The San Jose Barracuda have never played at Place Bell in Laval. The AHL schedule and alignment means there are some teams that will simply never meet. Thomas Bordeleau was born in Houston, spent a lot of his childhood in Switzerland, then returning to Quebec before going to the US Development Program and eventually the University of Michigan.
Bordeleau was the son of a professional hockey player. His father, Sebastien, spent three years in the Montreal Canadiens organization before going to Nashville, Minnesota, and eventually Europe. Now his father is a skills coach who has worked with several men’s and women’s teams, and holds summer skates with NHL and top women’s hockey players.
Some of those skates were held at Place Bell, and Thomas would take part in them.
“It’s cool [to be back here],” Bordeleau said. “I mean, they’ve done a great job with this rink, obviously, when they first got here. So having the opportunity to be here and you know, great crowd, obviously, they’re gonna bring out a lot of people, so it’s gonna be fun.”
Bordeleau is the third generation in his family to be in professional hockey. His grandfather Paulin coached in the AHL, and was actually one of the coaches in the 1995 All-Star game — the first time it was played after a 35 year absence. Paulin coached Sebastien, and Sebastien has coached Thomas.
“It’s nice because I think he’s one of the best in the business,” Thomas said. “And it’s good to have him obviously, as a tool, and he helped me a lot throughout my career, and he keeps helping me every day. It definitely runs in the family... They like coaching me that’s for sure,” he said laughing.
He is in his first full professional season after splitting 10 games between the NHL and AHL last year after leaving the University of Michigan. He also played in the World Juniors and the men’s World Championship. In 45 games he has 18 goals and 11 assists, which is good for third in Barracuda scoring.
He tried to put on a show in front of the fans as well, scoring a goal and attempting many other plays that put his skills on display.
Really nice move from Thomas Bordeleau (San Jose) to turn Ronnie Attard (Lehigh Valley) inside out before deking his way to goal to put Pacific up 2-0. pic.twitter.com/ST6MV7vHfy— Tony Androckitis* (@TonyAndrock) February 7, 2023
Although Bordeleau spent a lot of his younger years in Europe, he spent the summers in the Laval area (and still does) and was in the city full time from the age of 10-16. It made his first AHL All-Star appearance more special because it’s not a place he would normally stop at during the season.
“It’s fun, especially because I’m at home,” he said. “You know, it’s just fun to get back here to family and just spend some time with them. It’s definitely a good opportunity to do that. It’s my first time out East all year, so it’s definitely nice to be get to be here. It feels like home.”