Benoit Groulx named new head coach of AHL’s Rochester Americans

SUNRISE, Fla. – Benoit Groulx was officially named the new head coach of the American Hockey League’s Rochester Americans on Friday.

The hiring comes a day after it was announced Groulx was leaving his post as coach of Canada’s national junior team, a position he assumed just over two months ago.

The 40-year-old Groulx has guided the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques to three league titles in the last six years, including a victory over Rouyn-Noranda Huskies to earn the 2008 QMJHL title and advance to the Memorial Cup. He took the Gatineau coaching job midway through the 2001-02 season.

The Americans are the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers.

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“We are very pleased to welcome Benoit into our organization,” Panthers GM Jacques Martin said in a statement. “He has done a very good job in developing a winning program in Gatineau and he has also experienced great success for Team Canada at the international level.

“Benoit is a coach that is respected throughout hockey for his ability to get the most out of his players.”

Hockey Canada will now undertake the process of naming a replacement for Groulx.

The coaching vacancy will have to be filled before the world junior championship in late December at Ottawa. But Hockey Canada says a timeline for the decision hasn’t been set.