Position: HEAD COACH
Michel Therrien was named head coach of the Montreal Canadiens on June 5, 2012 returning behind the bench of the team he coached between 2000 and 2003.
Now 48, Therrien has coached an even 1,000 games in professional hockey, including 449 games in the NHL and 501 at the American Hockey League level.
In his 6-year tenure with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, Michel Therrien started out as head coach of the clubs’ AHL affiliate team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton from 2003 to 2005, before being promoted to the upper echelon, leading the Penguins to new heights from 2005 to 2009. In his first season with the club’s American Hockey League farm team, he led the baby Pens to 86 points in the standings and a berth in the AHL finals. Following a 92-point season in 2004-05, he led his team to a remarkable 21-1-2-1 start, including a league-record 15 straight wins before becoming Pittsburgh’s bench boss on December 15. In 2006-07, his second season behind the Pens’ bench, he was a finalist for the Jack Adams Trophy as NHL coach of the year after leading his squad to 105 points which represented a 47-point improvement over the previous season and was the fourth-biggest turnaround from one season to the next in NHL history. In 2007-08, under Therrien’s guidance, the Penguins kept the same pace and earned 102 regular season points on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals, but fell short with a 6-game series loss to the Cup winning Detroit Red Wings. It was the Penguins first division title since 1997-98 and their first berth in the Cup Finals since 1991-92. As the Penguins head coach, Therrien had a record of 135-105-32 for a total of 302 points in 272 regular season games and a .555 winning percentage.
Michel Therrien spent seven seasons as head coach in the Montreal Canadiens organization from 1997 to 2003. The Montreal native joined the franchise in June 1997 taking over behind the bench of the Canadiens AHL affiliate team in Fredericton. That year, Therrien led the club all the way to the AHL Eastern Conference Finals. In 1999-00, he became the first head coach of the Quebec Citadels, leading the team to the Atlantic Division Championship in its inaugural season in Quebec City. On November 20, 2000, Therrien became the 25th head coach in Canadiens history. From November 2000 to January 2003, he led the team to its first playoff appearance in four years, reaching the Eastern Conference semi-finals in 2001-02. In 190 regular season games as the Canadiens bench boss, Therrien had a record of 77 wins, 77 losses and 36 ties or overtime losses.
Before joining the Canadiens, Therrien coached the Laval Titan and the Granby Prédateurs in the QMJHL, winning the Memorial Cup with Granby in 1996. He posted an outstanding .712 winning percentage in four seasons as head coach in the league.
A solid blueliner in his playing days, Therrien won the Calder Cup in 1985 as a member of the Sherbrooke Canadiens. He played a total of 185 games in the QMJHL and 206 career games in the American Hockey League