The Quebec Remparts named their replacement for Patrick Roy, finally allowing the post-Patrick era to begin.
The team named former Rimouski Oceanic general manager Philippe Boucher as their head coach and general manager Thursday, ending speculation that the Quebec native was going to fill the shoes of the Montreal Canadiens legend.
Boucher, 40, was the GM in Rimouski for the past two seasons. The Remparts asked the Oceanic for permission to talk to the former NHL defenceman, and after checking to make sure he could also coach the team, the team and executive agreed to bring him home.
The Remparts were only going to bring him to the team if he wanted the dual role.
“Let’s be clear, I’m not a career coach who will go anywhere to coach a team,” Boucher said. “I’ve had some success as a player and am very lucky to do what I love to do every day. I didn’t call anyone [to get either job], either with Rimouski or with Quebec.”
Boucher said it was very hard to tell the Oceanic that he was leaving for the Remparts job.
“It was one of the hardest decisions of my life,” Boucher added. “Once the positions were offered to me, I took some time and really thought about it before I decided I wanted the dual role as coach and general manager.
“You get attached to your role and the team you run, so it was hard to break the news to everyone, but everyone was supportive, ultimately.”
Boucher has never been a coach at the QMJHL level, but he will be joined my Remparts associate coach Martin Laperrière. Laperrière, 38, decided not to join Patrick Roy in Colorado, opting instead to honour his contract with the Remparts. He’s been the associate coach in Quebec since 2005.
The Oceanic announced that head coach Serge Beausoleil will take over the GM and vice-president of hockey operations duties. Beausoleil takes over what should be one of the QMJHL’s contenders next season.
Boucher had a 16 year NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins. Him and Beausoleil led the Oceanic to the QMJHL final in 2011-12, and to their third-best record in their history in 2012-13.
He will be the fourth coach in the history of the second edition of the Quebec Remparts, following Guy Chouinard, Eric Lavigne and Patrick Roy.