Sunday, May 26, 2024

Andre Torini says QMJHL coaches are being avoided by the NHL

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
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“When I left to train at OHL [Ligue junior de l’Ontario]Two guys told me: You’re going to be a head coach in the NHL. Nobody could dream of that at QMJHL. However, I’m the same guy, speak the same language, and have the same dialect in Ontario as in Quebec. »

Posted yesterday at 6:16pm.

Simon Olivier Lorang

Simon Olivier Lorang

Andre Torrini was candidly discussing the fate of the Arizona Coyotes, the team he’s led since the start of the season, and his first game at Bale’s position as head coach, when a question from the left embarked on an unexpected journey.

It was pointed out by journalist Nicholas Landry, of RDS, that the Canadians’ hiring of Martin St. Louis surprised many people in the QMJHL; The Canadian had definitely hired a Quebecer, but he didn’t think of a driver from the province’s junior league.

And when Torrini was asked to give his opinion on the matter, he first laughedly remembered that he had risked being late “at the start of the match” – he had met with journalists in the city just over two hours before the duel. Between Canadians and wolves on Tuesday.

He insisted his position had “nothing to do” with St. Louis, who is doing an “exceptional” job, he said, in Montreal.

Furthermore, it did not leave much room for ambiguity. “I find it unfortunate that Q [diminutif usuel de la LHJMQ] He said he could not identify him. QMJHL coaches in the NHL, there are almost none. There is Mario Duhamel [son adjoint en Arizona]Pascal Vincent [adjoint à Columbus] And I. It’s horrific. »

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Note, however, that at the start of this season we could have added the names Alain Vigneault (Philadelphia) and Dominique Ducharme (Montreal), who cut their teeth as a QMJHL coach. Both have lost their jobs in recent months.

Furthermore, among the leaders currently in existence, we can add the names of Gerard Gallant, the head coach of the New York Rangers, although he was not a “coach” in the QMJHL – he was appointed to lead the St. John C. Dogs after eight years in the NHL. Assistant Mike Kelly followed the same path, as did Philadelphia Flyers assistant John Torchetti. Jim Midgley, who is also Gallant’s assistant in New York, began his career at St. John’s.


Tourigny’s exit was even smarter as he builds on two decades of experience as a coach and official.

He was head coach and general manager for Rowen’s Noranda Husky from 2002 to 2013, before Patrick Roy made him his assistant behind the Colorado Avalanche bench. After three years in the NHL (two in Denver and one in Ottawa), he returned to the junior ranks, first in Halifax for a year, and then in OHL, with Ottawa 67. He has also been associated with Canada hockey for a long time, including leading the Canadian junior team in Worlds 2021.

On Tuesday, he lamented that Corto’s “hockey chiefs” are “underestimated” within NHL teams, that is, at all levels: such as coaches, general managers or recruits.

He hits on the example of Jacques Carrier, longtime scout and current general manager of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, who was also his assistant at Rouen a few years ago. “How could a guy like him never get a chance to scout in the NHL? Asked Torrini.

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“The best coach I’ve trained against is Benoit Grolicks,” he added. Groulx is the current pilot for Syracuse Crunch, the school club of the Tampa Bay Lightning, in the Major League. In the big league, “he’s never had a chance, not even as an assistant!” Torrini added.

So ask me to explain it. I can not.

Andre Torini, head coach of the Arizona Coyotes

In his opinion, QMJHL does not (or does not have) a bad reputation outside the district. “Conversely, during my final year at OHL, I heard that QMJHL was more intense, more physical, and more detail-oriented than the others.”

Under these circumstances, why, in his opinion, do the leaders of the QMJHL avoid in this way?

I won’t get started on this, and I won’t play politics. But I know one thing: There are good coaches, good general managers and good scouts at Q. I hope they get their chance as much as I did. You have to give it to them. »

We shall conclude that for a man who does not want to engage in politics, he has not entered into self-restraint.

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