Episode · 4 months 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 NeilRaven. With over one zero NCAA commitments, the ehl is the proven path tocollege. Turn it up and learn more about the college placement leader atthe division two and three levels. Welcome to the east show, presented bythe penalty box foundation. The foundation's mission centers around their daily motto we takecare of our own, as they help out all of those within the hockeycommunity 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 eightyfive of the east show, and on this week's episode we feature the maneclipse, one of the newest franchises in the league. Following the shutdowns thattook place during the two thousand two thousand and twenty one campaign. Eric Mechshow is referring to this upcoming season as expansion year for his organization, servingUS both the EH L P head coach as well as the General Manager forthe entire program me. Show is embracing the pressure that comes with getting offon the right foot this fall. Me Showing the rest of the staff orthe eclipse. Feel fortunate to have a brief taste experience from this past yearand are eager to get the new season started. I'm joined now by EricNich show, the general manager and EH L P head coach for the maneclipse. As it going, Eric, good new how are you good?Thanks for coming on the e show podcast for the first time. I knowlast year we had mike race on, so welcome to the to the eastshow podcast. Oh thanks. Having appreciate being here and as we get closerand closer to the beginning of this upcoming season, I kind of have tostart this interview by asking the tough question, if you will, and looking backon this past year when the state shut down in the state of Mainehappened 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 workedagainst us with the State of Maine shutting...

...down. Unfortunately, all the alot of the businesses shut down for out of state travel, so we didn'treally have much of an option to travel with our with our programs, especiallyon the charter bus, which most of our trips would have required, andunfortunately those charter buses weren't we're operating. We're operating other states. So wemade the kind of the decision as a group to kind of suspend operations forthe remainder of the season. And reflecting on last year, whenever I talkof people up about what it was like the the two thousand two thousand andtwenty one season, I always point out that of all the states within ourfootprint that had the restrictions that they put in place, there really was nostate that felt like it was stricter than the state of Maine. Did youguys kind of have that same feeling? Yes, most definitely. I meanit is what it is, considering where the only team in our state inour league, so obviously we didn't have the option to really play teams inour state like other teams. But yeah, I know we definitely felt like thereare a lot, a lot more strict and most states, especially witheven youth hockey, to I mean the whole state just seemed to shut downin general, and I think what was when I said the were surprising orshock earlier. I think the tough part was is we were in basically midNovember at the time and we had just started to kind of reset the schedulewhere our teams were staying within these pods, if you will, divisions, andI think that's what kind of stood out to me as we had justfinished that meeting and then a day or two later, you guys had tomake that decision. When you made that decision, though, you did seta goal for yourself to try and keep some EHLP players around and finish aquote unquote, exhibition type year with them.

What were you able to complete throughoutthe rest of the year last season? Yeah, so, like you said, we kept some premiere players around. We were able to bring in someother players as well that maybe weren't happy in other leagues or even weren'tplaying in other leagues. So we were able to have about like fifteen fulltime 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 andjust played kind of a fifteen to twenty game schedule and obviously we had theice at our rank still, so we just practiced every day, most ofthe Times twice a day. So we were able to get a lot ofdevelopment for those guys that practice at least fifteen hours a week. It wasa lot of a lot of ice for them, but I have full confidenceand saying every single one of them got better after well, that's awesome tohere. And with that group. Did any of them ever like push formore, and when I mean more, like wanting to play more games,to play out of this day, or did they understand kind of what theyhad was what they're going to get? Yeah, I mean most, mostkids understood. I mean we had some kids, like I said, whowere happy with other programs and they made of came in for a weekend justto play or something like that. But I mean we were able to alsoplay some kids where we wanted to watch them succeed as well. So wekind 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 theEAH shell side of things, when the shutdown all took place, youare fresh off of a five to one victory of the wolves. He hadpicked up was your third win of the year at the ehl level. Theywere a handful of one goal games in there. Did it feel like withthat group, you had just started to...

...kind of turn the corner when everythinggot shut down. Yes, sir, we're about that. Actually many timesas what me and Jimmy, me and Michael as well, have spoken aboutthat. How we thought we were about to turn the corner. I meanwe eventually moved on some pretty decent players that ended up having some pretty goodyears 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 themthroughout the season and see them do well. And I was going to ask thatnext, because a lot of players were able to find new homes fromthat group, which I'm sure was encouraging for you. But to touch ona couple in particular, when you see players like Ryan Terse and Justin Goosomove to other ehl teams and really just entertain instant success throughout the rest ofthe year, was that was there kind of a sense of pride that thatmade you guys feel in your organization? Definitely. Yeah, I agree ahundred percent with that. So it kind of proves that we were on theright track, so to speak, that we were moving in the right direction. Obviously, like we said, they we were starting to Gel at thatparticular time. Who knows where we were, where this quad could have gone inthe 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 veryrewarding 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, mostunique, if you will, moments was when turst pulled off the Michigan moveagainst 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 somethinglike that? Oh, I knew. I know for a fact that MichaelGrayson shaking his head on the bench that. Yeah, I mean we actually hada 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 matterof time before we before he got one we actually did have one Michiganon our team to Conrad Smid had one two title. We had some prettytalented guys and that group. And once the year last year ended, likeyou mentioned before, you were able to keep some ehl player p players aroundand 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 andreset? A hundred percent? I mean probably, as for everyone, itwas just a not a normal year. As I mean, we've been we'vebeen 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 fromit last two years. Even so, we're looking forward to the to thenormal. It was definitely a side relief that we could turn the page andactually look forward to league clay and and playing some games that actually matter andlike striving towards an ultimate goal as a team. Does this year for youpersonally, feel like the inaugural season for your organization or not really? Yes, sir, I mean obviously we have like our first franchise wins under ourbelt, like we have some big some big wins. We have some likeprominent players that ended up moving on. But I call it expansion year,part two or two oh, because it honestly, it just is what itis. So you have wonderful season in the books. It is what itis. So we're going to treat it that way and build a competitive culturefrom the beginning and in start from there. Do you feel like this year goingto you're going to lean back on the short experience that use that youhad from this past year? Or,... you said, there's are kindof just clean slate. Let's start this thing all over. I think wedefinitely learned from some of our mistakes that we could. I mean we gotto kind of have the up upbringing of the team, which training camp inthe kind of growing pains of being an expansion team, but ultimately we hadto shut down. So we got to kind of experience the whirlwind of thebeginning of the season and and honestly, like you said, when we gotoff 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 beena 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 bitfurther north than Maine, up in Lewiston with the the maindor deeks, whoof course, have an NA team and an NA three team. What wasthat experience for like for yourself personally as a coach? Honestly, was myfirst kind of real gig because I was at the University of Maine as astudent when I work for their program. So it was my first kind ofreal coaching job there and I've learned its tremendous amount as my first behind thebench Gig as well. So, overall, I kind of gained my philosophies frombeing 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 tofound to lay a foundation, especially for this level of juniors. And asyou've kind of progressed since that time, you've added the general manager title toyour overall role with the eclipse organization. When you were able to add thatto your to your belt, if you will, how did that make youfeel? 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 positionsso we can succeed and they the ownership group of everyone. Jimmy and ScottPatrick kind of all agreed that I had a good head of my shoulders enoughto lead the program and be the be the face I guess, so tospeak. Yeah, and I obviously obliged. It's a great feeling to be ableto be the leader and obviously we can have, hopefully have success comecoming forward here and as you look forward to this upcoming year, having beenthrough what you've been through, you know, throughout your career and then, ofcourse, the organization as a whole this past year. But do youguys have written goals already set out for this upcoming season, or is itkind 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 spotand just make the playoffs for both programs. We want to be competitive and wewant to be competitive from the start, hopefully. But I mean we're alsogoing to sit down with our with our teams, and with our guyswhen they come in and see where their heads at. And I mean wehave 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'reat 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 advantageof with that time is to put more into the Amen of these that youhave to offer, if you will. What have you guys added to yourprogram that can help set you apart? Yeah, we just bought a newnew charter bus, which is nice, fifty eight passenger charter bus, sowe'll be able to fit both teams in there if we need to, orobviously one team if we if we have... game. Yeah, and alsowe recently upgraded our gym area. We purchased about five thousand dollars worth ofgym equipment, newer gym equipment, so we can kind of have a newerkind of program so to speak. We'll be able to have more guys workingout 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 inthere there were some locker room renovations as well. If you guys right correctyeah, we actually just finished putting the carpet into both locker rooms through newlyrenovated locker rooms. They're very nice kind of each room has a own kindof color scheme, all associated with the eclipse and obviously our neon green colorscheme. So but yeah, I know they're really nice. We've been ableto work well with the bit off an ice arena to have two nice facesand nice storage area and even a nice coach office to every locker room hasaccess the video which is nice as well. So we're all set up and readyto go this year. Hey, for me personally, to being fromme myself, I know you had that that taste last year, but forme as well it does feel like you're inaugural year. So I'm pumped toofficially, in quotes, have a team and made so I wish you thebest of luck with the rest of the offseason and as we gets started herewith Thee Twenty Two seas thanks. Man. I appreciate thanks for having me.Thanks for listening to the show. Learn more at Eastern Hockey League DotOrg and follow us on Facebook, twitter, instagram and Youtube. Also, besure to subscribe and get notified when next week's PODCAST is released.

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