One guy who knows quite a bit about new-old Montreal head coach Michel Therrien is Predators defenseman Francis Bouillon.
Bouillon played for Therrien in junior hockey in Granby as well as for the Canadiens during Therrien’s first stint in Montreal. He tells Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette just what the current iteration of Canadiens can expect from Therrien as a coach.
“It’s going to be team first,” he said. “He’s going to give a lot to the guys who work their ass off. He doesn’t like the lazy guys or the guys who think they have good skills and they don’t have to work. He likes the rough game, and if you don’t play rough or don’t show up and want to win, he’s going to play somebody else.
“He’s pretty intense in everything he does … he wants to win,” Bouillon added. “He was my pick (for Canadiens coach). He’s got character, and I think right now what they need to bring that team back on the right track is a coach who has character and who’s going to put all the boys together and believe in his team.”
What’s the French word for “slacker?” You get a picture of Therrien being like Mr. Strickland in “Back To The Future” with that kind of toughness. With that sort of intensity you can understand why things went the way they did for him in Pittsburgh and why Montreal could prove to be a fascinating team to watch next season.
Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.
Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.
Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.
With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.
Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.