If rumours are to be believed, Bob Hartley will be the next coach of the Montreal Canadiens.
According to a report by thehockeywriters.com, Hartley will coach the Habs while Eric Veilleux, who led the Shawinigan Cataractes to a Memorial Cup title Sunday, will be hired as an assistant coach. Hartley helped out the Shawinigan junior team -- he's friends with Veilleux --during the Memorial Cup tournament.
Hartley, who coached the Colorado Avalanche and Atlanta Thrashers, guided the Zurich Lions to the Swiss league title in 2011-12. He still has a year left on his contract with Zurich.
If Hartley has been hired by the Canadiens, it's news to Zurich general manager Peter Zahner, who told TVA Sports that Hartley does not have an out clause in his deal that would allow him to return to the NHL. Still, it hasn't prevented teams from trying, Zahner said.
"Several teams have contacted us to see if they could negotiate with him," he admitted. "It was like that when they fired (Jacques Martin) in December, too. Bob seems to be a candidate whenever there is a dismissal."
In 651 games as an NHL coach, Hartley has gone 329-226-61-34 for a .581 winning percentage. He won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001.