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Canadiens GM Kent Hughes Wants Martin St. Louis To Stay



Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is ready to take the ‘interim’ tag off of Martin St. Louis’ job title and retain him as his head coach after this season.

“I’d like to see him part of the Montreal Canadiens organization for the long term and remove the interim tag, if that’s the question you’re asking,” Kent Hughes told TSN at the NHL general managers meetings in Manalapan, Florida.

Last week, the Montreal Canadiens (18-37-11, 47 pts), became the first NHL team to officially be eliminated from the playoffs. However, they have been a drastically different team on and off the ice since St. Louis replaced Dominique Ducharme on Feb. 9. The youth in the lineup has been benefitting the most from St. Louis’ different and upbeat approach. Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield, has 13 goals and 12 assists in 21 games under St. Louis, which leads all NHL rookies over that span. Meanwhile, his linemate and center Nick Suzuki has nine goals and 13 assists over the same span.

Hughes was adamant when he hired Martin St. Louis that the fact that the NHL hall of famer and Stanley Cup champion only had coaching experience at the pee-wee level of the game wouldn’t prevent him from being an effective NHL coach. Since then, the Laval, QC native is making Hughes look like a genius and has the Montreal Canadiens fan base buzzing again.

“In terms of the success and the impact that he’s had, I expected him to have an impact, no question about it,” the first-year Montreal Canadiens GM said. “Probably not as significant as he has in such a short period of time, but, I said at the beginning, I’m not one to bet against Marty St. Louis, and those that have, have generally lost. He’s a pretty special guy and he’s proven to be a pretty special coach.”

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