“A three-year contract like this gives time to build something, and it doesn’t happen overnight,” St. Louis said. “I think we have a little wind in our sails, we’re not going to start from scratch. The idea is to keep moving forward.”
Montreal was 14-19-4 under St. Louis, who replaced Dominique Ducharme as coach on February 9 after the Canadians won eight of their first 45 games (8-30-7). St. Louis’ only previous coaching experience was with his sons’ junior hockey teams.
“I don’t think I’ve proven myself as a good coach,” St. Louis said. “I feel like when I came to the league, I knew I had the potential to be a good player in this league, but it took me a while to prove to people that yes, I performed really well in this league. I feel the same way. I think I have the experience and the qualities Which I think could make me a good coach, but my actions, the way I succeed, will speak for themselves.”
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St. Louis played 1,134 NHL games as a striker with Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers from 1998-2015 and earned 1,033 points (391 goals, 642 assists). He was awarded the Hart Award and voted Most Valuable Player in the National Hockey League in 2003-2004 and the Lady Bing Trophy for Noble Play three times (2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13). He helped the Lightning win the Stanley Cup in 2004 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018.
“During his short stint behind the bench last season, Martin has shown he has the qualities required to lead Canadians in the right direction,” said Jeff Gorton, vice president of hockey operations. “Despite the difficult circumstances when he took over, he was able to bring a breath of fresh air into the locker room and the players benefited from him individually as they did collectively. Martin believes the game is at a high level, and we believe he is the right person for the job.”
Cole Caufield He scored 22 of his team’s leading goals, and had 35 points in 37 games after appointing St. Louis; The rookie striker had eight points in 30 games under Ducharme.
“I think once the switch turned to Marty, we had a lot of fun around the rink, just cuddling up and playing with each other,” the Canadians striker Nick Suzuki He said April 30.
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St. Louis said he was proud that the Canadians enjoyed playing with him last season.
“I felt the boys were excited to come to the rink in a tough season,” he said. “I think the boys played loose, and I think they were excited to play on the ice and practice even if we didn’t train a lot… There weren’t a lot of matches the guys felt we got out of. So I’m really proud of the battle the players showed in some of the games we lost. “.
The Canadians (22-49-11) finished last in the NHL standings this season. They won the NHL draft lottery on May 10 and will take the #1 pick in the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at the Bell Center in Montreal on July 7-8.
“I don’t think this team, based on my experience, 37 games I’ve coached, was 32nd,” St. Louis said. “I don’t know how close we are to qualifying either, but we’ll have a better idea as we go here next year. From here in October and how we came out of the gate, we’ll have a pulse on where we are as a team.”
St. Louis said he was never worried about agreeing to a contract with the Canadians, indicating that he expects the deal to be completed before July. General Manager Kent Hughes said Tuesday at the 2022 NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo that a deal “was imminent.”
“We are delighted to officially appoint Martin as the Montreal Canadiens coach,” Hughes said on Wednesday. “Martin is a proven leader, and a great communicator with a deep understanding and passion for hockey. His arrival brought renewed energy to our group, and we look forward to his return behind the bench to continue guiding our team for the foreseeable future.”
Hughes was asked about the goalkeeper’s future Carry price, who met a knee specialist in Pittsburgh after the season. GM said it does not expect any further clarity on whether Price will be able to play next season before the draft.
“Sometimes it’s just a case of how his knee responds to additional treatment,” Hughes said. “I think the only way we can get it fully clear is if we somehow know he can’t play. Otherwise we have to go into the season and see how the knee responds once he’s back to the rigors of the regular season schedule. But the draft itself, maybe not as critical as maybe 13 July (the start of the NHL free agency).And knowing his position, if he does not play, we will get [long term injured reserve] We can use it. Without this information, we do not have the luxury of using it.”
Price appeared in his first season on April 15 after missing the first six months after knee surgery and a 30-day stay on the NHL/NHLPA Substance Use Assistance Program. It was 1-4-0 with 3.63 goals-to-average and .878 percentage savings in five starts.