In Montreal, what’s old is new again.
That appeared to be the case late Monday night as TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Montreal GM Marc Bergevin planned to hire former Habs coach Michel Therrien as his new bench boss.
Dreger says the announcement will come within the next 24-48 hours, meaning the Canadiens might wait until the end of the Stanley Cup finals to present Therrien as the 31st coach in franchise history.
The LA Kings, up 3-0 in the Cup finals, can close out the series with a win on Wednesday night.
Therrien broke into NHL coaching in 2000 with the Canadiens, taking over for Alain Vigneault and orchestrating a 16-point increase (and playoff appearance) in his second season at the helm. He was fired in 2003.
Following the lockout, Pittsbugh tabbed Therrien to coach its young, inexperienced squad, highlighted by then-rookie forward Sidney Crosby. The team showed steady improvement under Therrien from 2005-06 onward, highlighted by a trip to the Stanley Cup finals in 2008.
Therrien was fired by the Penguins 57 games into the 2008-09 season and was replaced by Pittsburgh’s current head coach, Dan Bylsma.
Therrien’s known as a tough, no-nonsense coach that will, ahem, speak his mind:
It’s an interesting hire to be sure. Therrien will join the likes of Newsy Lalonde, Leo Dandurand, Cecil Hart, Claude Ruel and Bob Gainey as two-term Canadiens coaches with only one player — Andrei Markov — remaining from Therrien’s first stint in Montreal.
Update (8:55 a.m. ET): Done deal. Canadiens officially name Therrien their new head coach.