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Canadiens coaching update: Michel Therrien in hunt, Larry Robinson is not

By Brian Stubits | Hockey writer

News out of Montreal on one of the biggest head-coaching positions in hockey that remains vacant has been very quiet. Perhaps that's because the playoffs keep chugging along. Then again, something tells me that wouldn't stop the Canadiens from making any sort of hire. I would see it akin to the Yankees announcing an extension for Alex Rodriguez during the World Series.

The more likely explanation is the fact that new GM Marc Bergevin hasn't been around very long yet to make said hire. That and hiring a coach in Montreal is probably tougher than any other NHL city. There are certain requirements that have to be met, chief among them is the ability to speak French, of course.

So with that bit of criteria in mind, TSN's Bob McKenzie offered an update on where the Habs coaching search stands.

If you want proof that the ability to speak French is paramount to be coach of the Habs, look no further than the inclusion of Therrien. He has already done the Montreal thing once and was canned after 2 1/2 seasons. He then last 3 1/2 seasons in Pittsburgh. Yes, he did lead them to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008, but he was fired midseason the next year when the team was struggling and was replaced by Dan Bylsma, who guided the Penguins to the championship.

What's intriguing to me is the "etc." that McKenzie throws on there. Who's part of that miscellaneous afterthought?

Well I can tell you somebody who is NOT part of it and that's Devils assistant and longtime Canadiens defenseman Larry Robinson.

There was a report that surfaced about a week ago that Robinson would be interested in heading back to Montreal in some capacity. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said it was the first he had heard of it. My initial reaction was that was just a standard GM reply. Then again, maybe it's because it was the first Lou had heard of it.

From the New York Post

Devils assistant coach and 2000 Cup-winning head coach Larry Robinson vehemently ripped a report suggesting he is interested in joining the new Montreal regime, saying that comments attributed to an agent, whom he called a friend, were five years old and that there has been no such contact or interest.

As somebody who doesn't have a dog in this race (between the Devils and Habs, that is) I can say I'm a little disappointed in that. I was looking forward to what Robinson could do with P.K. Subban, Alexei Emelin and Raphael Diaz in Montreal, a talented and young group of defensemen.

There's also no mention of Patrick Roy, whose name has been brought up at every turn in the Canadiens saga for months. Maybe he's in the etc. group or maybe he's not. There's been speculation that he's more interested in a GM role and perhaps has his eyes set on Quebec City, should it ever get a team.

I'll leave at this: Bergevin can take all the time he needs to make the best hire because he's going to have to own it in Montreal. No pressure.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 
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