Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Penguins Star Crosby Not Surprised to See Former Coach Therrien Back on Top

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Penguins Star Crosby Not Surprised to See Former Coach Therrien Back on Top

Article excerpt

Crosby not surprised to see Therrien do well

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MONTREAL - When Michel Therrien was named head coach of the Montreal Canadiens on June 5, one of the first to call him with congratulations was Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby.

Therrien had been Crosby's coach when he broke into the NHL in 2005-06 after being drafted first overall. It lasted until Therrien was fired on Feb. 15, 2009, just before the Penguins went on a run to the Stanley Cup under their current coach, Dan Bylsma.

"It was pretty good, being a young guy and having him to learn the game from," Crosby said Saturday before the Penguins faced the Eastern Conference-leading Canadiens. "He was a big influence.

"He taught us young guys a lot of important details in the game. You want to learn as much as you can as fast as you can and he really helped that learning curve."

Crosby was a quick study. In his sophomore year, the Cole Harbour, N.S. native won the NHL scoring title with 120 points and the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player.

"Sidney is a special player for me," said Therrien. "When he was 18 years old I remember saying to him in one of our first meetings that we wanted him to become the best player in the NHL.

"The next year, he won the scoring title. I enjoyed my time with him. And it's always flattering when you see one of your ex-players call you to wish you good luck in a new challenge."

Crosby remembered as well.

"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," he said. "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."

Therrien didn't get another head coaching job until new general manager Marc Bergevin brought him back to Montreal, where he had his first NHL coaching experience in the early 2000s.

The game on Saturday night was his first against the Penguins since the firing. …

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