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Canadiens Name St. Louis Head Coach; Give Him Three-Year Extension

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens have finally taken the interim tag off Martin St. Louis’ job title and officially made him the 32nd head coach of the Canadiens.

In a press release early Wednesday morning, Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes announced that the team has signed St. Louis to three-year contract extension (2022-23 to 2024-25).

“We are happy to officially appoint Martin as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens,” Hughes said. “Martin is a proven leader, a great communicator with a deep understanding of and passion for the game of hockey. His arrival brought a renewed energy to our group, and we look forward to him returning behind the bench to continue guiding our team for the foreseeable future.”

Montreal Canadiens executive vice president Jeff Gorton echoed Hughes sentiments.

“During his short stint behind the bench last season, Martin showed he has the required qualities to lead the Canadiens in the right direction,” Gorton said. “Despite difficult circumstances when he took over, he was able to bring a breath of fresh air to the locker room and the players benefited from it as much individually as they did collectively. Martin thinks the game at a high level, and we believe that he is the right person for this job.”

St. Louis was scheduled to address the media in a Zoom call at 10 AM ET on Wednesday morning.

St. Louis, 45, was named interim head coach of the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 9 after Dominique Ducharme was fired. The Canadiens were 8-30-7 under Ducharme in the 2021-22 regular season but then went 14-19-4 under St. Louis.

Speaking on the Cam And Strick Podcast last week, Hughes indicated that a new contract for St. Louis would get done this week. The Montreal Canadiens GM clearly had a gut feeling that despite never coaching above the pee-wee level of hockey, Martin St. Louis could succeed in the NHL but admitted he didn’t think the success and imprint would happen so fast.

“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 last month. “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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