Well this is certainly somewhat of a surprise to me. It appears that much maligned former Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien has found himself a new home in the National Hockey League although, unsurprisingly, he will not be handed another head coaching gig this time around.
According to a breaking news report from National Hockey League insider Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports, Michel Therrien is now back in the National Hockey League and will be joining the ranks of the Philadelphia Flyers coaching staff. Lavoie reports that although this is already a done deal an announcement will not be made today and expects one to come within the next few days. Obviously the Flyers hired Alain Vigneault to take over as their head coach last month and therefore Michel Therrien will be joining Vigneault's team as one of his assistant coaches.
Therrien last tenure as a coach in the National Hockey League did not end without serious controversy. At the time the Canadiens head coach has been accussed of making disparaging remarks about then Habs defenseman P.K. Subban and was reportedly overheard calling former Habs captain Max Pacioretty the worst captain in the history of the Montreal Canadiens franchise while playing at a charity golf tournament. That being said general manager Marc Bergevin appeared to have similar conflicts with those same players so you have to wonder how much of this was an organizational issue and how much was a result of Therrien directly.
That being said Therrien has always been a solid, defensive minded, coach and it is his focus on the defensive aspect of the game that I believe Vigneault is seeking out here. Although Lavoie has not provided any details regarding what type of role Therrien will have on Vigneault's new coaching staff, I would imagine his focus will either be on the blue line or perhaps special teams such as the penalty kill specifically. No word on what kind of money Therrien will command in his new role and assistant coach salaries are rarely made public so we may not get that information.
Two more things worth noting here. I suspect that the hiring of Therrien will kill any chance the Flyers had of landing defenseman P.K. Subban in a trade with the Nashville Predators, although that is purely speculation on my part. Additionally I have to wonder about the future of Ian Lapierre within the organization as I see someone like Therrien as a direct challenger to that position. Although again that is purely speculation on my part and not based on any inside information.