expansion with its Vaughan Mills
mega store, which the company believe will be the largest concept of its kind
in the world and has already committed to locations under construction in the
Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal areas, which are all scheduled to open within the
next 12 months.
    "We are extremely proud of our partnership with Champlain Financial
Corporation and Capital Canada who both share my passion and vision of
building a hockey retailing powerhouse from coast to coast. The depth of our
new partners' financial and industry networks will be instrumental to making
this a great Canadian success story" says the company's founder Gilbert
Rousseau.
    Mr. Rousseau, who will retain a significant equity stake in the company,
will remain as its President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Rousseau will be
supported by the addition of two seasoned executives, Scott Jackson and
Keith Hunt who will join Pro Hockey Life to oversee the deployment of the
company's cross-Canada roll out.
    Mr. Jackson, who most recently led strategic and operational enhancement
programs for large retailers while with the global management consulting firm
McKinsey & Company, will assume the role of Executive Vice-President and
Chief Operating Officer and will be based in the company's Laval, Quebec head
office. Mr. Hunt, who played a significant role in the rapid national
expansion of Chapters Inc. and more recently, as Vice-President Operations of
Forzani Group Ltd.'s Sport Mart banner, will be relocating from Calgary to
Toronto, as Senior Vice President focusing on the Company's expansion outside
of Quebec.

    About Sports Gilbert Rousseau

    A Quebec entrepreneurial success story having pioneered the hockey
superstore concept, Sports Gilbert Rousseau was founded over 30 years ago and
currently operates a five store network in and around Montreal, Quebec. Having
experienced phenomenal growth, the Company focuses on providing products and
services to hockey players of all abilities, including high-end equipment for
the discerning player.
    Sports Gilbert Rousseau's strategy has been to offer the largest
selection of brand name equipment, accessories and apparel with superior sales
assistance in a high energy store environment. For more information, visit:
www.sportsrousseau.com

    About Champlain Financial Corporation

    Champlain Financial Corporation, a Montreal-based merchant banking firm,
along with its U.S. affiliated private equity fund manager, Champlain Capital
Management LLC, has been building a diversified private equity portfolio with
a series of investments throughout Canada and the United States. Champlain's
core focus is to serve as a value-added partner in providing equity capital
for small and middle-market companies.

    About Capital Canada Limited

    Capital Canada Limited is an independent investment banking firm
providing expert, financial advice to corporations and entrepreneurs in Canada
and abroad. With a focus in the private capital markets, Capital Canada brings
to bear the application of innovative and independent financial skills,
targeted towards the unique characteristics of its clients.



For further information: M. Gilbert Rousseau, President & CEO, Pro
Hockey Life Sporting Goods, (450) 681-0855 ext. 232; M. Scott Jackson,
Executive Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer, Pro Hockey Life Sporting
Goods, (450) 681-0855 ext. 238