St-Louis doesn’t come to Montreal to be a substitute teacher

Given that Martin St-Louis has been appointed interim head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, it would be easy to think that he will not have free rein. Listening to him speak on Thursday, I realized that it would be quite the opposite.

St-Louis said it himself: he doesn’t come to Montreal to be a substitute teacher. He doesn’t come here to fill a role for a few months as we find an experienced coach.

On the contrary, if he accepted the challenge, it is because he believes he has what it takes to become the long-term manager of this team. In his career, St-Louis earned more than $ 55 million in salary. He has won pretty much everything there is to win in hockey.

If it is here, it is for passion. I’m not even convinced he cares what he gets paid. Here it is, the advantage of him. Career coaches are constantly looking for a job, a salary to pay the bills.

The new Canadian manager doesn’t need either of them.

His situation strangely reminds me of Patrick Roy’s when he agreed to drive the Colorado Avalanche. He didn’t do it for a fee. He did it out of passion and because the opportunity to lead a team that has been important in your life doesn’t come up very often.

What the interim ultimately means is that St-Louis has the biggest part of the stick. He comes to Montreal in a lost season not only to try his hand, but above all to see if this job, for which he says he has been preparing for ten years, is really made for him.

Photo credit: Pierre-Paul Poulin / Le Journal de Montréal / QMI Agency


Sure, he was very convincing in his press conference on Thursday. Even the most skeptical have been won over.

But you don’t judge a coach by the way he answers questions from the media. The real work begins now for this Hall of Famer. She talked about it in her press conference about her, but I’m convinced that in the evening, when she talked to her father, whom she considers her confidant, she said to him: “Damn, go fast! “

I saw him talking to Cole Caufield on the bench. You don’t have much time to chat in a game. Everything goes so fast that it is often action-reaction. You have to make split second decisions and, more often than not, trust your instincts. I’m not worried about him on this point. He was an instinctive player and this led him to the highest peaks.


There is no question, in Martin St-Louis, Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton have hired a friend. Where some have seen preferential treatment, I prefer to see a serious competitive advantage for the Montreal Canadiens.

After all, this is nothing new. Hockey is a small world and you need to make sure you surround yourself with qualified people you trust.

Eventually, St-Louis, Hughes, and Gorton will spend most of their time together. The decisions will be discussed up and down and everyone will have their say.

Chemistry isn’t just on ice. When I was traded to the New York Rangers in 1987, one of the first things I did was take Charles Thiffault with me.

It is often said that two heads are better than one. In Montreal, now, we can say that three heads are better than one as the duo has become a trio.

– Kevin Dubé interview

Photo credit: Pierre-Paul Poulin / Le Journal de Montréal / QMI Agency

Echoes of Bergie


Inevitably, the Montreal Canadiens’ hiring of Martin St-Louis meant that Patrick Roy was again barred from the trial. Publicly, on Thursday, he wanted to congratulate the Canadian’s new coach, but I am convinced that he must have mixed feelings in his heart. I’m sure he’s disappointed, because he cares about the Canadiens.

It is obvious that he would have liked to lead this team, with which he won his first two achievements of the Stanley Cup. But this is not the end. He has hired an agent to represent him and other coaches will lose their positions in the coming weeks or months. He deserves to have a chance.


I’ve talked about it a lot over the past few weeks and eventually the Edmonton Oilers decided to fire manager Dave Tippett and replace him with Jay Woodcroft. It had become inevitable as the team had not been able to show consistency for several weeks.

The two 4-0 home losses against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday, then 4-1, the next day, while visiting the Chicago Blackhawks, will have been too many straws.

Ducharme and Tippett in the same week, I wouldn’t be surprised if more coaches were fired soon. This is often what happens in the NHL. Once the first domino has fallen, the others follow.

Photo credit: AFP


Fact: The Arizona Coyotes have confirmed a deal with Arizona State University to use their facilities for the next three seasons pending construction of a new amphitheater in Tempe.

Of course, ridicule doesn’t kill. A professional team will evolve into a 5,000-person amphitheater for three years, and that, in a market that has lagged behind since joining the NHL.

I find it very hard to explain this National Hockey League stubbornness in wanting to keep this team in the wilderness at all costs while Quebec has been waiting for a team to return for more than 25 years.

One thing is for sure, Quebec City is definitely not on Commissioner Gary Bettman’s list of upcoming vacation destinations …

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