Bouchard appointed head coach in Laval

Photo: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced today the appointment of Joel Bouchard as head coach of the American Hockey League’s Laval Rocket.

The Canadiens also announced that Larry Carriere will now serve as director of player personnel for the AHL club, and will remain as senior advisor, hockey operations for the Canadiens.

“Following our evaluation, we concluded that Joel was ready to make the step up as a head coach at the professional level,” said Bergevin. “His experience at the junior level in Quebec, as well as on the international stage with Hockey Canada, makes him an excellent coach who can develop great young players.”

Bouchard, 44, has been the general manager of the Blainville-Boisbriand franchise in the QMJHL for the past seven seasons, adding the head coaching duties to his resume prior to the 2014-15 season. In 244 games behind the Armada bench, he posted a record of 145 wins and 99 losses (regulation and overtime/shootout). Bouchard was also an assistant coach from 2008-11 with Montreal (QMJHL) before the franchise relocated to Blainville-Boisbriand in 2011.

Selected by Hockey Canada as general manager of the Canadian National Junior Team, he assembled a roster that claimed a silver medal in 2017 and a gold medal in 2018 at the World Junior Championship.

With a record of 50-11-4-3 in 2017-18, the Armada was third in the Canadian Hockey League rankings behind only Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) and Moose Jaw (WHL). After winning the Jean-Rougeau Trophy as the QMJHL’s regular-season champions, the Armada reached the President Cup Finals.

Bouchard played 15 professional seasons (1993-2008) as a defenseman, including 364 National Hockey League games with Calgary, Nashville, Dallas, Phoenix, New Jersey, the N.Y. Rangers, Pittsburgh and the N.Y. Islanders. Bouchard also appeared in 293 games in the AHL with the Saint John Flames, Albany River Rats, Hartford Wolf Pack, Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Hamilton Bulldogs, and was an AHL All-Star in 1995 and 1996.