Breaking: Peoria rivermen has fired coach Jean-Guy Trudel today…

Breaking: Peoria rivermen has fired coach Jean-Guy Trudel today…



On leases, coaches and championships: Q&A with Peoria Rivermen coach Jean-Guy Trudel


PEORIA — Jean-Guy Trudel is at the heart of the Peoria hockey community as he heads up a mind-numbing effort in which he wears multiple hats.



The ex-NHLer is the longtime head coach of the Peoria Rivermen. He is also the SPHL franchise’s general manager, architect of teams that have won six regular-season league titles. He is co-owner of the junior hockey Peoria Mustangs. And now he is director of travel hockey for the Peoria Youth Hockey Association.



No sports figure in central Illinois has a bigger workload. Trudel coaches, travels, cuts video, creates practices and game plans, makes trades and negotiates player contracts — and that’s just with the Rivermen. He also helps coach junior hockey players with a program that has produced players for the Rivermen like Alec Hagaman and Mitch McPherson. And he teaches the game to kids and travels with them to tournaments when he can.



And it’s working. The Rivermen are in third place in the SPHL at 23-10-4, six points out of first and two away from second.



They opened the season unbeaten in regulation in their first eight games, and are 12-3-3 since Christmas. Their roster last weekend included just 11 players remaining from opening night as Trudel continues to make trades and work around injuries in an effort to build another championship team for Peoria.



Trudel is a three-time SPHL Coach of the Year, and in 2022 was named Tri-County Male Coach of the Year by the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame, the first time the award ever went to a pro coach.

Trudel sat down for a question-and-answer session with the Journal Star on Tuesday:


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