Thursday, 24 July 2014

Will Patrice Brisebois coach in the LHJMQ?

The very nebulous rumours of Patrice Brisebois wanting to coach in the LHJMQ are taking shape I see.  He said he resigned from his position with the Canadiens partly because he wanted to coach, and couldn't see an opportunity with the Canadiens.  Jean-Jacques Daigneault with le Grand Club, Donald Dufresne with the Bulldogs are in charge of the defencemen, so there are no openings for him that way.

Good for him if that's what he does, goes into the trenches and learns how to coach young men.  Running practices, leading a team, bench strategy, knowing when to push, when to ease off, balancing the need to win versus the need to develop players, there are so many facets to being a coach, I definitely don't think it's simple, and usually am loath to criticize a head coach.  I definitely don't think it's an easy gig, that I could do what they do.

Generally, it would be an encouraging step if another young recently-retired former NHL'er got into the coaching game.  Two high-profile guys who we got to know on RDS, Joël Bouchard and Denis Gauthier, have cut back on their TV commitments to assume roles on LHJMQ teams.

Joël Bouchard was an assistant coach with the Armada as well as part-owner, and ran a hockey school on the side in the summer, and had video 'capsules' on RDS breaking down skill development and strategy on RDS.  Eventually he spent less time in front of the camera and more with the kids, becoming the General Manager of the team.  He's a really bright guy, well-spoken and has a magnetic personality.  His career path seems to lead to the NHL in short order.

Denis Gauthier was a tough, defensively-oriented defenceman who was drafted in the first-round by the Flames in '95.  He retired relatively young from the game, and being telegenic and well-spoken, landed a gig as a talking head on RDS.  He's also in the coaching game, being the defencemen coach for the Voltigeurs de Drummondville, and also finding time to coach his son's Pee Wee team.

I've talked about this in the past, how the Canadiens need a strong, thriving hockey scene in Québec, and should do everything they can to support it.  Their farm team in Hamilton should be staffed by the brightest young minds from the LHJMQ, and even the team in Wheeling in the ECHL should be a training ground for young coaches who can one day land in the NHL.  Stocking the pond with a lot of candidates will only give the team more options when hiring decisions are made.

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