One of the first tasks for the Flyers this offseason was to solidify a staff behind new head coach Alain Vigneault. It was something Vigneault wanted to see come together quickly, before he heads off to coach Team Canada at World Championships later this week.
It sounds like Vigneault has one of his assistants. According to a report from TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie, the Flyers will hire former Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien as an assistant on Vigneault’s staff.
Therrien, 55, started his head coaching career in Montreal as the successor to Vigneault in 2000. In the final 62 games of the 2000-01 season, the Canadiens went 23-27-6-6. Montreal made the playoffs the following season under Therrien, falling in the second round of the playoffs. He was fired after 46 games the following season with an 18-19-5-4 record.
In 2005, Therrien was hired as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, a role he held for four seasons. Therrien coached the final 51 games of the 2005-06 season. In the next two full seasons, he coached the Penguins to a second-place finish in the Atlantic Division and a first-round playoff exit in 2006-07 and an Atlantic Division title and Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2007-08. He was fired after 57 games in the 2008-09 season. The Penguins won the Stanley Cup later that year.
In 2013, Therrien joined the Canadiens again as head coach and held the position for five seasons. The Canadiens made the playoffs in his first three seasons in the position, including reaching the Eastern Conference Final in 2014, losing to Vigneault’s New York Rangers. They missed the playoffs in 2016 and Therrien was fired after 58 games in the 2016-17 season. He has been out of coaching since then.
Therrien’s style is similar to Vigneault’s in that he is a more defensive-minded coach who will hold players accountable for 200-foot play. Therrien’s role on the coaching staff is still unknown and the rest of the staff remains to be seen as well. It does seem apparent with Therrien’s reported hiring that changes to the coaching staff are coming.