Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Press Release - Habs Hire Michel Therrien as Head Coach

Michel Therrien appointed head coach of the Montreal Canadiens

MONTRÉAL (June 5, 2012) – Montreal Canadiens Executive vice president and general manager, Marc Bergevin, announced Tuesday the appointment of Michel Therrien as the club’s new head coach.

Now 48, Michel Therrien has coached an even 1,000 games in professional hockey (499 games in the NHL and 501 in the American Hockey League)

In his six-year tenure with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, Michel Therrien started out as head coach of the clubs’ affiliate team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton from 2003 to 2005, before being promoted at the NHL level leading the Penguins to new heights from 2005 to 2009. In his first season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, he led the team to 86 points in the standings and to the AHL finals. Following a 92-point season in 2004-05, he took his team to a remarkable 21-1-2-1 start, including a league-record 15 straight wins, when on December 15 he was summoned to Pittsburgh to take over as head coach. In 2006-07, his second season behind the Pens’ bench, he was a finalist for the Jack Adams Trophy as NHL coach of the year after leading the Penguins to 105 points and a 47-point improvement over the previous season. It was the fourth-biggest turnaround from one season to the next in NHL history. In 2007-08 under Therrien’s guidance, the Penguins kept the same pace and earned 102 regular season points making their way to the Stanley Cup final, dropping a six-game decision to the Detroit Red Wings. It was the Penguins first division title since 1997-98 and their first berth to the Cup finals since 1991-92. With Pittsburgh, Therrien had a 135-105-32 record for a total of 302 points in the standings in 272 regular season games for a .555 winning percentage.

Michel Therrien spent seven seasons as head coach in the Montreal Canadiens organization from 1997 to 2003. The Montreal native joined the franchise in June 1997 taking over behind the bench of the Canadiens AHL affiliate team in Fredericton, leading the club to the AHL’s Eastern Conference Finals. In 1999-00, he became the first head coach of the Quebec Citadelles leading the team to the Atlantic Division Championship in its inaugural season in the Provincial Capital. On November 20, 2000, Therrien became the 25th head coach in Canadiens history. From November 2000 to January 2003, he led the Canadiens to their first playoff appearance in four years, reaching the Eastern Conference semi-finals in 2001-02. In 190 regular season games as the Canadiens head coach, he had a record of 77 wins, 77 losses and 36 ties or OTLs.

Before joining the Canadiens, Therrien coached the Laval Titan and the Granby Prédateurs in the QMJHL, winning the Memorial Cup with Granby in 1996. He posted an outstanding .712 winning percentage in four seasons as head coach in the QMJHL.

In his playing days, Therrien was a solid defenseman who captured the Calder Cup in 1985 as a member of the Sherbrooke Canadiens. He played a total of 185 games in the QMJHL and 206 career games in the American Hockey League.


What a seemingly terrible choice; scrappin bottom of barrel with this one!
RDS should be pickin ass. coachs soon. Carbo, Trembly and Damphousse?

Clearly they didn't listen to current roster players or ex-players who said it was refreshing that Cunneyworth spoke to the players about their lives other then hockey. this guy is old school, tight collar stiff. Not going to work with younger players like PK. Terrible choice because now the players are left to fend for themselves and create the team atmosphere within the locker room. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

I would have to think that if Therrien is really as bad as many on the English side believe he is.
This would have been addressed by Bergevin and obviously he has either changed or acknowledged that he has to change in order to have success in today's NHL.
I think he is still a respected Hockey man, setting aside the L'Antichambre nonsense he and others spew.
I trust Bergevin has hired the best man available that speaks French.
He's not my first choice but Bergevin was, so I will trust his judgement for now and as an Anglo Habs fan will hope he does well.
I just hope it had nothing to do with the French Media pushing so hard for a Pure Laine coach.....that is just plain racism and has no place in society or sport.
Unfortunately it is alive and well in Quebec but hopefully the younger generation will see past the English Bogeyman mentality.

Lets see what he can do this time around. Its been over a decade since he coached the Habs as a rookie NHL coach. He's had some success in the NHL and has grown as an individual as everyone does over time. He knows the market, the media, the pressure and the game.

Coaches like Vigneault and Claude Julien have had success after breaking in with the Habs, Therrien did too and now has a chance to make a difference here.

While some say PK might not play under him, he's a former AHL coach and coached a young Penguins team. If he has in fact mellowed out a little, this could be great for the younger players, he knows how to develop them.

Coaches only have a 3-4 year shelf life anyway (unless you're in Buffalo), lets see what we can accomplish here.

I think everyone should give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he did coach in the AHL and should have learned from this experience.

Has there been any word on if Cunneyworth will be sticking around as an Assistant Coach? I think it may be in Therriens best interest to keep Cunneyworth around to be a good communications link with the younger players.

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