HabsWorld.net -- 

A few weeks ago, the Habs thought they had Laval’s coaching staff figured out with J-F Houle getting a three-year deal.  However, that’s no longer the case as Houle has resigned to take on the same position with Clarkson University.

Laval GM John Sedgwick released the following statement:

“We would like to thank Jean-François for his contribution to the development of the culture of our organization and our players. During his three years at the helm of the team, his dedication and experience allowed the Rocket to be highly competitive, while preparing many players to make the jump to the NHL. We wish him the best of luck for this next chapter of his career.”

It’s a return home of sorts for Houle who played his college career at Clarkson from 1993-94 through 1996-97 before playing in Montreal’s farm system.  Houle also started his coaching career at Clarkson, spending seven years as an assistant coach before moving onto the QMJHL.

Laval played to a 105-86-25 record in the three years that Houle was behind the bench.  They made the Calder Cup semi-finals back in 2021-22 but saw their postseason success dwindle after that, losing in the opening round the following year before missing the playoffs altogether this past season.

It’s not ideal for an AHL team to be looking for a new bench boss this close to free agency opening up as players will typically want to know who the coach is before signing with them  With that in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Montreal move quickly on trying to fill this position within the next week.