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The Habs now have a vacancy behind the bench to try to fill as Alex Burrows will not return as an assistant coach on Martin St. Louis’ staff next season according to a report from TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie.

Burrows is believed to want to spend more time with his family after becoming an assistant coach basically right after hanging up his skates.  However, he is expected to remain in the organization in a yet-to-be-determined capacity.

Burrows has been coaching in Montreal’s system for the last six seasons after finishing up his playing career with Ottawa in 2018.  He spent two full years with Laval before being promoted to the Canadiens following their coaching shakeup that saw Dominique Ducharme promoted to head coach.  Following his later dismissal, Burrows remained as an assistant to Martin St. Louis.

With Montreal, Burrows was largely responsible for the power play, a unit that hasn’t exactly lit it up in recent years.  While it has improved over the last couple of years, it’s a relative term as the success rate has gone from 13.7% to 16.1% to 17.5% last season, keeping them in the bottom ten league-wide in that department.  While part of that is personnel-related, there hasn’t been much creativity on the man advantage either, nor were there noticeable adjustments too often either.

It will be interesting to see if the Habs opt to bring in a veteran assistant to work with St. Louis and his staff (which also includes Stephane Robidas and Trevor Letowski), which is one of the more inexperienced groups in the NHL.  With the team looking to start to move forward from their rebuild and become more competitive, adding an experienced coach certainly wouldn’t hurt.

In the meantime, management also has two other coaching spots to fill, both with Laval.  There’s a head coaching vacancy following the resignation of J-F Houle to return to Clarkson University while assistant coach Kelly Buchberger took a job closer to home.  Those spots will need to be filled as well in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, head coach Kent Hughes confirmed later in the day that Letowski and goalie coach Eric Raymond have signed new deals to stay on the staff.  Robidas was already under contract for next season.