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Jean-François Houle really wants to be back next season
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

The Laval Rocket’s season came to an unfortunate end last night, as the Montreal Canadiens’ training club played a meaningless (for them) game after losing a meaningless game on Friday night.

It’s a shame to see the Rocket miss out on the playoffs, as it would have really benefited the development of the young players in Laval.

But hey, there’s nothing we can do about it, the club dug its own grave with a historically horrible start to the season and points dropped stupidly at the end of the season.

The Rocket is now practically on leave, with only the end-of-season review remaining, which is currently taking place at Place Bell.

The first to address the media was head coach Jean-François Houle.

And the latter, who is not under contract for next season, was quick to make it clear: he really wants to stay with the club.

Houle really likes the team and the organization, so he’d love to stay and continue the work he’s started.

For the moment, however, he has no idea what management’s and the organization’s intentions are with regard to him, although he will be having discussions in the near future.

We hope they will be positive.

Even if Houle hasn’t succeeded in taking the club to the playoffs, as was surely management’s objective, the Rocket head coach has had to deal with many difficult situations.

First, he had to manage the arrival and playing time of several young, inexperienced players. Management asked him to play the youngsters, and obviously, he had no choice but to follow these requests.

Youth/veteran management is difficult, especially when you want to keep a good product on the ice.

With more veterans in the line-up, the end result of this 2023-2024 season could perhaps have been different.

Secondly, it’s not easy being an AHL coach, because as Houle explains, you always have to deal with the various recalls made by the big club due to injury or otherwise.

He never has complete control over his roster.

His goal is to develop NHL players, so coaching in the AHL isn’t for every coach.

Houle also took the time to highlight the incredible comeback of Jakub Dobes, who had started his first pro season so poorly.

He picked himself up and built up his confidence to enjoy an excellent second half of the season.

In short, we don’t know much more about Houle at the moment, although we should learn in the next few days whether he’ll be staying with the Rocket or not.

In a gust

– Lias Andersson has yet to make a decision about his future.

– Why not?

– Coming up.

– All the better.

– Incredible!

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