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Jean-François Houle file: JiC sees confusion on the part of the Canadiens
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

For weeks, we wondered what the Canadiens were waiting for to extend Jean-François Houle’s contract at the helm of the Laval Rocket. Meanwhile, other names were circulating.

Once the coach had signed his contract, it was clear, however long it took, that he was the right man for the job.

And now, three weeks later, the coach has left not for the NHL, but for the NCAA. Clarkson may be his alma mater, and he’ll have big shoes to fill, but it still raises questions.

There are two schools of thought to judge this. The first is that the Habs showed class by letting their coach return to his first love.

But the second is to say that the Habs screwed up by allowing doubt to creep in. And that’s what Jean-Charles Lajoie tweeted this morning.

In his eyes, if Houle had felt he was one day in a position to aspire to the position of Martin St-Louis (who didn’t have to wait to see management extend his contract), maybe he wouldn’t have jumped ship.

Yes, he will have full powers in the NCAA, but it should be noted that, according to the TVA Sports host, the long wait between the end of the season and the signing of the contract gave Houle time to think.

But hey. The concrete result is that, for the first time in Martin St-Louis’ reign, he’ll be working with a head coach other than Réjean Houle’s son.

We know that the link between the two clubs is important. Houle did a good job of preparing the youngsters to come up, and that helped the Montreal Canadiens’ cause in the end.

When it comes to who will become the fourth head coach in Rocket history (after Sylvain Lefebvre, Joël Bouchard and Jean-François Houle, three guys from the Marc Bergevin era) next season, there are always several names that come up.

JiC raised several questions.

He seems to think Sylvain Lefebvre has a chance. Clearly, the Voltigeurs coach’s name and that of Pascal Vincent, freshly fired by the Blue Jackets, come up often.

We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks for this position and for the assistant position in Laval, which is still to be filled.

Overtime

– Oh, no?

– Good thing he’s here.

– Sick.

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