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Is it Patrick Roy's last lap behind the Rimparts bench?

Is it Patrick Roy’s last lap behind the Rimparts bench?

Patrick Roy doesn’t put his head in the sand: The 2022-2023 season will likely be the last behind the Quebec Remparts bench. And the succession plan is already underway.

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Patrick Roy could retire as Remparts head coach and leave his place to Simon Gagné.

QMI Agency, Pascal Haute

Patrick Roy could retire as Remparts head coach and leave his place to Simon Gagné.

After a period of reflection that allowed him to realize his desire to return to finish the course that started with the core of the current players, Roy is back and, a few hours after the official start of their season, Friday night against the Saguenéens of Chicoutimi, assures us that he always enjoys working with the youngsters.

He doesn’t hide the fact that the arrival of Simon Gagnier as assistant coach and advisor to the general manager allows him to breathe a little easier.

“I’m aware this will likely be my last season, but sometimes things can change. Simon’s arrival means we can prepare the succession, as the Blues did with Ken Hitchcock and Mike Yu at the time. We have a plan in mind, but everything will depend on What Simon feels. In the end, it is he who makes his decisions.”

training life

As the Remparts explained when he was hired, Gagné will spend the season working with Roy in order to learn about life as a head coach at QMJHL, who, prior to joining the team, trained his son at Pee Wee level.

Then, he’ll have to decide if a QMJHL adventure is for him and, if so, which scenario Gagné takes charge of the Remparts next season, with Roy retaining the general manager role. Strong possibility.

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“here to stay”

Simon Janney with a smile on his face, this Wednesday.

QMI Agency, Pascal Haute

Simon Janney with a smile on his face, this Wednesday.

Gagné, who claims to be enjoying every second of his new job at the moment, doesn’t want to project himself in the future too quickly either.

“I think in the end, it is Patrick who will decide. Many think it will be next year, but he will decide. He is here to stay if he wants. He made no secret of it, calmly not quickly, he would give up the coaching position. It will take someone to replace him. For my part, I come to Here to learn every day. I’m not going to start something I don’t like 100%. So far, that’s the plan I’m thinking of. I appreciate what Patrick and Jack have given me, and we’ll see in the future.”

One thing is for sure, Gagné was quickly put in the shower.

On September 10, in a pre-season match against Shawinigan, he had to dominate the bench by raising hands at the end of the first period after Roy was sent off due to a disagreement with an official.

“I liked it! It wasn’t like I had all day to think about it, get ready and the tension was on the plane. There, the tension lasted for a split second and we had to get to work.” […] We had a full assortment. As a coach, you don’t want the coach to take advantage of you on the other side, and you get into your fourth streak which is the first and it looks crazy. had to watch this. It comes quickly, but I really liked it. Besides, the victory was good. »

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Anniversary Cup, this season’s goal

The Red Devils will be on mission this season

Simon Janney and Patrick Roy behind the Rimparts bench.

Photo archive, QMI

Simon Janney and Patrick Roy behind the Rimparts bench.

After seeing their ambitions for greatness waned sooner than they expected last season, the Remparts will once again be among the favorites to win this year’s top trophies, and Patrick Roy will be hoping his team can benefit from the experience gained last season.

Roy said it many times and so do the players: The heartbreaking loss to Shawinigan in the semi-finals last year is still painful.

But now we have to turn the page, the coach confirms.

“I like to think we’re on a mission, but we have to be careful. I remember, in Colorado, during Claude Lemieux against the Detroit Red Wings. [en 1997]We lost our focus. I don’t want last year’s show to do the same to us. I just want him to give us a good dose of stimulation. I know we’ve learned and know what we can do better. You should use that to perform well on the snow, not as a source of frustration. »

And Roy doesn’t just talk about his players.

“I also have to maintain my composure and I experienced that as a player. When we lost our focus with the avalanche, it was very difficult years later. I really want to focus on the new season, what we can deliver, and put aside what happened. We will have a very good team on Ice. »

Patrick Roy welcomes a Rampars player to training camp in August.

Photo archive, QMI

Patrick Roy welcomes a Rampars player to training camp in August.

Roy believes that this “great team” will provide quality hockey to fans this season.

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“There will be a lot of talent on the ice, if everyone comes back. On paper, we have a mature team. What we want is to continue with our culture, which consists of being a team that works hard every night, respects the opponent and plays within their values.”

“Our goal is not the President’s Cup, it’s the Anniversary Cup. However, I don’t want to go there right away. It will be important to be focused every day so that you get better. We already have a very good chemistry and a group of players that stick together.”

pressure

Of course, expectations will be high for this year’s Remparts, who have made it clear that they want to win and who, in addition, will get Justin Robidas during the holiday season.

Pressure doesn’t make Patrick Roy more nervous.

“It doesn’t scare me. I think it’s even worse when you’re the host Memorial Cup team. Being a favourite on paper, unfortunately paper is worth nothing when you’re on the ice. I watched Rimouski Oceanic last year, and they arrived without pools against Saint-Jean in the first round, and even Against us, it was difficult to face them. They are played on ice and here we have to be at our best. We may have talent on paper, but if we do not play with our values ​​and culture, it is not worth it.”

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