Episode · 1 year ago

Team of the Week (Eclipse) | Episode 85


On this week's episode of the #EShow we feature the Maine Eclipse, one of the newest franchises in the league. Following the shutdowns that took place during the 2020-21 campaign, Eric Michaud is referring to this upcoming season as 'Expansion Year 2.0' for his organization. Serving as both the EHLP Head Coach, as well as the General Manager for the entire program, Michaud is embracing the pressure that comes with getting off on the right foot this fall. Michaud and the rest of the staff with the Eclipse feel fortunate to have a brief taste of experience from this past year, and are eager to get the new season started.

Welcome to the e show with Neil Raven. With over one zero NCAA commitments, the ehl is the proven path to college. Turn it up and learn more about the college placement leader at the division two and three levels. Welcome to the east show, presented by the penalty box foundation. The foundation's mission centers around their daily motto we take care of our own, as they help out all of those within the hockey community who've experienced a catastrophic event. Learn more at penalty box foundation dot Org. What's up? My name is Neil Raven and this is episode number eighty five of the east show, and on this week's episode we feature the man eclipse, one of the newest franchises in the league. Following the shutdowns that took place during the two thousand two thousand and twenty one campaign. Eric Mech show is referring to this upcoming season as expansion year for his organization, serving US both the EH L P head coach as well as the General Manager for the entire program me. Show is embracing the pressure that comes with getting off on the right foot this fall. Me Showing the rest of the staff or the eclipse. Feel fortunate to have a brief taste experience from this past year and are eager to get the new season started. I'm joined now by Eric Nich show, the general manager and EH L P head coach for the man eclipse. As it going, Eric, good new how are you good? Thanks for coming on the e show podcast for the first time. I know last year we had mike race on, so welcome to the to the east show podcast. Oh thanks. Having appreciate being here and as we get closer and closer to the beginning of this upcoming season, I kind of have to start this interview by asking the tough question, if you will, and looking back on this past year when the state shut down in the state of Maine happened for you guys, did it come as almost like a complete shock? Yeah, I mean there was a lot of different aspects that kind of worked against us with the State of Maine shutting...

...down. Unfortunately, all the a lot of the businesses shut down for out of state travel, so we didn't really have much of an option to travel with our with our programs, especially on the charter bus, which most of our trips would have required, and unfortunately those charter buses weren't we're operating. We're operating other states. So we made the kind of the decision as a group to kind of suspend operations for the remainder of the season. And reflecting on last year, whenever I talk of people up about what it was like the the two thousand two thousand and twenty one season, I always point out that of all the states within our footprint that had the restrictions that they put in place, there really was no state that felt like it was stricter than the state of Maine. Did you guys kind of have that same feeling? Yes, most definitely. I mean it is what it is, considering where the only team in our state in our league, so obviously we didn't have the option to really play teams in our state like other teams. But yeah, I know we definitely felt like there are a lot, a lot more strict and most states, especially with even youth hockey, to I mean the whole state just seemed to shut down in general, and I think what was when I said the were surprising or shock earlier. I think the tough part was is we were in basically mid November at the time and we had just started to kind of reset the schedule where our teams were staying within these pods, if you will, divisions, and I think that's what kind of stood out to me as we had just finished that meeting and then a day or two later, you guys had to make that decision. When you made that decision, though, you did set a goal for yourself to try and keep some EHLP players around and finish a quote unquote, exhibition type year with them.

What were you able to complete throughout the rest of the year last season? Yeah, so, like you said, we kept some premiere players around. We were able to bring in some other players as well that maybe weren't happy in other leagues or even weren't playing in other leagues. So we were able to have about like fifteen full time guys with us and then obviously some guys would pick up for games, but we partnered with some of like the YO local you a teen programs and just played kind of a fifteen to twenty game schedule and obviously we had the ice at our rank still, so we just practiced every day, most of the Times twice a day. So we were able to get a lot of development for those guys that practice at least fifteen hours a week. It was a lot of a lot of ice for them, but I have full confidence and saying every single one of them got better after well, that's awesome to here. And with that group. Did any of them ever like push for more, and when I mean more, like wanting to play more games, to play out of this day, or did they understand kind of what they had was what they're going to get? Yeah, I mean most, most kids understood. I mean we had some kids, like I said, who were happy with other programs and they made of came in for a weekend just to play or something like that. But I mean we were able to also play some kids where we wanted to watch them succeed as well. So we kind of had a good mixture of guys that we could, I don't know, bring in and, yeah, utilize. And when you look back on the EAH shell side of things, when the shutdown all took place, you are fresh off of a five to one victory of the wolves. He had picked up was your third win of the year at the ehl level. They were a handful of one goal games in there. Did it feel like with that group, you had just started to...

...kind of turn the corner when everything got shut down. Yes, sir, we're about that. Actually many times as what me and Jimmy, me and Michael as well, have spoken about that. How we thought we were about to turn the corner. I mean we eventually moved on some pretty decent players that ended up having some pretty good years in some other ehl sweaters. So it's kind of Nice to follow them. I'm obviously our circumstances were unfortunate, but it was nice to follow them throughout the season and see them do well. And I was going to ask that next, because a lot of players were able to find new homes from that group, which I'm sure was encouraging for you. But to touch on a couple in particular, when you see players like Ryan Terse and Justin Gooso move to other ehl teams and really just entertain instant success throughout the rest of the year, was that was there kind of a sense of pride that that made you guys feel in your organization? Definitely. Yeah, I agree a hundred percent with that. So it kind of proves that we were on the right track, so to speak, that we were moving in the right direction. Obviously, like we said, they we were starting to Gel at that particular time. Who knows where we were, where this quad could have gone in the future, but obviously you couldn't have it couldn't happen. But no, it's to see them succeed and especially get college commitments eventually. It's very rewarding and obviously congrats to them. It's awesome for them. They off. He's obviously deserved it. So the one that I got to see the most, and having a chance to call a lot of wizards game last year, what was Ryan Terse and I thought one of the funniest, coolest, most unique, if you will, moments was when turst pulled off the Michigan move against the Worcester Railers, which is where Mike Race, the EHL head coach, ended up. was there a conversation after that that goal went down, or was it kind of like we you...

...knew that he could pull off something like that? Oh, I knew. I know for a fact that Michael Grayson shaking his head on the bench that. Yeah, I mean we actually had a mean he would try it all the time and practice. Yeah, also in Games when he was with us. So we knew it was a matter of time before we before he got one we actually did have one Michigan on our team to Conrad Smid had one two title. We had some pretty talented guys and that group. And once the year last year ended, like you mentioned before, you were able to keep some ehl player p players around and put together a development type season for them. Once the year ended, did it feel like it was finally time to kind of take a breath and reset? A hundred percent? I mean probably, as for everyone, it was just a not a normal year. As I mean, we've been we've been talking about this for a while too. I've been listening to the other podcast. It's just we're looking forward to normalcy. Last year was far from it last two years. Even so, we're looking forward to the to the normal. It was definitely a side relief that we could turn the page and actually look forward to league clay and and playing some games that actually matter and like striving towards an ultimate goal as a team. Does this year for you personally, feel like the inaugural season for your organization or not really? Yes, sir, I mean obviously we have like our first franchise wins under our belt, like we have some big some big wins. We have some like prominent players that ended up moving on. But I call it expansion year, part two or two oh, because it honestly, it just is what it is. So you have wonderful season in the books. It is what it is. So we're going to treat it that way and build a competitive culture from the beginning and in start from there. Do you feel like this year going to you're going to lean back on the short experience that use that you had from this past year? Or,... you said, there's are kind of just clean slate. Let's start this thing all over. I think we definitely learned from some of our mistakes that we could. I mean we got to kind of have the up upbringing of the team, which training camp in the kind of growing pains of being an expansion team, but ultimately we had to shut down. So we got to kind of experience the whirlwind of the beginning of the season and and honestly, like you said, when we got off that zoom to we thought we were in the kind of the home stretch, yeah, until the two days later. So yeah, it's it's definitely been a challenge, but we're looking forward to it. And for yourself personally, prior to your time with the eclipse you had spent time a little bit further north than Maine, up in Lewiston with the the maindor deeks, who of course, have an NA team and an NA three team. What was that experience for like for yourself personally as a coach? Honestly, was my first kind of real gig because I was at the University of Maine as a student when I work for their program. So it was my first kind of real coaching job there and I've learned its tremendous amount as my first behind the bench Gig as well. So, overall, I kind of gained my philosophies from being behind the bench with the Nord eaks and learning from from those coaches, a lot of prominent coaches that have been around the game for a while. So yeah, I was able to learn a good amount from them to found to lay a foundation, especially for this level of juniors. And as you've kind of progressed since that time, you've added the general manager title to your overall role with the eclipse organization. When you were able to add that to your to your belt, if you will, how did that make you feel? It was definitely a nice feeling we're just kind of had a conversations, a lot of conversations as a group...

...about putting people in the right positions so we can succeed and they the ownership group of everyone. Jimmy and Scott Patrick kind of all agreed that I had a good head of my shoulders enough to lead the program and be the be the face I guess, so to speak. Yeah, and I obviously obliged. It's a great feeling to be able to be the leader and obviously we can have, hopefully have success come coming forward here and as you look forward to this upcoming year, having been through what you've been through, you know, throughout your career and then, of course, the organization as a whole this past year. But do you guys have written goals already set out for this upcoming season, or is it kind of take on those goals and figure out those goals once things get started? I think definitely our goal would be obviously to compete for a playoff spot and just make the playoffs for both programs. We want to be competitive and we want to be competitive from the start, hopefully. But I mean we're also going to sit down with our with our teams, and with our guys when they come in and see where their heads at. And I mean we have a couple exhibition games before the season starts here with some other EHL programs, so it'll be a good gage and they'll be able to see where they're at as well. So yeah, and since everything got shut down last year, one thing that I've noticed that you guys have been able to take advantage of with that time is to put more into the Amen of these that you have to offer, if you will. What have you guys added to your program that can help set you apart? Yeah, we just bought a new new charter bus, which is nice, fifty eight passenger charter bus, so we'll be able to fit both teams in there if we need to, or obviously one team if we if we have... game. Yeah, and also we recently upgraded our gym area. We purchased about five thousand dollars worth of gym equipment, newer gym equipment, so we can kind of have a newer kind of program so to speak. We'll be able to have more guys working out at one time and occupying the facility rather than people sitting around and waiting. So we'll be able to use more of our machines and facility per guy. So it'll be nice. And the one thing that you didn't mention in there there were some locker room renovations as well. If you guys right correct yeah, we actually just finished putting the carpet into both locker rooms through newly renovated locker rooms. They're very nice kind of each room has a own kind of color scheme, all associated with the eclipse and obviously our neon green color scheme. So but yeah, I know they're really nice. We've been able to work well with the bit off an ice arena to have two nice faces and nice storage area and even a nice coach office to every locker room has access the video which is nice as well. So we're all set up and ready to go this year. Hey, for me personally, to being from me myself, I know you had that that taste last year, but for me as well it does feel like you're inaugural year. So I'm pumped to officially, in quotes, have a team and made so I wish you the best of luck with the rest of the offseason and as we gets started here with Thee Twenty Two seas thanks. Man. I appreciate thanks for having me. Thanks for listening to the show. Learn more at Eastern Hockey League Dot Org and follow us on Facebook, twitter, instagram and Youtube. Also, be sure to subscribe and get notified when next week's PODCAST is released.

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