LEWISTON – For at least one game next season, Clem Jodoin will return to the Androscoggin Bank Colisee as a head coach.

But he’ll be on the visiting bench.

Jodoin, who informed the Lewiston Maineiacs on Monday that he was leaving, will take over as coach of the Rimouski Oceanic, effective today.

A news conference is scheduled for this morning.

On Tuesday, Jodoin said his decision had nothing to do with his feelings toward the Maineiacs, or toward their host city.

“People have been good to me, very, very good to me here,” Jodoin said. “But, sometimes you might look happy, on the outside, but that doesn’t mean happiness is always there. The game is one thing, but the overall life is another.”

Jodoin’s wife, Louise, studied for seven years to become an osteopath. Last year, after she graduated, she rarely saw her husband, who was busy with the Maineiacs, and with Hockey Canada at the World Under-20 tournament.

Louise could not move to the United States to practice medicine, so she and her husband remained apart.

Jodoin then decided Europe would be a better option than Lewiston, if only so Louise could join him. That’s when Rimouski stepped in.

“They heard through the grapevine that I was ending up in Europe – and I was ending up in Europe,” he said.

But none of the potential options in Europe would have allowed his wife to start up her own career.

“She’s going to have a job (in Rimouski), and it’s not about the money,” Jodoin said. “She spent seven years learning and working toward a goal, and now she will be able to work with and help people.”

Despite the family considerations, Jodoin said leaving the Maineiacs is tough for him to handle, but he continued to insist that the franchise he is leaving behind isn’t exactly struggling anymore.

“You can replace people, but you cannot replace a team,” he said. “The most important thing here, they have a team. They have to support it; they have to get behind them. They will have some good days, and it’s all a cycle. Hopefully, they are not going down too low. Now, the people understand the product; they’ve been part of the product, part or everything.”

Maineiacs’ majority owner Mark Just, who spoke with Jodoin on Tuesday morning, wholeheartedly agreed.

“When we look at our team, he certainly didn’t leave a bare cupboard,” Just said.

In three years, Jodoin’s teams compiled a 104-61-23 record in 188 regular-season games, and a 22-9 mark in the playoffs. He also helped to rebuild the team’s educational system and, as the general manager, strengthened its overall player depth.

Now, he will try to do the same with the Oceanic, which has developed a habit of tanking every so often to ensure top draft picks and one extremely successful season in every four.

“I don’t think they will tank again,” Jodoin said, cracking a smile. After what they went through, he said, “They had to make a change in the organization.”

One thing he will not do this week is participate in the league’s entry draft. For either team.

“I don’t want to be a part of anything. I told the scouts here to send everything to the other guys. I don’t want to have to make a decision on (Rimouski’s) vision. I’m not a GM anymore; I am just a coach. Next year is going to be something different, but for now, I don’t want to be involved.”

Jodoin’s appointment is scheduled to be announced officially in Rimouski this morning by the Oceanic. They are flying him into Rimouski for the announcement.


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