ECHL’s new Trois-Rivières Lions confirmed the appointment of Eric Belanger as head coach on Tuesday.
In an interview with Jean-Charles Lagoy, the main interested party explained how the process leading up to his appointment took off.
“Marc Andre and I, we had a good connection and have been friends since we were teammates in Minnesota. We saw each other a few times every year. My older brother lives in Trois-Rivieres. When they announced the team, I went to my brother and stopped talking to Marc Andre for several Hours. At first he seemed surprised, but then the interest became mutual. I respected the hiring process and I can tell you that Marc Andre did not give me special treatment.”
Bellanger may not be the most experienced coach, but he believes he has what it takes to be successful among the pros.
“I started at the bottom of the ladder. When I retired, I moved to Florida and signed up for a little hockey. After that, I came back to live in Quebec and spent three years with Séminaire Saint-François. I had a final and a championship. I have a lot of experience as a player. Disappointment from not playing At the next level, I experienced that. I think I have a good reputation in the way I treat my players. I will be honest with them and they will know how to progress. With me, there will be no gray area.”
The player, who played more than 800 matches in the Pittman circuit, confirmed the words of general manager Marc-Andre Bergeron, who confirmed that the Quebec national team will have a place in the formation of the squad.
“I know Marc Andre is working hard to recruit players and we have a bank of names if we run out. Marc Andre is also talking to Scott Mellanby and we have exceptional help from Canadians at this level. Right now I’m just looking at the Quebecers. We want to have a team that matches the City of Trois Rivieres. We will have players with contracts in the MLS and the rest will be mostly from Quebec.”
Bellanger was also very honest when asked to talk about his long-term goals. He wants to lead in the NHL eventually.
“I have the same feeling when I was a player. I failed to lift the trophy as a player. I want to go back to the National Hockey League and win as a coach.”
Watch the interview in the video above.