Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadiens Name Gerard Gallant and Clement Jodoin as New Assistant Coaches

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadiens Name Gerard Gallant and Clement Jodoin as New Assistant Coaches

Article excerpt

Habs hire Gallant, Jodoin as new assistants


MONTREAL - Gerard Gallant says it was tough to leave a powerhouse junior team in Saint John, but he could not resist the lure of getting back into the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens.

Even as an assistant coach.

The 48-year-old Gallant was named along with Clement Jodoin on Friday as assistants to Michel Therrien, who was tabbed for a second stint as head coach in Montreal last week.

Gallant spent the last three seasons at the helm of one of the strongest major junior teams ever. His talent-laden Sea Dogs had a record three straight 100-point seasons and reached the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League finals each year, winning twice. They won a Memorial Cup in 2011.

In three seasons, Gallant's Sea Dogs had a stellar 161-34-9 record.

"That's the tough part, Saint John was a good situation," Gallant said on a conference call from his home in Summerside, P.E.I. "It's hard to leave."

But his goal was to return to the NHL, where he starred as a power forward for 11 seasons and later worked as an assistant with two clubs and as a head coach for parts of three seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2004 to 2006.

"As a coach, it's no different," he said. "You want to be part of the best hockey in the world. To come back with a franchise like Montreal is incredible."

He said he had talks about an assistant coaching job with two other NHL clubs, which he declined to name, but Montreal was the first to make an offer.

Therrien now has Gallant, Jodoin and two holdovers in goaltender coach Pierre Groulx and video coach Mario Leblanc on his staff. He hopes to add one more assistant coach to work with the defencemen.

It is part of a flurry of moves made by Montreal after the team finished last in the Eastern Conference in 2011-12. Assistants Randy Cunneyworth and Randy Ladouceur were fired last week, a day after Therrien was hired as head coach.

Marc Bergevin replaced the fired Pierre Gauthier as general manager and has added Scott Mellanby, Martin Lapointe and Patrice Brisebois to the management team, while keeping on assistant GM Larry Carriere, director of hockey operations Patrick Boivin and amateur scouting head Trevor Timmins. …

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