In his end of the season media availability Saturday, Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes told reporters that he and interim head coach Martin St. Louis both want the first-year coach to stay behind the Canadiens’ bench going forward.
“The interest on both sides is that Martin (St. Louis) returns, so we’ll work on his contract in the near future.” Hughes said while reminding reporters that out of respect for St. Louis’ request to table contract discussions, they were yet to begin.
While contract discussions between Hughes and Martin St. Louis are yet to start in earnest, Hughes did say he envisioned a three-year contract between St. Louis and the Montreal Canadiens.
This came less than 12 hours after St. Louis told RDS Friday night that he was indeed shedding the interim tag and would returning to be the official head coach of the Montreal Canadiens next season and hopefully beyond.
Martin St. Louis has stopped dancing around it. He'll be back as head coach of the Canadiens. Conversations to come with management, deal to get done.
— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) April 30, 2022
Also on Friday night and during the second intermission of a 10-2 win over the Florida Panthers for St. Louis and his team, Montreal Canadiens executive vice president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton told TSN that he was hopeful St. Louis would be back as well.
“Well, I hope so; I think he’s had a huge impact,” Gorton told TSN Friday night. “It’s hard to say that when you’re sitting at 32nd in the league but anyone that’s been around our team, the players, anyone that’s in that dressing room every day, you can kind of see the impact that Marty brings. He’s a natural-born leader, he has a high-energy, he’s got a passion for the game, he belongs in the game and we’re hopeful we can find a way to bring him back.”
Earlier this week, while appearing on the 32 Thoughts Podcast with Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek, St. Louis once again reiterated his desire to return and coach the Montreal Canadiens going forward.
“It’s definitely my intention,” he replied. “I love hockey. I love helping people, I love being on a team,” St. Louis said.