Nicole Bouchard just got a big promotion, but for her, it’s just another day at the office.

Because in her eyes, this title, that of assistant general manager of the Remparts de Québec, she already carried it at arm’s length for a very long time. It’s just that before, she did all of this with another title, that of director of team services and media relations.

Now it will be Madam Deputy CEO.

“That’s pretty much what I was already doing!” she says laughing at the end of the handset. Patrick [Roy] liked to say that it was me, the real GM of the team… so there, for me, it’s only the title that changes. »

Only the title? Maybe, but there is definitely a little something historic about this promotion.

Because by becoming assistant general manager with the Remparts, she finds herself at the same time to be the first woman to wear the title of assistant general manager of a formation of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, with the exception of a certain Claire Saint -Martin-Méthot, who inherited this title very briefly with the defunct Plattsburgh Pioneers, in 1984.

At 61, Nicole Bouchard could have thought of something else, but no, she chose instead to keep thinking about hockey, a world in which she has been advancing without looking back since 1981, when the Quebec Nordiques hired her in an administrative assistant role. This place with the late club of the National League, she was able to keep it until the move that we know in Colorado, in 1995, before briefly moving to the Canadian and returning to Quebec, with the Rafales and then the Citadels , in 1999.

Files to settle, urgent and less urgent, she has seen in droves.

“In the month of January, it will be 43 years that I work in the world of hockey,” she adds. I went from the Nordiques to the Citadelles de Québec, and then to the Remparts with Patrick [Roy], who involved everyone in his work and who always left me a lot of room. He gave me importance with the organization. He said I was the CEO because often, after a transaction for example, I was the one who had to take care of the rest!

“It was the same in our contract negotiations with the players who were a little more recalcitrant…I would get on board and go and meet the families of the players, so that they felt that I was going to be there to supervise the guys. I was the one who went to the moms to talk to them! So, that’s kind of what I’m saying: I have the title now, but I was doing all of this before! »

Since Patrick Roy has left on his way to other challenges, Nicole Bouchard will be working with another group of leaders, which includes the club’s new general manager, Simon Gagné. There will be many important issues to settle in the Remparts’ offices over the next few days, including that of the club’s next head coach, a position that remains vacant for the moment.

That’s also why Nicole Bouchard doesn’t have much time to think about the historic nature of her appointment: because she has so many things to do.

As per usual.

“I must say that it is still very flattering to become assistant general manager in an official way… a woman who has this title in the world of hockey, it does not run the streets. After all these years, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else, because I still enjoy being here. So much the better if it can open doors for other women…”