Local fan-favourite Cloutier joins Nationals
CORNWALL, Ontario - The Cornwall Nationals of the Federal Hockey League have added some grit and muscle to their blueline.
Cornwall Nationals Handout
Alexandria's Joel Trottier is the new head coach of the Cornwall Nationals.
The Nationals captain, who has been dealing with a nagging groin injury, is hanging up the skates.
Trottier has agreed to coach the team for the remainder of this season as well as the 2017-18 Federal Hockey League campaign.
In 32 games with the Nationals, Trottier scored 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points. But, a long FHL schedule has taken its toll on Trottier, who turned 40 in February.
Trottier, who starred with the Ottawa 67's in the Ontario Hockey League, was a draft pick of the Boston Bruins in 1997.
The veteran quit his full-time job at the start of the season to be a full-time player/coach for the Nationals and despite a rocky inaugural season, Trottier has kept a positive outlook for this franchise's future.
While the expansion Nationals are well out of the FHL playoff race, general manager Basem Awwad and Trottier will take this opportunity to treat the remainder of the season as a tryout for players who are looking for jobs next season.
Owner Will Beauvais and team president Rodney Rivette are fully supportive of the transition.
The Nationals are back in action with three games this weekend, all against the rival Berlin River Drivers.
On Friday, March 3, Cornwall travels to Berlin (8 p.m.). On Saturday, March 4, Berlin visits Cornwall. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. The Nationals and River Drivers go at it once again on Sunday, March 5 in Berlin at 2 p.m.