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Award recognizes Seguin’s spirit

Local Oldtimers hockey legend Ray ‘Thibaudeau’ Auclair presents Timmins Rock Captain Derek Seguin with the Ray “Thibaudeau” Auclair Trophy prior to the NOJHL’s squad’s final game at the McIntyre Arena Tuesday night. Since the 2017-18 season, Auclair has awarded the trophy to Rock’s most spirited player, a “true mucker, grinder and digger.” THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS

Timmins Rock Captain Derek Seguin was presented with the Ray ‘Thibaudeau’ Auclair Trophy prior to the NOJHL’s squad’s final game at the McIntyre Arena Tuesday night.


Thomas Perry – The Daily Press/Postmedia Network
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A legend in Oldtimers hockey circles in the community and a former city councillor, Auclair got the nickname due to his association with former NHL player Gilles Thibaudeau, who played for the Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs.

“He was traded for none other than (former Abitibi Eskimos and Timmins Rock coach) Paul Gagne,” Auclair said.

“So, there is a little bit of a connection there.”

Since the 2017-18 season, Auclair has presented the trophy to the Rock’s most spirited player, a “true mucker, grinder and digger.”

Prior to Seguin, winners over the years have included Wayne Mathieu (2017-18), Linden Spencer (2018-19) and Eric Moreau (2019-20).

“When I was presenting the trophy to Linden Spencer, Derek Seguin was standing in front of me and I said to him, ‘Derek, you will never win this trophy.’

“You score too many goals. You are like Wayne Gretzky. You are like Sidney Crosby. This trophy is for players like Leo Komorov, of the New York Islanders or Antoine Roussel, of the Vancouver Canucks.

“But, you know what, after watching all these games on HockeyTV, I said, ‘I have to give it to Derek Seguin.’

“The stuff you do, blocking shots, going into the corner and coming out with the puck, the passes you made … yes, you are the top scorer (in the NOJHL), too.

“So, you defeated the purpose of this trophy.”

Auclair cautioned, however, Seguin’s cross-over trophy win will not change the criteria on which it will be awarded in the future.

“I will just give you an example, last Thursday night it was 8-3 for the Rock (over the Cochrane Crunch), with eight seconds left the puck was in our zone, it went to the defenceman at the point and he wound up for a slap shot and Derek Seguin slid in and blocked the shot,” he said.

“Most guys would have flamingoed, or let the guy shoot. Not Derek Seguin. He stopped that puck.”

In addition to presenting Seguin with the trophy and a plaque, Auclair offered a little advice to the Rock board of directors, as well.

“I hope they retire your No. 91 jersey,” he said.

“Nobody should even think of wearing your No. 91. You are the best player who ever came to play for the Timmins Rock and I want to see that jersey hanging in the rafters here.”