And the new general manager has hired a new head coach.
Newly appointed GM Marc Bergevin made his biggest move since being handed the reigns of the NHL’s most prestigious franchise when he hired Michel Therrien as the new head coach of the Montreal Canadiens today.
After a disappointing year in which the team finished dead last in the Eastern Conference standings, fans have seen an overhaul in the front office and now behind the bench, but they will be very familiar with the not-so-new face. Having previously coached the Canadiens for three years from 2000-2003, Michel Therrien will return for his second stint in Montreal and his first coaching job since being fired by Pittsburgh in 2009.
In his three years in Montreal, the 48-year-old Therrien led the Habs to the playoffs just once and was fired in 2003 after the team limped out to a 18-19-4-5 record through 46 games. Despite the firing he remained in demand and was entrusted with guiding the up and coming Pittsburgh Penguins who were very much on the rise thanks to their young stars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
He was behind the bench in 2008 when the Penguins advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals where they were defeated by the Detroit Red Wings. After the team failed to meet early expectations the following year, Therrien was relieved of his duties and would be forced to watch his replacement Dan Byslma turn things around and this time beat Detroit to win the Stanley Cup.
With a career record of 212-182-22-46 as a head coach, Therrien will be expected to come in and make this year’s sour performance a distant memory. His second tenure will begin with the upcoming NHL Draft in which he will certainly have some input for the inexperienced Bergevin.