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Martin St. Louis named Montreal Canadiens interim head coach

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Only hours after firing Dominique Ducharme, the Montreal Canadiens already have their new bench boss.

On Wednesday afternoon, Canadiens’ general manager Kent Hughes announced the hiring of former NHL superstar forward and Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis as interim head coach.

"We are very happy to welcome Martin to the Canadiens organization," said Hughes. "Not only are we adding an excellent hockey man, but with Martin we are bringing in a proven winner and a man whose competitive qualities are recognized by all who have crossed his path."

St. Louis’ only prior professional coaching experience came as the Special Teams Consultant for the Columbus Blue Jackets, working alongside his former head coach John Tortorella.

The 46-year-old did have an illustrious 16-season NHL playing career, in which he scored 391 goals and recorded 642 assists for 1,033 points in 1,134 games with the Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers.

The Laval, Quebec native won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004, earning the Hart Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player along the way. The five-time All-Star also won the Art Ross Trophy on two occasions as the NHL’s top point-scorer in the regular season, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018.

Hours after relieving Dominique Ducharme of his duties, the Canadiens announced the hiring of former NHL star Martin St. Louis as interim head coach. (Getty)
Hours after relieving Dominique Ducharme of his duties, the Canadiens announced the hiring of former NHL star Martin St. Louis as interim head coach. (Getty)

St. Louis retired following the 2014-2015 season after a two-year stint with the New York Rangers, then managed by current Canadiens’ Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Jeff Gorton. His agent was Kent Hughes, who now runs the Habs’ front office as general manager alongside Gorton.

Aside from a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Final last season, Ducharme struggled in his time at the helm of the Canadiens, registering a 23-46-14 record since he was given the job following the dismissal of Claude Julien in February 2021.

St. Louis, Gorton and Hughes are scheduled to hold a press conference on Thursday at 11:30 a.m.

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