Jacques is the best coach I have ever worked with.
Not only is he at the top of his profession on the coaching side, he is No. 1 media-wise as well.
You get some coaches who are media friendly but their win-loss records leave something to be desired, and you get some very good coaches, GMs etc., who, while outstanding in what they do, are a pain in the butt to work with.
And then there are self-promoters -- and there are plenty of them in this business: coaches, front office people, as well as the media itself, trying to manipulate everything for their greater glory and so that the spotlight shines the brightest on them.
No microphones or cameras in the locker room to record some phony pre-game speech, no drives to a TV station so he can get some “face time” or cuddling up to a favorite reporter or two (usually the biggest and most powerful) to enhance his image.
Jacques doesn’t do spin. Jacques doesn’t do branding. And that is part of what endears him to me.
He is self-assured.
Look at his record: Hall of Fame as a player, considered among the very best on the coaching side, and, of course, those 11 Stanley Cups!
Plus a delight to work with.
He always has time for you and, most always, a smile as well.
Win or lose.
Ask a question. You get an answer
Want to ask another question? He will answer that as well. For as long as it takes.
It doesn’t matter who you are. Only that you took the time and effort to be there and are interested in hockey.
That is what I will remember and appreciate the most.
He is just an outstanding coach and an equally enjoyable person to work with as well.
I will really miss him and will certainly follow his career wherever it takes him.