Benoit Groulx Named Rochester Americans Head Coach
SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin announced today that Benoit Groulx has been named head coach of the Panthers primary American Hockey League affiliate, the Rochester Americans. He becomes the 27th head coach in the history of the Rochester franchise.
Groulx, 40, has guided the Gatineau Olympiques (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) to three league titles (2003, 2004 & 2008) in the last six years. This season, Groulx’s team posted a 43-19-6 record and defeated Rouyn-Noranda Huskies to earn the 2008 QMJHL title and advance to the Memorial Cup. He has served as the bench boss for Gatineau since midway through the 2001-02 season.
“We are very pleased to welcome Benoit into our organization,” said Martin. “He has done a very good job in developing a winning program in Gatineau and he has also experienced great success for Team Canada at the international level. Benoit is a coach that is respected throughout hockey for his ability to get the most out of his players. We are confident that the fans in Rochester will be happy with the work ethic and winning attitude that Benoit will demand from his players next season.”
This past June, Hockey Canada selected Groulx to be the head coach of Canada’s national junior team for the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championships in Ottawa. Groulx has twice represented Canada in international competition. He served as an assistant coach under Brent Sutter for the 2007 Canada-Russia Super Series, which Canada won, and he was also part of the coaching staff for the 2004 World Junior Team, which also earned Canada a gold medal.
I'm likin the way Rochester/Florida has done an about face from last year. Good to see the new owners realize Rochester fans like a hard working, gritty team, and are supplying some entertainment value to the squad. I'll definitely be going to more than one game this year!!!!