There will be a new yet familiar face behind the bench for the Red Deer Rebels this season, as former Rebel player Pierre-Paul Lamoureux will come on board as an assistant coach.
“I’m excited. Red Deer is the place that I spent three years at growing up as a young man. I’ve got a lot of family up in the Red Deer area as well, so it’s good to be coming home,” said Lamoureux, who played for the Rebels from 2004 to 2007 before moving on to play and coach at the university level.
Lamoureux will take over for former Assistant Coach Steve O’Rourke, who decided not to return to the team this season due to family reasons.
“I just think that Pierre is going to be a perfect fit for our coaching staff. He’s young, he’s closer in age to our players than myself or (Associate Coach) Jeff (Truit). He’s worked in a really, really good program in North Dakota in the NCAA First Division and he knows our culture here because he played here,” said Rebels’ Head Coach and General Manager Brent Sutter of Lamoureux.
“I just like how he communicates. He’s a very energetic guy and a very team-oriented type guy and he’ll be a good communicator with the players.”
Lamoureux said he is looking forward to working alongside his former coach and to working with the current generation of Rebels players.
“Since my time beyond Red Deer, I’ve been able to gain a lot of valuable experience, coaching at the NCAA level and working at the NHL level as a scout. I’m excited that I’m able to bring back a lot of what I’ve learned away from Red Deer and work with Brent on a daily basis to try to prepare our team to win as many games as we can and to help our players develop and advance,” Lamoureux said.
The Grand Forks, North Dakota native will bring a wealth of experience of working with young hockey players to the Rebels bench.
After moving on from Red Deer after the 2006-2007 season, Lamoureux played a season in the United States Hockey League and a season playing CIS hockey for the University of Manitoba.
Lamoureux then moved back to North Dakota in order to further pursue his education and to work as a student assistant coach and graduate assistant coach for the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux of the NCAA. It was during that time that he was able to work under then-UND Head Coach Dave Haxstol, now the coach of the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL.
Alongside his NCAA duties, he also worked as an amateur scout for the Calgary Flames of the NHL, mostly scouting college free agents and high school and USHL.
“I was lucky to get myself into a position where I could work with UND and Calgary at the same time. I’m fortunate for that because I got a lot of experience from the hockey operations side and the NHL side, along with some experience at the University of North Dakota.
Lamoureux said he believes his experience working with younger hockey players will help him transition into the new role with his former hockey team.
“UND and Red Deer, they parallel each other in a lot of ways. There is a lot of history, a lot of culture and a lot of tradition with the Red Deer Rebels. With that comes a lot of responsibility in terms of your day-to-day approach,” he said, adding for him the passion lies in building relationships with the players.
“It takes a lot of work but it also takes a special group to come together and try to achieve your ultimate goal as a team. For me, no matter where you’re at, the ultimate goal is to hang a banner. But one of the things that I’m really passionate about is the player development side and building relationships with the players and trying to help them advance their careers, whatever level they’re striving to get to.”