What’s old is new again in Montreal as it was announced on Tuesday morning that Michel Therrien has been named the next coach of the Habs.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but he received a 3 year contract. This is his second stint with the club as he coached them from November 2000 to January 2003 compiling a 77-77-36 record over that span.
Therrien most recently coached in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. He started out with their farm team in Wilkes-Barre in 2003, making a run to the Calder Cup Finals before setting an AHL record for the most wins to start a season with 15. His record with the Baby Pens was 21-1-2-1 before joining the big club.
That hot streak carried over to Pittsburgh as he was a Jack Adams Finalist in 2006-07, one where the team posted the fourth biggest point improvement in NHL history. The Penguins made the Stanley Cup Finals the following season. Things started to downhill from there as just two years later, he was let go in place of Dan Bylsma who, as well all know, led them to the Stanley Cup.
Therrien has been out of coaching since then, falling just short of landing the New Jersey job in 2010. He briefly worked for the Minnesota Wild as a part time scout that season before settling into his analyst role with RDS.
It is believed that both Guy Carbonneau and Marc Crawford were also seriously considered for this position. Carbonneau interviewed three separate times while Crawford noted to TSN’s Darren Dreger that the interview process was the most intensive he’s ever been through. This marks the second time in the last few years that Crawford has fallen short, his name was also considered before the club hired Jacques Martin.
Our writers will have their say later this week in a Writers Weigh In column, you can add your thoughts on the hiring by voting in our poll or by participating in the discussion on the HW Forums
(the link is below). Therrien was not a popular choice among the fans in
our coaches’ poll back in May as only 13% of voters characterized him as a good
choice or their top selection. By comparison, 47% believed he was a bad
choice to be coach.
In the press conference held Tuesday afternoon, Therrien
stated that his intention was "to bring back intensity, pride,
and discipline" to the Canadiens. Interestingly enough, he also
noted that this was the first time that he went through the interview process
with a GM having been hired by team presidents in years past. Some other
notes from the media session:
– Therrien on leadership: "I believe in the
leadership we have in the dressing room."
– GM Marc Bergevin on postseason aspirations: "The goal is to make the playoffs,
then everything is possible."
– Therrien on coaching in Montreal: "It
is a privilege to coach in the NHL, but it’s an honour to coach the Montreal
– Therrien on the forwards: "We have an excellent 1st
line, comparable to many in the NHL. Plekanec is an outstanding, intelligent
– Bergevin on his history with Therrien: "I knew Therrien as a hockey contact,
not as a friend."