In an interview with 91.9 Sports, former Montreal Canadiens defenceman Francis Bouillon confirmed that he will be headed back to St. John’s to work with Sylvain Lefebvre and the IceCaps.
Francis Bouillon ira prêter main forte à Sylvain Lefebvre aux IceCaps de Saint-John dans quelques semaines— 91.9 Sports (@919sports) November 11, 2016
“Martin Lapointe contacted me this summer to ask if I wanted to take part in the Development Camp, and I thought that it would be a great experience to get on the ice with the kids and to see if I liked it. Then there was the Rookie Camp, so I also took part in that, and I really enjoyed it ... although it’s a funny situation because playing it and explaining it is really two different things. When a kid comes up to me to ask about a certain situation and for my opinion, it’s not easy to explain something that came naturally to me.
“I like what I’m currently doing. Last week I was in St. John’s with the IceCaps, and I’ll be going back five to six days per month to see how it goes, and I have to tell you that I really enjoy being one-on-one with the players.”
Former Habs defenceman Francis Bouillon is on the ice with the coaching staff.— Ryan Howell (@ryan_howell) October 28, 2016
Shortly after Bouillon’s retirement, rumours started to circulate that he would be offered a position within the Montreal Canadiens organization. He mentioned that he was offered other coaching opportunities, notably in the QMJHL, but was enjoying his time with his family since his retirement, and wasn’t really looking to relocate his family for a coaching job.
He kept in contact with the Canadiens to see what opportunities he could find there, and now it appears that he has found that as a member of the Player Development team alongside Lapointe and Rob Ramage. Whether a full-time coaching position is in his future was not discussed, but he is definitely being groomed for whatever he decides that he wants to do.
Bouillon officially retired in September of 2015 after playing 11 seasons with the Canadiens and four with the Nashville Predators. He got his start in professional hockey in 1998-99 as part of the Fredericton Canadiens coached by Michel Therrien.
The two go back even further, as Therrien also coached Bouillon for three seasons in junior with the Laval Titan and the Granby Prédateurs in the QMJHL. They were also teamed up with the AHL’s Quebec Citadelles and during Therrien’s first stint with the Canadiens.
It’s no secret that the IceCaps have struggled, primarily defensively, and Bouillon’s playing style will fit right in with the style of play that the organization is trying to teach their prospects.
91.9 Sports will be the official francophone broadcaster of the Rocket de Laval when the Canadiens affiliate moves from St. John’s at the end of this season to be closer to the parent club.