Berard, Boucher return to Mount St. Charles hockey progam

Berard, Boucher return to Mount St. Charles hockey progam

Bryan Berard, left, and Brian Boucher.
Former NHL stars accept roles as director of player development, strategic adviser to hockey operations

WOONSOCKET – It’s quite unusual to see a high school hockey program add a director of player development and a strategic adviser to hockey operations to its staff, but that’s what Mount St. Charles Academy officially did on Sunday afternoon at the school’s MSC Hockey Legacy event.

Former Mount St. Charles Academy and NHL players Bryan Berard and Brian Boucher, who joined another former Mount standout, UMass-Boston men’s hockey coach Peter Belisle, on a panel that participated with the audience in a Q&A session, were appointed the new roles, which were made public by MSC President Alan Tenreiro at the event.

“They both want so badly to give back and be part of Mount St. Charles,” Tenreiro said on Monday morning. “As the new president, I have been engaging all our alumni, and I want to bring in the expertise of these type of people, and who better than two guys who were Woonsocket-born, then (Woonsocket) North Stars, then Mounties, and then went to the NHL? How could you ask for anything better than that?”

Berard, who graduated from Mount in 1994 and was a defenseman who captured the Calder Trophy and Masterson Trophy during an 11-year NHL career, will serve as the director of player development and be “more on the ground and a little more hands-on, particularly during the season,” said Tenreiro.

“Bryan is going to be working at all levels, with both boys and girls, developing skills in players, as well as working in concert with the coaching staffs that are here,” added Tenreiro. “He’s also going to put together some skills camps.”

While Berard, who currently lives in Lincoln and works in Providence, will be seen often around campus, Boucher, who is an NHL studio analyst for NBC Sports, won’t be. Boucher, who graduated in 1996 and was a goaltender who spent most of his 13-year career with the Philadelphia Flyers, will be the program’s strategic adviser.

“Brian is connected and wants to bring our program to the next level,” said Tenreiro. “Not only is he in hockey at the NHL level, but he also truly understands hockey at the youth level. He really understands the game, how the game has changed, and the different trends that are out there, and he’ll drive some of our thinking towards the future of the program.”

While having two alumni who were former NHL stars on the same stage inside the school’s gymnasium was one of the afternoon’s highlights, so was the dedication that was made to the hockey team’s legendary coach, Bill Belisle, who was presented with a special plaque. Belisle made a bit of news during the 2016-17 season by not only winning his 1,000th career game, but also getting inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

“We’re the only school that can kind of merge this Belisle legacy with this NHL legacy that we have,” said Tenreiro. “It’s so rich.”