LEWISTON – He did it his way, and he did it proudly.

Now, former Lewiston Maineiacs’ coach Clem Jodoin will do his best to help the Rimouski Oceanic achieve the same success.

But he’ll always look fondly on the time he spent in Lewiston, and his – and the organization’s – accomplishments.

“There’s no question there’s satisfaction,” Jodoin said. “We accomplished a lot, and we did it the right way. We were a team. We were not a big club with big names, we were a team that worked together.”

The Maineiacs’ majority owner, Mark Just, was sad to see Jodoin go, but he, too, applauded his former coach’s success.

“He came in here, transformed us from a run-of-the-mill organization to the top organization in the league, to one that’s considered one of the favorites for next year,” Just said. “That’s what I expected he was going to do three years ago, and he came through.”

Three years ago, Jodoin came into an organization with a bad reputation on the ice. Some of the players were undisciplined, and that carried into the locker room.

Off the ice, the team’s players weren’t even required to attend school. Some of them didn’t.

“Everything has been better, and better, and better, year after year,” Jodoin said. “Our billets, our schools – this is the best year we’ve had in school – everything has been so organized now.”

And notoriety?

Check, according to both Jodoin and Just.

“He put us on the map, and now it’s up to us to carry the torch to the next level,” Just said. “We were three games short this year, and we’re not going to give up on those three games.”

“People all know where Lewiston is now,” Jodoin said. “They know the city. Lewiston is on the map, and it’s just now to bring some new energy.”

No successor to Jodoin has been named, nor will there be one announced soon, Just said. The team will make its way through this year’s entry draft, and then turn its attention to the head job.

“We have to now put all of our thoughts into the draft, and that’s what I’m doing this weekend,” Just said. “When that’s over with, I’ll start the proceedings. We have time before we have to make a definite selection.”

Jodoin would not comment on the process, but did say that whomever takes the reins, will do so in name only. The true power source of any team, he said, are the players themselves.

“People are coming down here not to see the coach, but to see the players. Bring in some good players, and people are going to come down to see them. Nobody is bigger than the game, and everyone is replaceable.”

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