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Maverick Lamoreaux: The player behind the giant

Maverick Lamoreaux: The player behind the giant

Maverick Lamoreaux will be the guest of Antichambre on RDS and RDS live, Tuesday evening around 8:45 p.m., after the Cataractes v. Oil kings.

MONTREAL – Maverick Lamoreaux sets the interview at 3 p.m. Among his advance obligations: an appointment with a chiropractor. Which of the injuries that troubled the great defender this season are still bothering him?

Nothing, will reassure us later. Weeks into the biggest day of his young career, Lamoreaux swears he’s in great shape. But he does not hide that the past year has been physically hard.

The kick to the shoulder at boot camp hasn’t let him down all year. It forced him to play in a double until the playoffs and caused him to miss most of February. When he was back on the court, in a match against Rowan Noranda, a cross kick left him in the back with a broken rib. He played through the pain for two weeks before he got the correct diagnosis. “I was having a hard time breathing, but I thought it was my muscle,” he says simply today.

We’re not even talking about the kick in the knee that made him fear the worst against Rimouski. “We are expecting a long absence,” Voltigeurs de Drummondville’s general manager Philip Boucher told L’Express. But Lamoreaux was in center from the next game.

“No one was aware of all these details,” he says by phone. I kept it private, and couldn’t say anything. Only the people inside know that. Sometimes there are those who wonder: “Crime, how bad is it today?”. Sometimes it’s due to an injury, but you can’t tell. »

Now that this group of sores has withered and turned into compost, it adds more luster to a season that Lamorio can be proud of. Twelfth pick in the 2020 QMJHL Draft, the former Élites de Jonquière confirmed his status as one of the best defenders in his age group. NHL Central Scouting considers him the seventh best prospect in the position among those who come from the North American circuit. This situation sparked debates in Quebec, where Tristan Leno of Olympique Gatineau has long been seen in a separate class.

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The lists and conversations they have raised is another obstacle that Lamoreaux has had to overcome over the past year. They sometimes inflated his ego, sometimes they undermined his self-confidence. And whether they liked him or tended to him, he admits in hindsight that he gave them too much importance. Before he realized the extent of the trap he had fallen into, the quality of his game was affected.

Mathieu Turcotte, the coach who was in charge of the defenders, recalls, “The danger for any player in his trial year, even if he is a defender, is to tell himself that he must pick the points as high as possible. With the Voltigeurs. There is still a lot of pressure and in Sometimes, it can affect his decision making. I told him several times to stop non-existent games, that it wasn’t Tristan Luno. He was in jokeBut he understood the message. »

Lamoreaux recalls the exact date he got tired of playing behind the mask. In mid-December, after losing in Charlottetown, he took the villain heart to heart with his agent.

“It got to the point where I realized I don’t play hockey. I am no longer myself, the huge guy with a big smile who enjoys fun, faces others, plays physically and has fun. When I played, I got nervous, I thought a lot.” If I did, would I make a mistake ? If I do it, is it good or not?”. It hurt me, it took a lot of my energy. I was in butt. »

Two dear accomplices

Once the mental aspect is settled, it is still easier to do. Because the talent is there and the work necessary to develop it, Maverick Lamoreaux has never escaped.

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“There are a lot of people who will say I got where I am or that I am very lucky in the draft just because I am tall, overheard. But that is by no means the case. If I were dirtyIf I wasn’t working out, if I didn’t want to get better every day, there’s no way I’d be here today. »

“Some people say they want to make hockey players. Maverick, speaking with his actions,” testifies Turcot.

Two and a half years ago, Lamoureux began working with Paul Boutilier, a former NHL defender who has been around for thirty years as a coach and has over time specialized in teaching his old position. When he joined the Voltigeurs, he found in Turcotte the perfect partner to oversee what the latter called the “Thomas Chabot Program” in honor of Boutilier’s most famous client.

On two mornings a week, the student met the master on a stationary bike for 15 minutes of intense training. The duo was also spending extra time at the rink with some good oldies. pucks orange”, heavier ball discs used to improve throwing. Lamoru fired four 25-shot groups that had to be fired in less than 35 seconds.

“We’re seeing fewer and fewer guys like that, but it’s like, let’s say I tell him there’s four workouts left, he’s going to ask me to do a fifth,” Turcot reveals. If you say there are ten seconds left before the next round, it will disappear by itself after five seconds. He would always find ways to do more and there was never a time I had to push him. »

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Botellier’s impact on Lamoreaux is not only measured in watts or miles per hour. From the many hours he spent on video dissections with her teacher, the little sponges gathered a range of notes about the intricacies of their location. “The position of the stick, how to take the correct angle on the players, cut the game more quickly in the area …”, he narrates with admiration. Even today, even if this habit is ingrained in his brain, Lamoru writes numbers 1 through 5 at the end of his wand in memory of the advice he received to constantly count his opponents and locate them in the course of the game.

“He helped me with so many aspects of hockey that I didn’t understand until I spoke to him,” he summed up gratefully.

And Turcotte, who has been following the sequel from a distance since he was named coach of the U18 AAA program at Séminaire St-Francois, is among those who believe the benefits are far from over from the former protege’s game undoing.

“He’s able to see games that other people don’t. He doesn’t always have to try them! But he sees them, those games, while most players of his age don’t. It’s a flaw when you can’t analyze when to do it. But when it goes along with the rest, it’s He will do things that people will wonder how he could have done.”