The vacancy behind the bench created by the departure of Luke Richardson has been filled as the Habs named Stephane Robidas as an assistant coach.
Robidas’ name should be familiar to many Montreal fans as the 45-year-old was drafted by the Canadiens and played in 122 games for the team early in his playing career. He officially retired in 2016 after missing the entire 2015-16 campaign due to injury and was a part of Toronto’s player development staff from 2015 through 2021 before spending last season as head coach with Magog of the Quebec U18 AAA Development Hockey League.
Montreal head coach Martin St. Louis released the following statement about the hire:
“We are very lucky to have someone of Stephane’s caliber join our coaching staff. His recent experience as an NHL player, and his outstanding hockey background, will be excellent assets for the development of our players. Stephane perfectly matches the profile we were looking for in a candidate. In addition to being an exceptional individual, he is a very good communicator, and I believe that players will relate to him because of that.”
While some thought that the Habs would look for someone with some NHL coaching experience – Alex Burrows has the most NHL coaching experience on this staff at a year and a half – instead, they’ve opted for someone with more of a developmental mindset. That does make some sense as Montreal’s back end is going to be a whole lot younger next season with two or three roster spots likely being earmarked for prospects including Kaiden Guhle, Jordan Harris, and Justin Barron (among others). Robidas will have a tall task ahead as he looks to integrate those youngsters while trying to help the remaining veterans (without Jeff Petry) after the team had a particularly rough 2021-22 season.