A widespread chain reaction was expected when Patrick Roy left the Quebec Remparts for the NHL's Colorado Avalanche last month. Even allowing for the typical hurly-burly nature of the QMJHL, though, this is exceptional: reports state that Philippe Boucher, the executive who has the Rimouski Océanic on the cusp of contention, is poised to take Roy's vacant GM role with the flagship major junior team in La Belle Province.
Both the L'Avantage newspaper and TVA Sports are reporting it will happen. Now, the kicker: it apparently will not happen until after next Tuesday's CHL import draft, meaning Boucher will try to improve the Océanic roster before packing up his office to take over a team in the same division. Because, QMJHL.
The situation is a bit tricky, because Boucher is currently the CEO of the Rimouski Oceanic. Then he will be appointed in his new position on July 3, after the European draft is completed.
... Also according to TVA Sports, there are always opportunities Boucher is also named head coach, but nothing has been confirmed about it.
The 40-year old from Saint-Apollinaire on the south shore near Quebec City, will therefore be closer to his family is still in the area. (TVA Sports, translated)
The timing might seem odd. Rimouski is coming off a 91-point season where it finished third overall in the QMJHL and it has a sizable cohort which is moving into their 18-year-old seasons, most notable the draft-year quartet of centre Frédérik Gauthier, defencemen Jan Kostalek Samuel Morin and goalie Philippe Desrosiers. On the other hand, the Remparts are the Q's alpha-dog franchise. The chance to run the club doesn't come along very often.
Huskies, Volts get their new bench bosses
Meantime, the Drummondville Voltigeurs and Rouyn-Noranda Huskies have found replacements behind the bench after their head coaches folloed Roy to Colorado.
Roy took Huskies coach André Tourigny to be an assistant coach with the Avs, while Drummondville coach Mario Duhamel will be Colorado’s new video coach.
The Voltigeurs went to one of former coach Guy Boucher’s disciples for their head coaching vacancy. Martin Raymond, a former assistant coach with Boucher in Tampa Bay, and with their AHL affiliate in Syracuse after Lightning coach Jon Cooper took over, will grab the reins in Drummondville.
Raymond was last a head coach at McGill University, where Boucher also played and coached. From 1994-2009, Raymond won four OUA coach of the year awards and a CIS coach of the year award in 2006. He guided the Redmen to an OUA championship in 2008.
Duhamel headed the team for four seasons, from 2008 to 2013. He guided the team to a 162-87-23 record in four full seasons, making the playoffs in each year.
Bouchard piloted the Patriotes for two seasons, but was the head coach and general manager of l’Académie des Estacades for 17 seasons at the Midget AAA level in Trois-Rivières.
The Huskies reported that they are still planning on interviewing Stephane Matteau on Wednesday, but it is unclear what position with the organization Matteau is meeting for.
It’s speculated that Bouchard could start as early as next week.
Tourigny was at the helm of Rouyn-Noranda for 11 seasons, where he guided the team to the 2008 President’s Cup final. He also was part of the coaching staff for Team Canada at the world junior championship in 2010, '11 and '13.