The ambitious choice of Joel Bouchard

We said the decor is different. The man wanted hasn’t changed a bit.

You have to find it first. Tucked away in an industrial area, the San Diego Gulls Training Center and Anaheim Ducks School and Club look like an old warehouse. As you get close, a question pops up: Did we get on a nice big boat? Are we going to lift pallets to the forklift instead of attending a snowboard training session?

Once through the gates, there’s no doubt that a man in a tracksuit with a red CCM helmet explodes amidst professional hockey players in what won’t even pass for a decent neighborhood square in Quebec. Beats time with a happy mix of whistle blows, wand hitting ice, and clear directions.

Here is Joel Bouchard again. The new head coach for the Major League gulls has chosen where he left off with the Laval Rocket, only to do so more than 4,600 kilometers from Place Bell.

Don’t make a mistake about it. I didn’t come here to golf, kayak or deep sea fishingStarts a few minutes after the end of the session.

That doubt has now been removed, and the debate has drifted to a game of hockey.

This is my message and the challenge I face with the players. It is easy here to lose and own cheerful The same. The city is extraordinary. Probably the most beautiful city I’ve seen. However, the challenge He is making hockey players and helping the organization fight for the Stanley Cup within a few yearsBouchard argues.

Exactly, how is this organization he’s helping to win no longer the Montreal Canadiens? When Anaheim formalized his appointment at the beginning of July, it was a big surprise. Mark Bergiveen had let all of his club school staff pass the final year of their contract and many left the ship.

The case of Joel Bouchard was interesting. Here is a coach who has made an amazing turnaround in school club results and is starting to find success with some CH hopes. Jake Evans developed under his watch, Jesperi Kotkaniemi made the most of his time as a youngster, Ryan Poehling looked poised to make it into the NHL before delivering a sombre performance in last training camp.

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You wouldn’t say the nursery was full, but there was definitely progress. The Hab seemed to focus on development and that was, on the surface at least, a novelty.

But there was a break. Mark Bergiveen said he wanted to negotiate with Bouchard at the end of the Rocket season, but would have preferred to wait until the end of the Canadians’ playoffs. However, who would have believed it, Bouchard’s contract expired before CH was eliminated and the Quebec coach found himself free in the air on July 1.

Mark Bergiveen (left) and Joel Bouchard

Photo: The Canadian Press / Ryan Remiorz

Bergevin said he was offered a contract to continue his work with Rocket or become an assistant coach with his friend Dominique Ducharme in the Big League. Bouchard doesn’t want to confirm a formal contract offer has been made, though discussions takes place.

The ducks arrived with a tempting offer, more than the Canadian offered in Bouchard’s eyes, and the man packed his bags.

He adds that there are no hard feelings for Al-Kindi. they are the people Unusual, very kind who gave it white card . When you closed your eyes, you almost wondered if the Dalai Lama wasn’t there.

Leaving? combination of circumstances He is credited first and foremost to the pandemic that pushed the Stanley Cup Final beyond the end of his contract. Good.

Two former hockey players, wearing jackets, shake hands and smile.

Mark Bergiveen (left) and Joel Bouchard

Photo: The Canadian Press / Ryan Remiorz

clear goal

During the interview Grant us, Karam In addition, Bouchard talks a lot, but reveals little.

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Some key lines appear though. First, it appears that Martin Madden Jr., assistant general manager at Bob Murray in Anaheim, did a good job of keeping him out of organizing his childhood.

Bouchard didn’t have to Sell ​​your power.

They explained to me why they wanted to work with them. They did their homework. Bob Murray, Martin Madden, Todd Marchant: I was surprised by the research they did about my situation and my way of thinking. They asked me questions, but they knew the answers. I didn’t hide, I said how I was. I’m not smart enough to be complicated, and I’m not smart enough to count lies. I keep it very simple. Steak, corn, potatoes, good old shepherd’s pie, it works all the timeHe explains in his own unique style.

Through all these typical phrases of this man as colorful as his helmet, once trimmed, there is a clear desire: to rise in rank. Like most hockey leaders of course. But Bouchard felt the need to go elsewhere to accomplish himself, which is far from trivial for Canadians.

The former NHL national defense player wants to get better.

In Laval, what would I do? Try to challenge yourself as an individual. I had so much fun, but what was I going to do, Asked.

Leading an MLS team, we’re taking a risk.

I thought it would be a bit similar. Of course I want to win, but my goal is to be the best coach I can be. I found that challenge It was exciting with organized ducksBouchard continues.

The ex-rocket wanted to get out of his comfort zone at Laval, he repeated several times. Without saying that, we understand that the path to the NHL is more straightforward in Anaheim as coach Dallas Aikins has started the final year of his contract with more than mixed results over the past three seasons.

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There is this first. Then there is that little phrase that fell at the end of a long talk.

[Les Ducks] I saw what I was like as a hockey guy, far from just the coach.

Quote from:Joel Bouchard

Then something other than the coach. responsible? Bouchard led the Canadian junior team to the world title as General Manager, a position he also held at QMJHL. With Mark Bergvin in the saddle after the Stanley Cup final – at least he thought things were changing quickly – and a somewhat imposing bodyguard in Montreal with Scott Mellanby, Trevor Timmins, John Segwick and Martin Lapointe, Bouchard saw a better opportunity in the ducks.

This is all speculation and vague speculation, but the fact remains that the 47-year-old saw an opportunity in California that didn’t exist elsewhere. Bouchard wanted to climb the ranks and considered Anaheim to be a promising land beyond the very glamorous outdoor activities we now know he does not. No.

I came here to play hockey.

We understand that.

a lot of

It’s impossible to get Bouchard’s assessment of Ryan Boehling, whom he knew so well at Laval, and the fact that the youngster missed his shot at a lockup training camp. It’s not easy to learn more about Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s position, for example, when he stayed at Laval – he was sometimes said not to respond to instructions – or what he thought of last summer’s hostile show epic.

On the other hand, there is no problem in receiving some precious life lessons, which are applicable in all situations. This is worth sharing.

I put my pants on in the morning, and I live my life my way.

To write on the jacket as quickly as possible.

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