Lefebvre brings experience as Bulldogs new head coach

Sylvain Lefebvre has been named head coach of the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs.

He replaces Clement Jodoin, who, after spending the 2011-12 season behind Hamilton’s bench, is scheduled to meet with Montreal’s newly appointed bench boss Michel Terrine regarding a position of assistant coach with the National Hockey League’s Canadians.

Fourteen of Lefebvre’s 19 professional years were played in the National Hockey League from 1989-2003. In 945 regular season NHL games, the Richmond, Quebec native recorded 184 points (30 goals, 154 assists) and 674 penalty minutes. In 129 Stanley Cup Playoff contests, Lefebvre posted 18 points (4 goals, 14 assists) and 101 penalty minutes, winning the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996.

In three seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, he played 200 regular season games, producing 53 points (11 goals, 42 assists) and serving 182 penalty minutes. He appeared in 165 regular season games and 39 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1992-94.  On March 28, 1994, Lefebvre, along with Wendel Clark, Landon Wilson and a first-round pick in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft were traded to the Quebec Nordiques in exchange for Garth Butcher, Mats Sundin, Todd Warriner and a first-round pick in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft (acquired through the 1992 Eric Lindros deal). After one season with the Nordiques in Quebec City, Lefebvre followed the team when it moved to Denver, where he skated in 303 regular season games and 65-post season games during four seasons with the Avalanche from 1995-99. Lefebvre then signed with New York as a free agent, playing 229 games with the Rangers from 1999-2003. Lefebvre spent his final season as a player with Bern of the Swiss National League in 2003-04, helping them win the league title.

Lefebvre also spent parts of four seasons in the AHL with the Sherbrooke Canadiens (1986-89) and Hartford Wolf Pack (2001-02).  In the AHL, Lefebvre recorded 79 points (18 goals, 61 assists) and 203 penalty minutes in 171-career regular season games and nine points (three goals, six assists) in 13 Calder Cup Playoff contests.

Now 44, Lefebvre spent the past five seasons with the Colorado organization, serving as an assistant to Joe Sacco with the Avalanche for three seasons (2009-12) after spending two seasons (2007-09) as Sacco’s assistant coach with the Lake Erie Monsters.

Lefebvre becomes the 11th head coach in Hamilton Bulldogs history, succeeding Clement Jodoin (2011-2012), Randy Cunneyworth (2010-2011), Guy Boucher (2009-2010), Ron Wilson (2008-2009), Don Lever (2005-2009), Doug Jarvis (2003-2005), Geoff Ward (2002-2003), Claude Julien (2000-2003), Walt Kyle (1998-2000) and Lorne Molleken (1996-1998).

Sylvain and his wife, Marie-Claire, have four children.