In a move that surprised no one, the Montreal Canadiens confirmed that Joel Bouchard has been hired as the new head coach of the Laval Rocket on Thursday. He has received a three-year contract.
Bouchard’s hiring was widely anticipated given his extensive coaching and management experience and his record with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, one of the most successful franchises in Canadian Junior hockey. Bouchard has most recently been the head coach, President, GM, and part owner of the Armada. The Armada had the best regular season record in the QMJHL this past year and Bouchard was named the league’s Coach of the Year. He was also part of the management team that put together Canada’s gold-medal winning team at the 2018 World Junior Championship.
Bouchard replaces Sylvain Lefebvre who coached the Laval Rocket for six seasons and was fired after the Laval Rocket finished out of the AHL playoffs for the fifth time in the last six years.
Meanwhile, the team also announced that Larry Carriere will now serve as the director of player personnel in Laval while retaining his role as a senior advisor with the Habs. There will be no replacement GM named for the Rocket.
Next on the to-do list with Laval is replacing the assistant coaches as both Donald Dufresne and Nick Carriere will not be back. There was no immediate word regarding the status of goalie coach Marco Marciano.