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Houle still dreams of the NHL even if he’s returning to the NCAA
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Now that Jean-François Houle has left, the Rocket will have to find a replacement.

The news of his departure (a mutual decision with the organization) came as quite a surprise because he had just signed a new contract as head coach of the Rocket, but he has the opportunity to return to Clarkson University, where he played in the 90s.

And he says he’s excited at the prospect of a new challenge.

Houle spoke with Guillaume Lefrançois (La Presse) and said he loved his time in Laval.

He maintains that the Habs have always treated him well, and that he didn’t leave because he felt stuck in the Montreal organization.

The former Rocket pilot still dreams of a head coaching job in the NHL, but you can tell from his words that he’s really looking forward to returning to where his journey began:

You can still get into the NHL from the NCAA. Nobody’s holding you back, and it’s not a dream I’m giving up on. But going back to coach where I played is special. – Jean-François Houle

In the end, Jean-François Houle will have spent three seasons as head coach in Laval.

And it has to be said, he did a great job.

He worked with guys like Rafaël Harvey-Pinard and Jesse Ylönen, who spent the whole of last season in Montreal as they progressed.

He coached Joshua Roy and Logan Mailloux during the last campaign, two guys who should play an important role with the Habs in the coming years.

In his first season at the helm, he led the club to the conference finals, without sacrificing player development.

But the opportunity before him – as he told Guillaume Lefrançois – is a special one, and will also enable him to be closer to his family, who live in the United States.

No one can blame him.

Maybe one day we’ll see him behind the bench of a National League team. I hope so, because in his eyes, it’s still possible.

In Overtime

– New deal for Blue Jackets forward.

– Great news!

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