Fresh off a four-year stint as head coach of the Rimouski Oceanic, Jodoin spoke with the media Friday afternoon to discuss his return to professional hockey and what it means to him after 10 years in the QMJHL.
“My decision to leave the Oceanic had nothing to do with me being tired of coaching there. I was at one of the best hockey Universities around. It was a fantastic organization with high-quality players that were part of a very competitive league,” said Jodoin who posted a 140-112-8-5 record in his time coaching the team. “The choice was a personal one. I wanted to step outside my comfort zone where I was and have the challenge of coaching at a professional level again whether it was in North America or in Europe.”
The chance to coach in Europe almost came when Jodoin turned down an offer to helm the Latvian Under-20 national team at the World Championship in Calgary in 2012 as well as the country’s men’s team at the upcoming World Championship in Finland and Sweden.
“I turned down those positions knowing that I might have an opportunity with the Canadiens but before there was an offer. I took my chance knowing it was a gamble and then Pierre called me while I was in the Czech Republic, so I flew back and met with Jacques and Pierre. We all sat down together and came to the decision that this was the right move.”
Bringing 30 years of hockey experience to the table in Hamilton, Jodoin was quick to point out that he’s looking forward to the challenge of following both Randy Cunneyworth and Guy Boucher’s successes as head coach of the Bulldogs.
“If you’re afraid of something like that, you’ll never be a good coach,” pointed out Jodoin who wore multiple hats during his six seasons with the Canadiens franchise from 1997 to 2003, including assistant coach and director of player development.
“Right now, I have no idea what this team will look like next season, I’m just coming into this ready to work. I’ll start in Montreal meeting the players at the Canadiens training camp and once that’s over I’ll move up to Hamilton.”
“My style is that I like puck control and aggressive play. I could talk a lot about things like that now, but at this point I’ll have to see what I’m working with, talk with Randy Cunneyworth and take things from there. I have my own plan and I’ll try to make it work,” finished Jodoin.
“I’m just looking forward to meeting the challenge.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com
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