The Habs wasted no time making some announcements after the Stanley Cup Final
concluded in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Montreal traded Louis
Leblanc to Anaheim for a conditional 5th round pick in 2015 while signing head
coach Michel Therrien to a four year contract extension. His new deal will
commence in the 2015-16 season as he has one year left his existing contract.
Leblanc was the Canadiens’ first round pick (18th overall) in the 2009 NHL
Entry Draft which was hosted in Montreal. His prospects were looking good
early as he played in 42 games in his rookie season, collecting ten points along
the way. Unfortunately for Leblanc and the Habs, things went downhill from
there. In 2012-13, he failed to earn a call up to the big club and had
four fewer points in Hamilton despite playing twice as many games as he did in
his rookie season.
2013-14 was an up-and-down year for the right winger. There were
moments where he was an important contributor with the Bulldogs but there were
others where he was mired on the fourth line and wasn’t bringing anything to the
table. Leblanc did, however, earn himself a stint with the Habs, playing
eight games along the way but he failed to collect any points.
The pending restricted free agent has to clear waivers starting next season
and a trade like this suggests that management didn’t have confidence that
Leblanc would crack the roster of the Canadiens or that he would clear waivers
in training camp. Heading into this season, he was ranked sixth in our
annual prospect rankings, his lowest ranking in five seasons.
Therrien re-joined Montreal prior to the start of the lockout-shortened
2012-13 campaign. In two years with the club, his team has posted a
75-42-13 record in 130 games, good for a total of 163 points. The Habs
have made the playoffs in both of those seasons as well and earned the Northeast
Division title in 2013. When you add in his first stint with the Canadiens,
his winning percentage is just below .500 with a 152-119-48 record.
In his five full NHL seasons (not including the ones that he was hired or
fired midway), Therrien’s teams have made the postseason in each of them
including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final with Pittsburgh in 2007-08. His
career NHL head coaching record is 287-224-81 in 592 games.
Marc Bergevin’s comments on the extension: "Michel is an accomplished and
experienced coach who has instilled a culture of hard work in our organization
while helping develop our young players. Michel and his coaching staff work in a
unique and demanding hockey market and the team’s success over the last two
seasons are a reflection of their excellent work. This decision reflects our
desire for stability and consistency within our hockey operations department.”