EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – The Edmundston Blizzard organization has announced that Simon Olivier will be the team’s new head coach.
Olivier, 50, had a very successful career as a player in several professional ranks in North America and in Germany. He was an offensive defenseman and liked the physical play. After his playing career, he devoted himself to various coaching duties. He was notably assistant coach of the Victoriaville Tigers from 2009-2010 to 2012-2013. And he knows Junior A hockey well for having been the general manager and head coach of the Côte-du-Sud Everest (team located in Montmagny) during the 2018-2019 to 2020-2021 seasons in Quebec junior AAA hockey league (LHJAAAQ). He was named LHJAAAQ Head Coach of the Year in his first season with Everest and a two-time finalist for General Manager of the Year.
“The president of the Blizzard, André Lebel, asked me if I was interested in the job. I imagine my name was on a list. I know the general manager, Steve MacPherson. You know junior hockey is a small world. A lot of people know each other,” explained Simon Olivier Monday morning while he was heading to Edmundston.
“After an absence from hockey last season, I accepted the Blizzard’s offer because, after talking to the team’s hockey staff, I realized that my philosophy fit perfectly with the orientation of the organization”, he mentioned.
“We are very happy to be able to count on the great experience and professionalism of Simon Olivier”, said the president of the Blizzard, André Lebel. “Simon was at the top of our list to fill the position of head coach. He has achieved great success wherever he has been as a coach and administrator. We know that he has a good work ethic, that he demands high standards among his players and that he will bring people together. The Blizzard is in very good hands with Simon and his coaching staff”.
Originally from Lévis, Québec, Simon Olivier is the father of forward Mathieu Olivier who was acquired by the Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL on June 30. Mathieu played 48 games with the Nashville Predators since 2019-2020. Phillip Danault (Los Angeles Kings) and Yanni Gourde (Seattle Kraken) are two players that Simon Olivier had the privilege of working with as an assistant coach with Victoriaville in the QMJHL.
“I know Edmundston a little because I had a father-in-law from Notre-Dame-du-Lac, located a few kilometers from the New Brunswick border,” he said.
While it’s too early to promise the world to Blizzard fans, Simon Olivier knows his new team will work hard in every game. “Everywhere I went as a coach, I had the same recipe. I asked the players to give their all in every game. The human dimension will also be very important with the players. And our fans will deserve respect because they are very loyal and numerous to support their team,” said Simon Olivier who led Everest to a record of 52 wins and 44 losses in two campaigns.
When he left his job with the Everest, he also held the position of director of hockey operations and the sports-studies program of the Pointe-Lévy Corsaires. “In Edmundston, this will be the first time I can focus solely on the work of head coach,” he remarked, noting that it would certainly be very beneficial for him and the organization.
A great source of pride for the man of Lévis was to have been chosen as assistant coach for the Western team during the CJHL Prospect games held in January 2020 in Hamilton, Ontario. In December of the same year, he was to find himself behind the bench as assistant coach of the Canada East team during the World Junior A Championship, an event which had to be canceled due to the pandemic.
Simon Olivier will soon roll up his sleeves with Blizzard’s general manager, scouting team and coaching staff to prepare the Maritime Hockey League Draft to be held virtually on Friday, July 15. Blizzard will have the first pick overall.
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Simon Olivier. Photo courtesy
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Contact: Hugues Chiasson, Edmundston Blizzard vice-president communications; (506) 740-0623 – cell phone