BROSSARD -- Before making the jump to the big leagues, most young Habs prospects cut their teeth on the farm in Hamilton.
Since so many future stars will be getting their seasoning with the Bulldogs, it was no surprise to see Guy Boucher, the ‘Dogs head coach, making the rounds on day three of the development camp.
With a dream debut season now in the books, Boucher was already being grilled about what lies ahead. While the press was looking for a scoop regarding the rookie coach’s plans to make the leap to the NHL or stick with the Bulldogs next year, Boucher wasn’t easy to throw off his game plan.
“I’ve always believed that the future is now. I have a Canadiens shirt on my back right now and it’s really important that I focus on what I’m doing here – just like I did all season long,” offered the 38-year-old bench boss. “Today, I’m looking to learn. Any day that goes by where I don’t learn something is a wasted day. This week, I’ve had lots of chats with different scouts. It’s really interesting to find out where these players are coming from and what their backgrounds are like. I have to coach them in my style, but I also have to be able to coach in a way they can learn.”
Many of the youngsters at camp this week have played under Boucher with either the AHL’s Bulldogs or the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs. As a result, it didn’t take any arm-twisting to get glowing endorsements of what the coaching wunderkind brings to the table.
“He a very intense and passionate guy,” explained Gabriel Dumont
, who joined the Bulldogs late in the season. “His biggest asset is the way he pushes you to set your limits and then surpass them. He commands a lot of respect in everything he does.”
Also on the Boucher bandwagon is another one of his former players from his days in Drummondville.
“Guy is a very well-rounded coach,” said Philippe Lefebvre
who impressed Habs brass at last year’s rookie camp and earned himself a contract in the process. “He’s a strong strategist on the whole and is great one-on-one and he’s always ready to help a player with his skating, shooting, you name it.”
It’s no wonder why Boucher is drawing so much interest across the NHL these days. Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Shauna Denis and Manny Almela.See also:Going camping – Day 2 Make the play Vote for the Habs' best d-man in 2009-10Year in review – Marc-Andre Bergeron