Hamel retired from professional hockey in 1984, as a direct result of having sustained two serious eye injuries while playing for the Montreal Canadiens that year — the first, during the April 20 "Good Friday massacre", and the second, during an October 4 pre-season match.
When Hamel retired, the Canadiens organization hired him as an assistant coach with their new Sherbrooke Canadiens farm team in the American Hockey League (AHL). Hamel served as an assistant coach, later head coach, during the entire six seasons that the Sherbrooke Canadiens existed as a franchise. During his final two years as head coach, the Sherbrooke Canadiens finished first overall in the AHL for the 1988–89 and 1989–90 AHL regular seasons. Starting the next season, Hamel served as head coach of the Drummondville Voltigeurs, in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, for four seasons. After a four year break, Hamel returned to his birth place as head coach with the Asbestos Aztecs, of the Quebec Semi-Pro Hockey League, for one season (1999–2000).
- Jean Hamel's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Jean Hamel's biography at Legends of Hockey
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