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08-13-2012, 10:29 PM
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Claude Ruel

Claude Ruel turned to coaching after losing an eye in a game playing for the Junior Canadiens during the 1957-58 season.

By the 1961-62 season he was coaching the Montreal Junior Canadiens and after the 1962-63 season he became one of the first NHL assistant coaches, helping the legendary Toe Blake run practices, concentrating on the defensemen and incoming players. Some of the HHOF dmen that Ruel developed were Jacques Laperriere, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe, Larry Robinson, Rod Langway, and future HHOFer Chris Chelios plus a string of solid NHLers starting with J.C. Tremblay.

This ability to develop young defensemen and integrate new players into a team were two of the key elements leading to his selection as coach. The Orfuns defensemen are ideal for a Claude Ruel team. Two young defensemen - Karlsson and Letang requiring that extra polish to take them to the next level. Three experienced defensemen with well above average defensive and offensive skills - Sylvain Cote, Don Sweeney, Bob Murray plus two solid stay at home defensemen - Rick Green and Brad Marsh with a history of playing with young defensemen.Then there is the swingman F/D in Charles Tobin similar to the swing skaters historically used by the Canadiens during Ruel's tenure.

After the 1967-68 season, Claude Ruel replaced the retiring Toe Blake, leading the SC Champion Canadiens to a repeat SC victory.

His NHL record features a .648 regular season W% and a .667 playoff W%.

As a head coach he continued the Canadiens emphasis on defense combined with the traditional aggressive forecheck spearheaded by a blend of LHS/RHS centers. The Orfuns have four centers - RHS - Pederson and Lang, LHS Staal and Ridley all supported with appropriate wingers. Ruel coached in an offensive system that featured balanced offense from all lines and contributions from the defensemen. The Orfuns feature both.

The ideal available coach for the team.

Last edited by Canadiens1958: 07-12-2014 at 06:32 PM.
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