LEWISTON — After six years of eating, sleeping and breathing the Lewiston Maineiacs, homegrown assistant coach Jeff Guay is ready for some time off.

Guay has been the one constant connection between the Lewiston Maineiacs and the city in which they play.

A graduate of Lewiston High School and one of the better-traveled personalities among the city’s extended hockey family, Guay jumped at the chance to be an assistant coach with the squad in 2003.

This year, as the team enters its seventh season, one of the last links between the team and its roots in Lewiston will be noticeably absent.

“Jeff has informed us he needs some time away for medical reasons,” Lewiston president and head coach Don MacAdam said. “He’ll be on a leave of absence.”

MacAdam said Guay is and will always be considered a part of the Maineiacs’ extended family.

“The combination of his knowledge of the game and his personality makes him an excellent coach,” MacAdam said. “Sometimes people just need to take a break. I’ve done that in the past. Sometimes, when you’ve done something for a while, you just need to hit the ‘refresh’ button.”

Guay was unavailable for comment.

After a brief playing career that spanned parts of the 1990s, Guay coached for a while in New York before returning to Lewiston as an assistant at Lewiston High School.

He began full time with the team after the first season, officially working part-time under head coach Mario Durocher. Guay worked full-time as an assistant coach for three years under Clem Jodoin, for one and a half under Ed Harding, and the last half of last season under MacAdam.

In a bizarre twist of fate, the Maineiacs have already signed a coach to fill Guay’s position.

And they didn’t have to go far to do it.

On the day Guay informed the Maineiacs of his decision, another member of the local hockey community found out his latest opportunity in the coaching realm had fallen through.

Jamie Dumont, who has coached each of the previous two seasons in Italy, will be the Maineiacs’ assistant coach next season.

“It was a tough decision to make,” Dumont said. “The opportunities to go back to Europe were there, and having been in Bolzano (Italy) was the experience of a lifetime, but this was as good a time as any to come back to North America.”

Dumont was originally going to coach the Duisburg Foxes in the German secondary league next season after two championship seasons in Bolzano. That fell through when the team was not admitted to the league.

“The other offers I had were great,” Dumont said, “but to have the opportunity to come to an established league like the QMJHL, I had to take it. Sometimes, you can get type-casted a bit and stick in Europe, and I had a great time there, but this league is one of the best junior hockey leagues in the world.”

Dumont was going to rent his house out to MacAdam (the two had never met in person).

“The same day Jeff informed me of his decision,” MacAdam said, “Jamie called and let me know his house was no longer available because his team in Europe had folded.”

The two met, and MacAdam did his homework on Dumont, who has also coached at Bowdoin, the University of Maine and at Bowling Green in Kentucky.

“Everything I got back for feedback was tremendously positive,” MacAdam said.

Dumont said he’s excited about the opportunity, but it’s a little bittersweet.

“Jeff is one of my best friends,” Dumont said, “and he’s set the bar high for any coach in this league in terms of work ethic, loyalty, respect and professionalism, and I have some big shoes to fill.”

Dumont guided the Bolzano club to back-to-back Reebok Cups as Italy’s National Champion. He also coached in the 2009 IIHF Continental Cup Finals in France, where he helped the Foxes to a bronze medal, and he was an assistant coach for the Italian national team, which competed in the 2008 U-20 World Championships in Denmark.

Return to sender

Tom Bourdon is back with the Lewiston Maineiacs.

Bourdon, the team’s athletic therapist and equipment manager in the team’s first five seasons, left last year to be the head athletic therapist with the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League.

This year, with both positions he’d previously held with the Maineiacs open again, Bourdon has returned to the team.

He replaces Scott Goode as the team’s trainer, and Ross Hoerman as the team’s equipment manager.

Rounding it out

Two other appointments round out the team’s coaching staff.

Reg Bourcier will return to the Lewiston Maineiacs as a part-time goaltending coach. Bourcier begins his third season with the team.

“He’ll be here about one a month,” MacAdam said, and he’ll be helping out not only out goalies, but helping run some monthly goalie clinics for local minor hockey.”

Adam Nicholas will also join the team part time as a skating coach. Nicholas works with Toronto Maple Leafs skating guru Graeme Townshend. MacAdam said Nicholas will be in town at least once a week to work with the team, and also with some local youth hockey clinics.

Jon Goyens, an assistant coach last season, will not return to the team this year, MacAdam said, citing a numbers crunch. The team will have just two full-time coaches: MacAdam and Dumont.

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