For what reasons was Émile Samson preferred to Jacob Stewart?
Joël Bouchard has always felt the same; training camps are made for players to work hard and earn their roster spots. Émile Samson did just that and swept away the backup goaltender’s role from Jacob Stewart. Stewart had played five games for the team in 2016-17.
“Training camp is made for us to select the ones who’ve earned their place on the team. I’m thinking that Émile earned more of the right to be on the roster. Guys don’t need to be perfect, but simply to answer the call. Émile showed up and knew in his mind he wanted to play on the team, and it showed.” -Joël Bouchard
Will Francis Leclerc be able to repeat his successful showings from last year now that he’s the team’s number one goalie?
Since it moved to the Basses-Laurentides region in 2011, the Armada has always been stable in its crease. Étienne Marcoux and Samuel Montembeault were the number one goaltenders for the team’s first six years of existence. With Montembeault’s departure, it’s now Francis Leclerc’s mandate to take over the starter’s duties.
“He played quite a bit last year. For us, he’s someone who grew within our organization”, mentioned the team manager. “He’s got some potential. He doesn’t need to be hockey’s greatest goalie, he simply needs to give the team a chance to win every night.”
Will the acquired experience of making it to the finals be beneficial?
The Armada had quite a long journey last spring. They first eliminated the Drummondville Voltigeurs, then the Acadie-Bathurst Titans and then the Charlottetown Islanders. The previous year, the Armada had shocked the Val-d’Or Foreurs in the playoff’s opening round, despite trailing them by 40 points in the regular season standings.
“Our guys gained some experience. Now it’s a matter of taking all that and getting our younger players to play the way we want them to. Some rookies are closer to making it than others, but they all want to do well and they are all good hockey players. It’s our job to make them progress and continue to develop.” -Joël Bouchard