They’re indispensable to a hockey group, working lengthy hours within the shadows, with out attracting consideration. They don’t seem to be family names. However no athlete who hits the snow with skates on his toes and poles in his fingers will say that his work isn’t appreciated. His presence isn’t comforting.
Serge LeBlanc is a kind of guys who makes certain gamers don’t care about something apart from their efficiency on the ice. As a group supervisor, he’s an professional in organising the dressing room. And the phrase “different associated duties” actually applies.
“I do know, for instance, that in a sport I’ve to alter the rackets as a result of one participant is more durable on the rackets than the opposite,” he says. “I believe my job is to offer a customized service to every participant.”
A proud Acadian from Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, NB and a resident of the close by city of Grande-Digue, LeBlanc has been concerned with Workforce Canada for over 20 years. The Universite de Moncton group supervisor has by no means hesitated to reply Hockey Canada’s name, together with twice on the Winter Olympics (2018 and 2022) with the Canadian ladies’s Olympic group and twice on the World Junior Championships. of the IIHF (2008 and 2011) with the Junior Nationals of Canada. cluster.
LeBlanc spent 11 years (and almost 1,000 video games) within the Quebec Main Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) with the Moncton Wildcats. Alongside the way in which, he has participated in numerous Hockey Canada and worldwide occasions with each the boys’s and girls’s groups.
Since 2017, she has spent most of her time in stadiums, buses and airports throughout the nation and around the globe with the Canadian Girls’s Nationwide Workforce. a nature good dwellHe has his personal means of contributing to the success of Workforce Canada.
“Serge is a unprecedented particular person,” says caretaker Ann-Renee Despiens. “It doesn’t matter what time you arrive on the enviornment, you realize that he will likely be there as calm as attainable.”
“If you take a look at Serge, he places a smile in your face,” says senior ahead Brian Jenner. “He’s just like the humorous uncle everybody within the household has. I really feel the identical means about Serge. He’s reliable however he has a good time and will get together with the ladies. He is among the women ».
Valued and revered mentor
LeBlanc isn’t the one one who takes excellent care of gamers. Andrew Davis joined her on the groups employees this season, and the 2 will meet for the 2023 IIHF World Championship for Girls in Brampton. Davis first met LeBlanc in December 2015 when Canada’s under-18 ladies’s nationwide group performed an exhibition sport in Concordia previous to the 2016 IIHF World Underneath-18 Girls’s Championship.
“It was the primary time I met anybody from Hockey Canada,” recollects Davis. “He impressed me lots with how he labored.”
Davis’ first official look in Hockey Canada got here in August 2016 on the Canada ladies’s under-18 nationwide group choice camp. She was in a position to study from LeBlanc, who suggested group managers earlier than the collection towards america.
“It actually was the proper expertise to begin with as a result of he was in a position to concentrate on exhibiting us the usual of Hockey Canada, which is a really excessive customary,” says Davis, a local of Hudson Heights, Quebec.
How does LeBlanc method concentrating on the following era of group managers?
“I attempt to present them what helps me be environment friendly and reply their questions,” says the person, affectionately generally known as Payo in his dwelling province. “I don’t suppose I’m higher than anyone, completely not, however I’ve been in a position to study my character and the way in which I function in a means that makes me efficient.”
a reliable believer
Ask Davis what LeBlanc is like behind the scenes, and also you’ll get a smile on her face.
“Any enviornment we went to [during the
Rivalry Series], Canada or america, I wished to know the tales of the individuals. He enjoys interacting with the individuals within the enviornment, the gamers and the employees. It is vitally accessible. It has been profitable on virtually each stage. I by no means heard him speak about his successes, it was all the time concerning the individuals he met alongside the way in which.”
Desbiens agrees: “He is aware of everybody! I don’t suppose there’s anybody who doesn’t know Serge. He’s very pleasant, cheerful and spontaneous ».
LeBlanc’s interpersonal expertise serve everybody on the group, together with head coach Troy Ryan, who typically advises the locker room participant and helps make choices.
“We did our first occasion collectively in 2006 [at the
World Under-17 Hockey Challenge]says LeBlanc. We’ve identified one another a very long time, and he trusts me with any questions, and I’ll be sincere with him. For instance, you would ask me concerning the personalities of the gamers. match throughout the group or not.
his golden second
All through his huge expertise within the sport at dwelling and overseas, LeBlanc has numerous recollections to treasure. Your favourite of him? He doesn’t hesitate.
“In fact it’s [winning an Olympic gold medal in] Beijing [with Canada’s
Women’s Olympic Team]”, says. “I might have retired at that time and would have been pleased with my profession on the worldwide stage. So to see these women for 4 years and having to take care of Covid and all of that, the way in which they carried out and educated and ready, profitable was no doubt the spotlight of my profession.
However there’s another factor value mentioning.
“Reaching the 100-game mark with Workforce Canada in Finland in November 2021 was a private milestone for me,” says LeBlanc. “It’s particular to expertise that, too.”
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) November 13, 2021
Particular for him, but in addition for the gamers who have been a part of that particular evening forward of Beijing 2022.
“It was a really particular second,” recollects Despiens. “He’s extremely appreciated in our locker room and somebody we wish to have across the group. 100 video games with the Canadian group, that’s very spectacular. I’m certain he has much more forward of him. Each time we name him, he comes.” . And he’s all the time glad.”