FARGO — Cary Eades can't look at the Vancouver Forum, a hockey arena in Vancouver, without thinking of his parents pointing at it when he was young and saying that's where they met. Eades' dad was a hockey player and his mother was a figure skater, so there was simply no chance Eades would end up with a life away from the ice.
Admittedly, Eades ranked hockey fourth in terms of his talent level among the sports he played in high school. Despite him being better at soccer, lacrosse and baseball in high school, hockey is where he ended up and coaching hockey is where he made his career since 1984.
Eades, 57, is not stepping away from the ice, but he is taking a step away from it, as he will hand over his head coaching position of the Fargo Force to associate head coach Pierre-Paul Lamoureux. Eades will remain as general manager of the Force and also be president of hockey operations.
This will be Lamoureux's first head coaching job, making him the youngest coach in the United States Hockey League at 31 years old. He is the sixth head coach in Force history, all of whom have had ties to UND.
"It's something I've been kicking around for awhile, even before I came to Fargo," Eades told The Forum. "The demands of doing both (coaching and general manager) are becoming increasingly difficult each year. I don't plan on retiring any time soon. This will kind of allow me to stay in the game."
Eades began coaching in 1984 with the University of North Dakota and will finish 35 years later with the Force in the USHL. In between was a lot of winning in the form of a national championship with UND, a national junior championship in the USHL with Dubuque, three Minnesota Class 1A boys hockey state titles with Warroad and USHL Clark Cup titles with Sioux Falls and the Force.
For Eades, winning is not the only thing he'll remember from his time on the bench.
"Thirty-five years of coaching, so there's a lot of memories," Eades said. "Obviously, been fortunate to be part of a lot of championship teams and those nights and days after hoisting the trophy are fun, some a culmination of years of work. In coaching, you're just happy to have a positive impact on young people and see them be successful, not just in hockey, but out of hockey."
Eades has coached the last four seasons with Fargo, leading the Force to the playoffs three straight seasons, including winning the Clark Cup title in 2018.
Lamoureux was named associate head coach of the Force in July of 2017. The Force won the organization's first Clark Cup the ensuing season. He worked with Fargo during the 2015-16 season as an assistant coach and director of scouting. He coached the Red Deer Rebels in the Western Hockey League the next year before returning to Fargo. The Rebels were 30-29-13 and made the playoffs in the season with Lamoureux.
Lamoureux graduated from the University of North Dakota in 2015. He spent six seasons with UND as a student assistant and graduate assistant coach. He was also a hockey operations intern and part-time scout for the Calgary Flames for four seasons.
"I'm excited, but to sum up what this feels like, I feel very fortunate to have grown and learned from a lot of great coaches and a lot of people I consider mentors," Lamoureux told The Forum. "You kind of take bits and pieces of people you learn from along the way and their styles, but stay true to yourself. I feel prepared."
Lamoureux got into coaching because he couldn't get enough of the sport. It was something he always wanted to study and wanted to help players reach goals beyond where his hockey career went.
"Cary and I and a lot of people who have gone through the UND program, we're all kind of cut from the same cloth and there's a lot of similarities on how we coach and see the game," Lamoureux said. "A lot of things we'll continue to do. At the same time, I'm my own coach and have my own beliefs. I'm not a carbon copy of Cary, I'm my own person. I think that's how you relate to people is you be yourself."
Eli Rosendahl, who has been with the Force since the 2015-16 season, will step in as associate head coach.
"I'm happy for him and Eli," Eades said. "Eli has been with me all four years and Pierre-Paul has been with me for three out of the four years, so we have a real understanding of each other. We discussed handing over the reins to him, but it wasn't promised. He had to earn it and keep proving he deserved it. He's a brilliant, young hockey mind. I'm excited to see his tweaks on the foundation that has been built."
Eades will have to adjust to life away from the bench.
"That's going to be the difficult part of it," Eades said. "Been thinking about it for a long time. I'm ready for it. I'll be keeping myself busy, doing a lot more scouting, helping on the business side of the Fargo Force. There's some new things down the road we'll be able to create to get us that one more step to being one of the best junior hockey franchises in North America."
There's a sign taped in the hallway leading from the Force locker room to the Scheels Arena ice. It's the last thing Force players see before every period or practice. It says "Welcome to the house of pain!" with the last three words underlined. Someone wrote "Cary's" in marker before house. It's been there for years.
The house has a new owner.
"Pierre-Paul is gonna have the reins," Eades said. "I'm hopefully going to be a big part of getting him the talent by scouting. I enjoy that aspect of it. I love traveling and getting out and meeting people and eyeing talent, but the reins belong to Pierre-Paul."