The “real life” of Louis Leblanc

When the former Canadiens first-choice retired from hockey in 2016 at the age of 25, he returned to Harvard University to complete his training in economics. Three years later, after graduating, he remained in the Boston area. It was there that he began his career with the consulting firm CMA. This small box advised clients ready to invest in technology, media and telecommunications.

Then recently, Leblanc made the leap to Oliver Wyman, a beefy consulting firm with offices in some 60 cities around the world.

It’s very different from what I experienced in the world of hockey. I often tell my friends that I now have a ‘real job »he says, laughing.

 » When you play hockey, you get in your car at 9 a.m. to go to practice and you’re back home at noon. Now the days and weeks are long and busy! »

A quote from Louis LeBlanc

Oliver Wyman executes mandates for companies wishing to invest capital in new businesses.

We guide our clients through this process and help them complete their due diligence before closing the transaction. I sometimes work on large mandates that make headlines in the media. It’s interesting to be part of the teams that do the analyzes for these investors.

I sometimes feel the same adrenaline rush as when I was playing hockey. These are projects that have big financial impacts and it sometimes becomes very intense. There are deadlines to respect. The deadlines are sometimes very short to obtain the answers we are looking for. I’m building a great resume and so far I love what I dohe said.

During the three years he spent at Harvard after his return to school, Louis Leblanc had volunteered to join the Crimson coaching staff, whose colors he had already worn. He was giving a hand to his former trainer Ted Donato.

Since he started his true career, for the first time in his life he is no longer actively engaged in hockey. However, this may only be a postponement.

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With the job I have, it has become impossible to go to Harvard every day for the 3 p.m. practice session. So I had to renounce this involvement.

On the other hand, it happens fairly regularly that young hockey players and their parents contact me, through mutual acquaintances, to ask me for advice on the best route to take. It gives me pleasure to share my experience with the young people of the new generation and to explain to them why I would make such and such a decision if I was in their shoes.

Sometimes, for example, players have the opportunity to go and play in a school prep American [une école privée] or a college. But they don’t know how these environments work. I tell myself so much the better if I can help them make an informed choice.

When you think about it, there are very few people who have such an intimate knowledge and such a comprehensive view of the various development systems in the hockey world.

During his career as a hockey player, Louis Leblanc played in the Midget AAA League, the USHL, the NCAA, the LHJMQ, the American League, the NHL and several European championships.

 » The most important message I give to young players is that there is no press in hockey and you have to be patient. As a result, it’s much better to wait to dominate in a league before moving on to the next level. »

A quote from Louis LeBlanc

One of the examples that comes to mind is that of many players who play in the U-18 AAA League at the age of 15, who have a decent season, nothing more, and who agree to play in the QMJHL at 16 the following seasonexplains the native of Pointe-Claire.

It sure sounds like fun to play in front of 15,000 people at the Colisée in Quebec City or to play in front of good crowds in Drummondville. But if you play in the fourth line and you score five goals in your season, it’s not going to bring you anything.

Unless you are a phenomenon like Crosby, Lecavalier or McDavid, you have to follow the steps. If you can play in a league where you will always be in possession of the puck, there is no hesitation to have. The benefits will always be higher than playing a few minutes per game at a higher level and just redirecting pucks to the back of the opposing zone.he adds.

During his own journey, Leblanc had left Harvard after his first season to join the Montreal Junior in the QMJHL. At the time, the leaders of the Canadian considered that it would be profitable to him to play a greater number of matches. If his career were to start over, Leblanc confides that he would stay at Harvard.

Looking back, I should have stayed in college. I had had a good year with the Crimson, but I hadn’t dominated the league. My foundations would probably have been better coming into the pros after being dominant in the college ranks. That said, I have no regrets. When you’re young and you don’t have experience, it’s hard to make that kind of choice.

When he announced his retirement as a hockey player in 2016, he openly said that he was toying with the idea of ​​returning to this universe, one day, in a team leader role. As our conversation progressed, it became clear that this option is still on the table.

The young man in a jacket stands next to Jacques Martin at the Canadian table during the repechage.

Louis LeBlanc

Photo: Getty Images/Richard Wolowicz

And his greatest inspiration is none other than Mathieu Darche. The latter is making headlines in Montreal and Anaheim these days because he is among the candidates for the position of general manager of CH and the Ducks.

Mathieu is one of my former teammates who I talk to most frequently. He had taken me under his wing at the Canadiens. He’s a great guy and a good family man. That said, I may be biased, but I think he is the ideal candidate to become GM of the Canadian. He’s a guy who hasn’t had it easy as a player and who fully understands the importance of development and a training club to be successful in the NHL. he points out.

When he ended his playing career, Mathieu held an important managerial position with Delmar (a major international transportation company) for five years. And when he arrived at the Tampa Bay Lightning as director of player development, he was very effective and he quickly stood out. This management experience proved decisive for him. When I look at his journey, I tell myself that I am also gathering valuable experience.

 » I like what I’m doing right now. But who knows, maybe I’ll follow in his footsteps one day. »

A quote from Louis LeBlanc

It comes back to what we were saying at the beginning of this conversation. In life, it is useless to cut corners. You have to collect as much luggage as possible. We see what is happening in the case of Mathieu: whether it works or not with the Canadiens or the Ducks, it seems that it is now a matter of time before he becomes general manager in the NHL.

Louis Leblanc is a fascinating interlocutor. We may see him again in the hockey world sooner than we think.

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