MONTREAL, QC. — Should Michel Therrien be fired? It’s a question Canadiens’ fans seem to be asking themselves as of late.
Therrien was a defenseman in the American Hockey League where he won the Calder Cup. Prior to this, he coached in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League where they won the Memorial Cup. In 2000, the Montreal Canadiens fired head coach, Alain Vigneault, and took a shot by hiring rookie coach Michel Therrien. Therrien coached the Canadiens for three seasons earning a 77–77–37 record before being fired. He went back to the American Hockey League afterwards, this time as a player. He coached his team to winning the Calder Cup. Therrien earned his promotion to head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins mid-way through the 2005-2006 season. He coached there for four years before being let go. During this time, he took his team to the Stanley Cup Finals and earned himself a 2007 Jack Adams nomination for Coach of the Year.
It seemed he had a decent record and knew how to make his team win. Even superstar Sidney Crosby had praise for him saying, “there were times he’d push you to get the best out of you and other times like that where he really showed he believed in you and gave you responsibility. In my situation, I think I thrived with that responsibility and being held accountable. And I loved to learn, so that was a great time for me.”
Crosby even called to congratulate him when he was again hired as head coach of the Canadiens in June of 2012. In his first season back behind the bench of the Canadiens, he took them from being last the previous season to being Northeast Division champions. As of January 12 2015, Therrien’s record since coming back to the Canadiens was 148-81-26.
So back to the original question, should Michel Therrien be fired? I think it comes down to, is Carey Price being gone so long hurting the team? The answer being yes, is that Therrien’s fault? No. Has the team been playing to the best of their ability? No. If the players aren’t playing smart, it doesn’t matter what the lines look like or what sort of plays the coach comes up with. If the players aren’t performing, they aren’t going to get the results they want. Personally, I don’t think any rash decisions should be made before Carey Price is back in the lineup. Marc Bergevin is a guy Montreal fans have come to trust. If you all trust him so much, then trust that he will make the right decision about coaching.