BROSSARD -- Clément Jodoin may be the newest head coach of the Hamilton Bulldogs, but for this week at least, all his attention will be focused on the Canadiens rookie camp – and not just its players either.
“Getting to spend nearly a month here is a priceless experience for a coach,” expressed the veteran of 18 years of coaching QMJHL, AHL and NHL teams. “When I’m coaching in Hamilton, it’s not going to be for myself. I’m going there to work for the Montreal Canadiens, in the philosophy that this team abides by. All the coaches who were in Hamilton last year – along with Jacques [Martin] and Perry [Pearn] – all sat down to discuss our different points of view.”
Despite making sure to adhere to the Canadiens overall game plan, count on Jodoin to bring his own style of coaching to the Bulldogs when he arrives in Hamilton.
“Of course I’m planning on putting my personality into the way I coach. That’s my style and the way I plan on interacting with the players. The rest is all paperwork,” explained Jodoin of his very personal approach to the bench. “We’re all going to have to communicate when things are going well, and we’re all going to have to communicate if things are going badly. What’s important is always seeking out solutions and making sure that you’re not part of the problem.”
The Bulldogs new coach will take advantage of his time at the Canadiens’ rookie camp to keep an eye on some of the prospects that he’ll have under his guidance over the course of the 2011-12 season.
“When you’re a coach in the AHL, you can never just rely on your first two lines. You have to take everyone on the team into account because you never know who might get called up,” continued Jodoin, who was assistant coach of the Canadiens from 1997-2003. “What I can promise though, is that I’ll be attentively observing every one of my players. They all have something to offer.”
And what those players have to offer, he explained, is something that can be measured in a number of different ways – especially when it comes to questions of size.
“You can weigh 225 pounds, but not have much of an impact on the ice. At the same time you can weigh 170 pounds and be throwing other players around. What would you say is better?” asked Jodoin when faced with a question regarding the organization’s reputation for having small statured players. “There comes a point when it’s no longer about how big a player is, but how big of a contribution he can make to your team. 170 pounds of muscle can do a lot of good.”
Jodoin will spend the remaining few days of camp observing attentively, as promised, and coming to understand exactly just what each player will bring to his team.Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.SEE ALSORookie camp - Day 2 Rookie camp - Day 1 Never forgotten Media Master 31 players to take part in the Canadiens rookie camp