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Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens Fill The Role Of Assistant Coach With Out-Of-The-Box Hire



Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens announced former hab Stéphane Robidas as their new assistant coach on Thursday morning, continuing their trend of out-of-the-box hires.

A former 7th round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1995 NHL Draft, Robidas is returning to his roots as an assistant coach under Martin St. Louis for the Canadiens. Robidas will be filling the hole on the Canadiens’ coaching staff that was left by Luke Richardson, who left to assume the role of head coach with the Chicago Blackhawks. The former defenceman is likely to take over Richardson’s role with the Canadiens’ defensive brigade. Having played nearly 1000 games in the NHL over his career, Robidas will be able to bring his knowledge and experience to a young defensive group that is going to be looking to grow and develop over the next couple of seasons.

Similar to St. Louis, Robidas is another “out-of-the-box” hire for the Montreal Canadiens, as the 45-year-old doesn’t have any experience at the pro level when it comes to coaching. He was the head coach of the Magog Cantonniers in Quebec AAA hockey this past season and was slated to become the assistant head coach of the Sherbrooke Phoenix under general manager and head coach, Stéphane Julien. Those plans obviously changed when the Montreal Canadiens came knocking with the offer of an assistant coach in the NHL, and continues a wave of unique hires made by the Canadiens since Jeff Gorton took on the role of executive vice president in the late fall of 2021.

Robidas has played in the modern NHL and will be able to impart real-life experience onto his young defencemen coming up through the ranks like Kaiden Guhle, Justin Barron, Jordan Harris and more. Some may be a little shocked that the Canadiens didn’t seek out a more experienced assistant coach to help rookie coach St. Louis navigate the treacherous waters of a full NHL season, but Robidas’ hire is both intriguing and refreshing. His lived experience in the faster NHL game could be of great use to the youngsters, possibly moreso than 10+ years of experience behind an NHL bench, if the goal is to both coach and develop at the NHL level.

It will be interesting to see what changes Robidas will bring to the overall defensive strategy, but if his playing style is any hint, the Canadiens are likely to favour a much more high-tempo puck moving game than fans have been used to seeing in the past.