Rabid Habs

Michel Therrien: A Great Leader for Habs

When Marc Bergevin introduced his new Head Coach, in June 2012, he praised his leadership skills. For Michel Therrien, he realized that it was a privilege to coach in the NHL but that it was an honor to be coaching the Montreal Canadiens. Therrien was chosen ahead of other worthy candidates such as: Marc Crawford, Bob Hartley and Patrick Roy.

Therrien returns behind the bench of the team that gave him his first chance in the NHL from 2000 to 2003. Under his leadership, the Habs maintained a record of 77-77-23-13. In 2002, he led the Habs to their first playoff run in three years. The team was eliminated in six games by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round.

It is, however, in Pittsburgh that Therrien made a name for himself. He took over the Penguins during the 2005-06 season and led them to the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals. Therrien was fired the next season and had not found another coaching job in the NHL since this recent appointment.

In 15 years as Head Coach, either in the NHL, AHL or QMJHL – Therrien has only missed the playoffs twice: in Montreal (2001) and Pittsburgh (2006). In both cases, he had taken over the team during the season.

Therrien only holds one championship – the Memorial Cup in 1996 (as well as the President’s Cup that year). On four other occasions, his teams have reached the finals: Laval Titan (1994 & 1995), the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (2004) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (2008). Also, Therrien was a candidate for the Jack Adams Award for the 2006-07 season.

Therrien is the first coach to be re-hired by the Canadiens since Claude Ruel (1968-70 & 1979-81). Bob Gainey also led the Canadiens twice, but on an interim basis.