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Canadiens hire Kirk Muller as Associate Coach


habs_93

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I'll say this first... I don't believe Kirk Muller is a great option as a head coach, but as an assistant coach, he was pretty good when he was here. And he's a huge step up over the three guys (JJ, Jodoin, Lacroix) we have in place already. Finally a guy who might be able to help the PP, finally a guy who has some idea about what he's doing as a coach, and a guy who seems to be appreciated by the players... I don't think he's a long-term solution, but I do see him as about as good a bandaid you can get for Therrien's woeful special teams.

I really do wonder where this hire came from, however. Therrien has always been averse to hiring anyone around him who threatens his job security. His assistants have typically been guys with little experience and/or guys with no aspirations/hope of being a head coach. IN fact, only three of his assistants have ever gone on to become head coaches and one of those was Carbonneau, who was put in place by Bob Gainey, not as Therrien's own choice. So was this move akin to Gainey hiring Carbo? Was this Bergevin stepping in and saying enough is enough with the PP and you need to add someone better? I have a hard time believing Therrien recruited Muller himself, and MT might only be ok with this because Muller doesn't speak French and isn't a threat to his own job. Nevertheless, an overall positive move, and Muller instantly becomes the best coach in the entire Canadiens system.

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YA ! :)
I see only positives in this one.


At the WORST.... it fixes the PP B)
At the BEST.... a temporary replacement for "WHEN" MT is fired, has already been put in place :ph34r::D

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YA ! :)

I see only positives in this one.

At the WORST.... it fixes the PP B)

At the BEST.... a temporary replacement for "WHEN" MT is fired, has already been put in place :ph34r::D

The problem with KM being a replacement head coach is that he doesn't speak French. He left in the first place because he was told he would never be head coach here on account of language. So if the Habs stick to that boneheaded policy, Muller won't be head coach (at best, he could be a lame duck interim like Cunneyworth, which is a set-up for failure). And if the Habs do allow for an English head coach, there are guys who are probably better candidates than Muller... so not sure that fixes that issue. I take this as a big positive towards the PP and towards our coaching staff, but I don't see this as a long-term answer. This isn't like the Leafs hiring Babcock and feeling like they're set for 5-10 years.

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I thought 93 was kidding :blink: .

The problem with KM being a replacement head coach is that he doesn't speak French. He left in the first place because he was told he would never be head coach here on account of language. So if the Habs stick to that boneheaded policy, Muller won't be head coach (at best, he could be a lame duck interim like Cunneyworth, which is a set-up for failure). And if the Habs do allow for an English head coach, there are guys who are probably better candidates than Muller... so not sure that fixes that issue. I take this as a big positive towards the PP and towards our coaching staff, but I don't see this as a long-term answer. This isn't like the Leafs hiring Babcock and feeling like they're set for 5-10 years.

Here's the way I look at this move. At least MB is doing "something" (expressions of shock and awe), , and "if" MB fires MT,,, KM "might" take over, unless either JJ, Jodin, or Lacroix does (perish the thought). But let's say for instance that MT is fired, and Muller takes over and does a better job than MT, then what? I'm sure the players would be more motivated to play under Muller. IMO, Muller is more of a players coach who actually communicates with the players, and has a plan. MB wouldn't hire Muller without sitting down with him and going over what Muller is expected to do and I'm sure that Muller asked a few questions as well.

I also wonder how long his contract is for.

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Guest habs1952

YA ! :)

I see only positives in this one.

At the WORST.... it fixes the PP B)

At the BEST.... a temporary replacement for "WHEN" MT is fired, has already been put in place :ph34r::D

Agree. He definitely won't hurt the power play.

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I can't wait to hear more on this one....

Soooo...whats the difference between "Assistant" Coach (which is NOT Muller) & "Associate" Coach (which IS Muller) :ph34r: ?

:D (I'm hoping its kind of like 2 head coaches & the worst one eventually(quickly) leaves & takes DD with him :lol:

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The team has called a news conference for 11:00 AM EST on Friday where his role on this staff will likely be revealed in greater detail as well as which other coach will be joining Clement Jodoin and Stephane Waite in the press box on game nights.

I'd love to know what Antichambre thinks of this.

MB: “We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Kirk Muller, and are extremely happy about his desire to return to the Canadiens’ organization,” Bergevin said in a press release. “Kirk brings a great deal of experience, determination and leadership, and I have no doubt that these qualities will be essential for our coaching staff.”
"Kirk has a thorough knowledge of the Montreal market, he enjoyed success as a player, and as captain of the Canadiens, and these assets will certainly contribute to the success of our team.”
Carbonneau: "“Surprised?” Carbonneau told the Montreal Gazette over the phone Thursday night about the hiring of his friend Muller. “Yes and no. I’m surprised that he left St. Louis, but I understand.”
Evidently Muller has a daughter going to McGill, and his hometown is Kingston.
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Guest Regis2

I can't wait to hear more on this one....

Soooo...whats the difference between "Assistant" Coach (which is NOT Muller) & "Associate" Coach (which IS Muller) :ph34r: ?

My thoughts also

Why is Muller hired as an " Associate " Coach while the other three ( CJ, DL, JJ ) are " Assistant " coaches .

Will be interesting to see what his role will be : will he be behind the bench , does he get involved in practises, PP, PK etc

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My thoughts also

Why is Muller hired as an " Associate " Coach while the other three ( CJ, DL, JJ ) are " Assistant " coaches .

Will be interesting to see what his role will be : will he be behind the bench , does he get involved in practises, PP, PK etc

From what I've gathered tonight, an "Associate" coach is 2nd in command.

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Gleaned from another board:

A great center for our 2nd line

If the PP becomes good again it will be pretty damning evidence against MT's coaching staff.

If I were Kirk, I would learn French ASAP (seriously).

Wouldn't it be a hoot if Muller speaks french in his first interview?

This move makes way too much sense.
Knows the market - check
Leadership qualities - check
Respected by players, media, fans - check
Special teams guru - check
PR move - check
Engels: "One more thing: Muller's contract is for multiple years"
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I like this. He obviously has never head the saying once bitten twice shy. Finally a fit for losing Gallant I think. We have struggled with finding a replacement since his departure. Muller should help our young guys and made a smart move leaving the Blues who just cannot seem to get any traction. There will be a lot of Frenglish spoken on the bench. Ramsey did not work out in Edmonton or here. Unfortunately this may be called more cronyism as Muller and JJ played at least for years here on the same team. Hopefully success won't make that another issue at the end of next year.

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Just a thought, but would those "Francophone coach only" media/fans accept Muller as a head coach? It's not as though he isn't well known in Montreal. It's not as tho he's not a SC winner. It's not as tho he is a dictator in the room, as a coach. He was our captain, and is well respected.

Methinks he could get the best out of the players, moreso than what MT is getting. IMO, he got the best out of a crummy team in Carolina (500 over 3 years), and has experience as an assistant coach.

Muller has (probably) learned a lot in the past few years on how to "handle" the newer generations of players, meanwhile, MT is old school (I'm the boss, and don't you forget it).

If Kirk Muller is muzzled by MT with his suggestions, then this will not be a happy marriage.

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Gives us an interim choice within the organization for when the axe finally falls now. Another RC situation no doubt, but at least i'll sleep at night knowing Lefebre is no longer next in line as a short term transition.

Will MT's ego give Kirk any room to operate behind the scene?

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The fans would accept Muller as coach no problem. he was the captain he won a cup there and he was very well liked. English or French will not matter to the local fans. the odd French language hardliner will complain but it won't matter. I am not sure he would be the right guy to be head coach down the road but he has a lot of time behind a bench now with winning teams and he did ok with the garbage he had in Carolina. you never know.

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A couple of additional thoughts on the Muller hiring:

1. Nice article on rds.ca from Francois Gagnon this morning. He points out, as others have as well, that Muller represents a new bridge between players and Therrien, something that has been missing since Gallant left. It's clear that many media members are now pointing out that Daigneault and Lacroix have been inadequate as assistant coaches, and Muller fills that void.

2. Gagnon also notes that for him, while speaking French is an important asset for a head coach, exceptions need to be made for good candidates such as Babcock. He also states that if Therrien falters and loses his first few games, thought has to be given to turning the reigns over to Muller, who while he may not speak French, has a history with the city and knows the organization as well as anyone. That is a refreshing opinion to hear.

3. And lastly, another thought of my own on a potential benefit to Muller coming here... he is a very well-respected assistant coach throughout the league. He has a history in Carolina, Montreal, and more recently St. Louis. I wonder whether his hiring helps our chances of landing key free agents now. Does David Backes, having spent two years with Muller in Stl, now explore Montreal a little more openly? Does Steven Stamkos think a little harder about how Muller can help run the PP here? Do players worry less about Therrien running the show cluelessly now that he's got help? I don't think this can hurt.

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I like Kirk Muller but I think this is an MB move to temporarily escape the heat he will inevitably feel if this team stumbles out of the gate next season. His foxhole buddy will never be far away and no way Muller will be given credit for any positive developments with the team. Unless the presser is about MB and MT being relieved of their duties this whole thing is a big "meh" to me IMHO ....

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From the conference call, Kirk is in St. Louis,,, MT is on the road somewhere (lost?).

Bits and pieces:


Several teams called Kirk.

"I had a call from Michel to see if I had an interest in coming to Montreal. We had a long conversation and I got excited about it."

Says he picked up some French from his daughter who is bilingual.

Therrien: "I called Berg and said "Make sure you close the deal cause this is exactly what we need."

Was asked about being a head coach in Montreal. Said that he's comfortable as an assistant coach.

"Even if there was open spots elsewhere, Calgary, etc, the opportunity that Montreal had for me was what I was looking for. I love the idea of coaching with Michel''

Says he's a much better coach now.

Therrien on Muller: "Good communicator. Knows about the franchise, leadership and experience winning Stanley Cup." Also PP expertise.

Says game is now faster.

We have a good core group.

"It happened fast - there wasn't a lot of hesitation on my part."

Would love to learn French, and during his playing days he had a tutor. Got off the lessons when he left Montreal.

PK, called Kirk to welcome him back.

Muller on being Habs head coach: "That's not my goal right now."


RDS' francois gagnon wrote today that he would endorse Muller as head coach if Therrien was fired. it's in his column today


Bold is mine.
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I'll say this first... I don't believe Kirk Muller is a great option as a head coach, but as an assistant coach, he was pretty good when he was here. And he's a huge step up over the three guys (JJ, Jodoin, Lacroix) we have in place already. Finally a guy who might be able to help the PP, finally a guy who has some idea about what he's doing as a coach, and a guy who seems to be appreciated by the players... I don't think he's a long-term solution, but I do see him as about as good a bandaid you can get for Therrien's woeful special teams.

I really do wonder where this hire came from, however. Therrien has always been averse to hiring anyone around him who threatens his job security. His assistants have typically been guys with little experience and/or guys with no aspirations/hope of being a head coach. IN fact, only three of his assistants have ever gone on to become head coaches and one of those was Carbonneau, who was put in place by Bob Gainey, not as Therrien's own choice. So was this move akin to Gainey hiring Carbo? Was this Bergevin stepping in and saying enough is enough with the PP and you need to add someone better? I have a hard time believing Therrien recruited Muller himself, and MT might only be ok with this because Muller doesn't speak French and isn't a threat to his own job. Nevertheless, an overall positive move, and Muller instantly becomes the best coach in the entire Canadiens system.

This. In complete agreement about Muller's strengths and how it should help.

A couple of additional thoughts on the Muller hiring:

1. Nice article on rds.ca from Francois Gagnon this morning. He points out, as others have as well, that Muller represents a new bridge between players and Therrien, something that has been missing since Gallant left. It's clear that many media members are now pointing out that Daigneault and Lacroix have been inadequate as assistant coaches, and Muller fills that void.

2. Gagnon also notes that for him, while speaking French is an important asset for a head coach, exceptions need to be made for good candidates such as Babcock. He also states that if Therrien falters and loses his first few games, thought has to be given to turning the reigns over to Muller, who while he may not speak French, has a history with the city and knows the organization as well as anyone. That is a refreshing opinion to hear.

3. And lastly, another thought of my own on a potential benefit to Muller coming here... he is a very well-respected assistant coach throughout the league. He has a history in Carolina, Montreal, and more recently St. Louis. I wonder whether his hiring helps our chances of landing key free agents now. Does David Backes, having spent two years with Muller in Stl, now explore Montreal a little more openly? Does Steven Stamkos think a little harder about how Muller can help run the PP here? Do players worry less about Therrien running the show cluelessly now that he's got help? I don't think this can hurt.

Totally agree about #1. Its the only reason for the hire that made sense to me & I think Gagnon hit the nail on the head. Should help us.

#2 is also something i wondered - if this is MB bringing in someone who could potentially take over. If ANYONE who doesnt speak french could get a fair shake in Montreal its Muller, who is clearly loved by all.

#3 is an interesting one. I am not certain if it will play a factor, but like you, i dont think it could hurt.

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