After Quebec Remparts coach-GM Philippe Boucher accused Quebec Major Junior League director of officiating Richard Trottier and referee Olivier Gouin of conspiring against his team during Memorial Cup round-robin play earlier this week, many expected Canadian Hockey League brass would come down hard on the former NHL player-turned-bench boss. And many turned out to be right: late Thursday, the league announced it was fining Boucher $10,000 for his outburst.
After Boucher's Remparts performed terribly against Rimouski Wednesday at the Memorial Cup tournament in Quebec City, he went off on the powers that be, suggesting Trottier should not have allowed Gouin to officiate the game because the referee had proven previously – by calling a penalty against the Remparts in double-overtime of Game 7 in the QMJHL final – that he held a vendetta against his team. And clearly, league president David Branch was not impressed with Boucher's remarks.
That said, a fine of $10,000 likely won't be much of an issue for Boucher, who works for a highly successful franchise that will play in the brand new, $400-million Videotron Centre next season. Besides, the coach himself admitted his reaction was a tactical decision designed to remove the focus on a team that wasn't performing well on junior hockey's biggest stage.
Paying $10,000 for your choice of words might present a terminal case of sticker shock for most of the general population, but in the high-pressure, high-stakes environment of junior hockey, 10 grand is the equivalent of paying a toll for a bridge you need to get where you want to be.