On Wednesday morning, the Montreal Canadiens officially announced the hiring of Martin St Louis as the 32nd coach in franchise history. St. Louis is signed for the next three years to be the head coach. General manager Kent Hughes has stated along the way a contract extension was coming.
Martin St Louis is Officially Canadiens Head Coach
The interim tag has been officially taken off Martin St Louis. St. Louis is now the 32nd coach in Canadiens franchise history. Back on February 9, 2022, the Canadiens announced St. Louis as their interim head coach as he took over for Dominique Ducharme.
With St. Louis as bench boss, the Canadiens improved quickly and they finished was a record of 14-19-4. However, Kent Hughes was not looking at the wins/loss record when it came to St. Louis, he was looking at how the team performed and considering the way the team started and then finished it was night and day.
“We are happy to officially appoint Martin as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens,” said general manager Kent Hughes in a statement released on Wednesday. “Martin is a proven leader, a great communicator with a deep understanding of and passion for the game of hockey. His arrival brought a renewed energy to our group, and we look forward to him returning behind the bench to continue guiding our team for the foreseeable future.”
Around Full Press Hockey
And think about what St. Louis had to work with. He had a depleted roster, especially after the trade deadline. Shea Weber was lost for the season and may never play again. Carey Price came back for only five games and his future is up in the air. The big thing St. Louis did was make these guys have fun playing hockey again. And it worked. At one point, the Canadiens had won seven of eight games and were climbing out of the cellar.
— Full Press Hockey (@FullPressNHL) June 1, 2022
“During his short stint behind the bench last season, Martin showed he has the required qualities to lead the Canadiens in the right direction,” stated vice president of hockey operations, Jeff Gorton said in the statement released Wednesday. “Despite difficult circumstances when he took over, he was able to bring a breath of fresh air to the locker room and the players benefited from it as much individually as they did collectively. Martin thinks the game at a high level, and we believe that he is the right person for this job.”
What the Future Brings
We know, for one thing, the future is bright for the Canadiens, who finished last in the NHL. Montreal owns the number one pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, which is in Montreal. The Canadiens are in line to draft Shane Wright number one overall to go along with Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield. Speaking of those players, under St. Louis their offensive ability shined. Caufield turned into the player everyone thought he was going to be at the beginning of the year but was stifled under Ducharme. While Suzuki found the magic he had during the Canadiens run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2021.
Though St. Louis was inexperienced behind the bench, he had experience in the locker room, and that is why the players respect the heck out of him. But with the young players on the team mixed with the veteran leaders, the Canadiens are in good hands with St. Louis as bench boss along with Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes in their management positions.
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