Jacques Lemaire

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Jacques Lemaire
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1984
Jacques Lemaire.jpg
Born (1945-09-07) September 7, 1945 (age 68)
LaSalle, QC, CAN
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Forward
Shot Left
Played for NHL
Montreal Canadiens
AHL
Quebec Aces
Playing career 1967–1979

Jacques Gerard Lemaire (born September 7, 1945) is a former ice hockey forward for the Montreal Canadiens and a long-time coach, most notably with the New Jersey Devils and the Minnesota Wild.[1][2] After retiring at the end of the 2010–11 NHL season, he now works as a special assignment coach for the Devils.

Career[edit]

Playing career[edit]

Lemaire played his entire NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens, and was part of eight Stanley Cup winning teams. 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979. He is one of only six NHL players to have scored two Stanley Cup winning goals, achieving the feat in both 1977 and 1979. (The five other players are Mike Bossy in 1982 and 1983, Bobby Orr in 1970 and 1972, Henri Richard in 1966 and 1971, Jean Béliveau in 1960 and 1965 and Toe Blake in 1944 and 1946). One of the two Cup-winners scored by Lemaire came at the 4:32 mark of the first overtime of Game Four in the 1977 Stanley Cup Finals. A model of consistency, Lemaire scored at least 20 goals in each of his 12 seasons. He retired from the NHL after the 1978–79 season to become a playing coach in Switzerland.[3] In 853 career NHL games, he recorded 366 goals and 469 assists for a total of 835 points. Jacques Lemaire learned to execute his slapshot when he was young using a heavy steel puck, making his shot second only to Bobby Hull for speed and accuracy.[4] In his bestselling book The Game (Ken Dryden) former Montreal goalie Ken Dryden described a magical relationship on ice that was developing between Lemaire and Guy Lafleur both of whom complemented each other's speed and shotsmanship.

He also won two more Stanley Cups as assistant general manager with Montreal in 1986 and 1993.

Jacques Lemaire was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1984.

Coaching career[edit]

After retiring as a player in 1979, Lemaire traveled to Switzerland to begin a career in coaching with HC Sierre. He made his American coaching debut in 1981, serving as an assistant coach at SUNY Plattsburgh to future NHL scout Herb Hammond at the NCAA Division III level. Lemaire was head coach of the Canadiens from 19831985 and the New Jersey Devils from 1993 to 1998, winning the Stanley Cup in 1995 for the 11th time, and the Jack Adams Award in 1994 and 2003. Lemaire was head coach of the Minnesota Wild from June 19, 2000 until April 11, 2009, the first head coach of the organization.[5]

Lemaire is known for his unorthodox coaching style for several reasons: first, he prefers a defensive-minded system, often using a strategy called the neutral zone trap,.[6] Second, Lemaire rarely uses permanent lines preferring to use mixed line combinations during games. Lemaire is also regarded as one of the best teaching coaches – developing young players while working well with veterans. However his emphasis on "defense first" has often been controversial, both inside and outside the dressing room. This perhaps, has led to some conflict with star players like Marian Gaborik (formerly with the Wild) and media criticism. An example was provided by Terry Frei of ESPN.com in an article posted on August 4, 2008:

He [Lemaire] helped drag down the entertainment quotient in this league, and despite all the talk about the Wild being a skating team that uses speed and pounces on turnovers, not all the elements of the trap have disappeared from Minnesota's game. You'd think the State of Hockey is going to tire of that at some point, especially if the Wild slide this season and it drives Marian Gaborik away next summer.[7]

On one occasion, Lemaire's team was among the top 2 scoring teams in the NHL. In 1993–1994, the New Jersey Devils team scored the 2nd most goals in the league (306).[8]

In June 2009, Lemaire was named assistant coach of Team Canada for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. He joined Lindy Ruff and Ken Hitchcock as assistants to head coach Mike Babcock and helped Team Canada to the gold medal.

On July 13, 2009, exactly two years after Brent Sutter had been introduced as coach of the Devils, Lemaire returned to the head coaching position for the Devils.

On October 8, 2009, Lemaire got his 200th win with the New Jersey Devils and first of the 2009–10 NHL season.

Lemaire announced his retirement as a head coach in the NHL on April 26, 2010. However, on December 23, 2010, after New Jersey Devils Head Coach John MacLean was fired after 33 games, Lemaire came out of retirement to coach once again for the New Jersey Devils and led a second half of the season charge that fell just short of a playoff spot.[9]

On February 10, 2011, Lemaire achieved his 600th regular season win after Ilya Kovalchuk scored in overtime to win the game for New Jersey against Toronto 2 – 1. Lemaire became only the 8th coach in NHL history to achieve this feat.[10]

On April 10, 2011 Lemaire announced his permanent retirement from the Devils.[11]

Trivia[edit]

Lemaire is the uncle of former Stars, Wild, and Bruins goaltender Manny Fernandez.

There is a hockey arena in LaSalle named after Lemaire.[12]

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1963–64 Montreal Junior Canadiens OHA 42 25 30 55 0 0 0 0 0 0
1964–65 Quebec Aces AHL 1 0 0 0 0
1964–65 Montreal Junior Canadiens OHA 56 25 47 72 0 0 0 0 0 0
1965–66 Montreal Junior Canadiens OHA 48 41 52 93 69 0 0 0 0 0
1966–67 Houston Apollos CPHL 69 19 30 49 19 6 0 1 1 0
1967–68 Montreal Canadiens NHL 69 22 20 42 16 13 7 6 13 6
1968–69 Montreal Canadiens NHL 75 29 34 63 29 14 4 2 6 6
1969–70 Montreal Canadiens NHL 69 32 28 60 16
1970–71 Montreal Canadiens NHL 78 28 28 56 18 20 9 10 19 17
1971–72 Montreal Canadiens NHL 77 32 49 81 26 6 2 1 3 2
1972–73 Montreal Canadiens NHL 77 44 51 95 16 17 7 13 20 2
1973–74 Montreal Canadiens NHL 66 29 38 67 10 6 0 4 4 2
1974–75 Montreal Canadiens NHL 80 36 56 92 20 11 5 7 12 4
1975–76 Montreal Canadiens NHL 61 20 32 52 20 13 3 3 6 2
1976–77 Montreal Canadiens NHL 75 34 41 75 22 14 7 12 19 6
1977–78 Montreal Canadiens NHL 76 36 61 97 14 15 6 8 14 10
1978–79 Montreal Canadiens NHL 50 24 31 55 10 16 11 12 23 6
12 seasons NHL total 853 366 469 835 217 145 61 78 139 63

Coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T OTL Pts Finish Result
MTL 1983–84 17 7 10 0 (75) 4th in Adams Lost in Conf. champ
MTL 1984–85 80 41 27 12 94 1st in Adams Lost in second round
NJ 1993–94 84 47 25 12 106 2nd in Atlantic Lost in Conf. champ
NJ 1994–95 48 22 18 8 52 2nd in Atlantic Won Stanley Cup
NJ 1995–96 82 37 33 12 86 6th in Atlantic Missed playoffs
NJ 1996–97 82 45 23 14 104 1st in Atlantic Lost in second round
NJ 1997–98 82 48 23 11 107 1st in Atlantic Lost in first round
MIN 2000–01 82 25 39 13 5 68 5th in Northwest Missed playoffs
MIN 2001–02 82 26 35 12 9 73 5th in Northwest Missed playoffs
MIN 2002–03 82 42 29 10 1 95 3rd in Northwest Lost in Conf. champ
MIN 2003–04 82 30 29 20 3 83 5th in Northwest Missed playoffs
MIN 2005–06 82 38 36 8 84 5th in Northwest Missed playoffs
MIN 2006–07 82 48 26 8 104 2nd in Northwest Lost in first round
MIN 2007–08 82 44 28 10 98 1st in Northwest Lost in first round
MIN 2008–09 82 40 33 9 89 3rd in Northwest Missed playoffs
NJ 2009–10 82 48 27 7 103 1st in Atlantic Lost in first round
NJ 2010–11 49 29 17 3 (79) 4th in Atlantic Missed playoffs
Total 1262 617 458 124 63 1421 .563

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=5950684
  2. ^ "Lemaire returns for second stint as Devils head coach". TSN. Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
  3. ^ The Montreal Canadiens:100 Years of Glory, D’Arcy Jenish, p.236, Published in Canada by Doubleday, 2009, ISBN 978-0-385-66325-0
  4. ^ http://www.legendsofhockey.net/LegendsOfHockey/jsp/LegendsMember.jsp?mem=p198402&type=Player&page=bio&list=ByName#photo
  5. ^ "Lemaire says he's done as coach of the Wild". TSN. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  6. ^ Kreiser, John (November 2003). "Unlocking the Trap – defense – Industry Overview". Hockey Digest. Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  7. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?columnist=frei_terry&id=3515195
  8. ^ "1993–94 NHL Standings". Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  9. ^ Hutchinson, Dave; Politi, Steve (December 23, 2010). "Devils fire coach John MacLean". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Lemaire reaches 600 wins in Devils edge Leafs". Toronto: CNN. Associated Press. Retrieved July 19, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Lemaire won't return as Devils coach". NHL.com. April 10, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Arenas and Skating Rinks of LaSalle". Ville de Montréal. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Pat Burns
Bob Francis
Winner of the Jack Adams Award
1994
2003
Succeeded by
Marc Crawford
John Tortorella
Preceded by
Bob Berry
Head coach of the Montreal Canadiens
1984-85
Succeeded by
Jean Perron
Preceded by
Herb Brooks
Head coach of the New Jersey Devils (first time)
199398
Succeeded by
Robbie Ftorek
Preceded by
Position created
Head coach of the Minnesota Wild
200009
Succeeded by
Todd Richards
Preceded by
Brent Sutter
Head coach of the New Jersey Devils (second time)
2009–10
Succeeded by
John MacLean
Preceded by
John MacLean
Head coach of the New Jersey Devils (third time)
2010–11
Succeeded by
Peter DeBoer