Bouchard to coach Cana­di­ens’ af­fil­i­ate

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - Sports - BILL BEA­CON

MON­TREAL — The Mon­treal Cana­di­ens named Joel Bouchard coach of the Laval Rocket, their Amer­i­can Hockey League af­fil­i­ate, on Thurs­day.

The 44-year-old Bouchard suc­ceeds Syl­vain Le­feb­vre, who was fired at the end of the reg­u­lar sea­son af­ter six years on the job. The also an­nounced that Le­feb­vre’s as­sis­tants Don­ald Dufresne and Nick Car­riere, wouldn’t be back.

Bouchard left as co-owner, pres­i­dent, gen­eral man­ager and coach of the Blainville-Bois­briand Ar­mada of the Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League to take the Rocket job that may one day lead to coach­ing or man­age­ment with the Na­tional Hockey League club.

Bouchard said he’s not think­ing that far ahead, for now.

“The most re­ward­ing op­por­tu­nity for me, the job I wanted, was to be coach of the Laval Rocket.”

“Fol­low­ing our eval­u­a­tion, we con­cluded that Joel was ready to make the step up as a head coach at the pro­fes­sional level,” Cana­di­ens GM Marc Bergevin said in a state­ment. “His ex­pe­ri­ence at the ju­nior level in Que­bec, as well as on the in­ter­na­tional stage with Hockey Canada, makes him an ex­cel­lent coach who can de­velop great young play­ers.

“He also has a solid knowl­edge base of ju­nior play­ers from across Canada. We are con­fi­dent he will bring a dy­namic ap­proach to the Rocket or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

Joel Bouchard

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