Therrien with the Penguins
November 4, 1963 |
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Occupation||Former NHL scout
Ice hockey coach
|Predecessor||Alain Vigneault (2000–01)
Randy Cunneyworth (2011–12)
Michel Therrien (born November 4, 1963) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey coach in the National Hockey League (NHL). Therrien coached the Montreal Canadiens, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Canadiens again.
Prior to his coaching career, Therrien played professionally for three years as a defenceman in the American Hockey League (AHL), compiling a total of 86 points in 206 games and winning the Calder Cup in 1985 with the Sherbrooke Canadiens, on the same team as eventual Hockey Hall of Famer Patrick Roy. When his playing career ended, Therrien worked for a time as a lineman for Bell Canada, with a sideline as a bodyguard for Quebec singing star Roch Voisine, with whom he had once played hockey, while working his way into a coaching career.
Before coaching in the professional leagues, Therrien was a coach in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), first as an assistant with the Laval Titan and later as head coach for the Granby Prédateurs, with whom the club won the Memorial Cup in 1996, ending a 25-year championship drought in the tournament for a team from Quebec. He is a single parent of two children, Elizabeth and Charles.
In 2000, after stumbling out to a 5–13–2 record, the Montreal Canadiens fired Head Coach Alain Vigneault and hired rookie Michel Therrien. The Canadiens went 23–27–6–6 under Therrien and missed the 2001 Stanley Cup playoffs.
In his first full season as the Canadiens head coach, Michel led the Habs to an impressive record of 36–31–15, a 16-point improvement from the previous year. In the 2002 playoffs, Therrien's Canadiens upset the top-seeded Boston Bruins in six games before losing to the Carolina Hurricanes.
After starting the season 16–12–6, the Canadiens slipped in the standings, winning only two of their next 12 games. This prompted Canadiens General Manager André Savard to fire Therrien with a record of 18–19–9. Therrien finished with the Canadiens with an overall record of 77–77–37.
After leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to a franchise-record start (21–1–2–1) in the 2005–06 season, Therrien was promoted by Pittsburgh on December 15, 2005, as a mid-season replacement for Ed Olczyk. The Pens, however, did not turn their season around, going 14–29–8 under Therrien. The Penguins started the 2006–07 season in mediocre fashion. However, they picked up play in January, going 14–0–2 on one stretch. The streak led the Penguins to a 47–24–11 record and a fifth-place berth in the 2007 playoffs. The Pens, however, fell in five games to the Ottawa Senators.
During the 2006–07 season, Therrien coached the Penguins to one of the most successful single-season improvements in NHL history, finishing with a 47–24–11 record (105 points), a berth in the 2007 playoffs and a nomination for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's Coach of the Year.
Despite a slow start the next season, in 2007–08, the Pens began to turn things around in November 2007. They would go on to win the 2008 Winter Classic and later clinch the Atlantic Division with a 4–2 win against their state-rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers. In the first round of the 2008 playoffs, the Pens avenged their 2007 playoff series loss by downing the Ottawa Senators in a four-game sweep. They then defeated the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers each in five games to win the 2008 Eastern Conference Championship and the Prince of Wales Trophy. The Pens eventually lost in the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals to the Detroit Red Wings in six games, finishing the playoffs with a 14–6 record. On July 18, 2008, Therrien signed a contract extension with the Penguins through to the 2010–11 NHL season.
The next season, The Penguins shot out to one of the best starts in franchise history, only to slow down considerably heading into December. The slide continued, and on February 15, 2009, a day after a 6–2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs and with the Penguins struggling to stay in the playoff race, Therrien was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Penguins. Therrien finished two games behind Red Kelly for the second-longest tenure as Penguins' head coach. Dan Bylsma took over as Therrien's replacement. After his termination, he continued to reside in Pittsburgh and followed the team as they advanced to the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals and won the Stanley Cup in Game 7 in Detroit.
Return to Montreal
On June 5, 2012, Montreal Canadiens executive vice president and general manager Marc Bergevin announced the appointment of Michel Therrien as the club’s new head coach. His first season was a successful one, leading the Habs to first in the Northeast Division after the team had finished last in the previous season. However, the team ended up losing in the first round to the Ottawa Senators in five games. In his second season, 2013–14, he led the Habs to the Eastern Conference Finals, though the team lost to the New York Rangers in six games. At the end of the season, general manager Marc Bergevin rewarded Therrien with a new contract, a four-year extension. With the contract, he became the highest-paid coach in the history of the Canadiens. In 2015–16, after starting the season with a 19–4–3 win-loss record, the Canadiens collapsed following an injury to goaltender Carey Price, ending the season with a .500 record and failing to make the playoffs. On January 7, 2017, Therrien recorded his 400th win as a coach in a 5–3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, on February 14, 2017, he was once again fired by the Canadiens and replaced as head coach by Claude Julien for the second time. At the time of his firing, the Canadiens were ranked first in the Atlantic Division with a 31–19–8 record. Their season started with a strong 13-1-1 start, but followed with a disappointing run of 18-18-7 which lead to his firing.
Note: Brackets around points (Pts) indicate a partial season of coaching.
|MTL||2000–01||62||23||27||6||6||(58)||5th in Northeast||Missed playoffs|
|MTL||2001–02||82||36||31||12||3||87||4th in Northeast||Lost in Conference Semifinals (CAR)|
|PIT||2005–06||51||14||29||—||8||(36)||5th in Atlantic||Missed playoffs|
|PIT||2006–07||82||47||24||—||11||105||2nd in Atlantic||Lost in Conference Quarterfinals (OTT)|
|PIT||2007–08||82||47||27||—||8||102||1st in Atlantic||Lost in Stanley Cup Finals (DET)|
|MTL||2012–13||48||29||14||—||5||63||1st in Northeast||Lost in Conference Quarterfinals (OTT)|
|MTL||2013–14||82||46||28||—||8||100||3rd in Atlantic||Lost in Conference Finals (NYR)|
|MTL||2014–15||82||50||22||—||10||110||1st in Atlantic||Lost in Second Round (TBL)|
|MTL||2015–16||82||38||38||—||6||82||6th in Atlantic||Missed playoffs|
- "Therrien's 2006 remarks have gone a long way". TSN. 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- "Error - Page Not Found". Retrieved 12 April 2015.
- Brunt, Stephen (May 7, 2015). "Therrien ready to roll with the punches". Sportsnet magazine. Sportsnet. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- "Michel Therrien". Retrieved 12 April 2015.
- "Penguins, Michel Therrien Agree To Terms On New Three-year Contract". News. PittsburghPenguins.com. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
- Starkey, Joe (May 30, 2009). "Former coach Therrien watches from home". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
- "Michel Therrien appointed head coach of the Montreal Canadiens". Retrieved 12 April 2015.
- Sports Reference. "2015-16 Montreal Canadiens Schedule and Results". Sports Reference. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
- Siegel, Jonas (January 7, 2017). "Canadiens down Maple Leafs, win 13th straight over rival". CBC Sports. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
- "Claude Julien appointed head coach of the Canadiens". NHL.com. February 14, 2017. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
|Head coach of the Montreal Canadiens
|Head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
|Head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins
|Head coach of the Montreal Canadiens