June 5, 2012
Habs hire Therrien as coach, again
By QMI Agency
MONTREAL - The Montreal Canadiens dove into their past in their search for a new head coach, naming Michel Therrien to lead the team for the second time in a decade.
General Manager Marc Bergevin will introduce the 48-year-old television analyst at a news conference at the team's practice facility at 2:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday.
It will be the second go-around in Montreal for Therrien, who was fired in 2003 after he posted a 76-77-22-14 record over three seasons.
Therrien guided the Habs to the playoffs in 2002 after a three-year absence from the post-season, advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
He replaces interim coach Randy Cunneyworth, the assistant who was promoted to the top job in December after the Canadiens fired Jacques Martin.
Owner Geoff Molson then fired GM Pierre Gauthier in March, citing a lack of stability on the ice and behind the scenes that dated back to former owner George Gillett.
Molson has said a return to winning ways is his top priority.
The club has missed the playoffs in six of the past 13 seasons, including this past season that saw the team finish in last place in the Eastern Conference.
The path was cleared for Bergevin to hire Therrien once Bob Hartley withdrew from the race and was named head coach of the Calgary Flames last week.
Therrien, a Montreal native, saw his greatest success in Pittsburgh, where he was hired part way through the 2005-06 campaign.
The Penguins recorded 105 points, a 47-point improvement over the previous season and the fourth-biggest single-season turnaround in NHL history.
In 2007-08, Therrien steered the Pens to a 102-point regular season, a division title and a berth in the Stanley Cup final against Detroit where they lost in six games.