Larry Robinson will return behind the Devils bench.
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images
The Canadiens’ silence was deafening, so Hall of Fame defenceman Larry Robinson today signed a two-year (plus an option) deal as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils.
Donnie Cape, Robinson’s long-time Montreal-based agent, spoke with then-Habs general manager Bob Gainey last September and was told the coaching staff for the 2009-10 season was complete.
Another conversation between Cape and Canadiens president Pierre Boivin in early December, before the Dec. 4 Centennial Game, took place and Cape was told to call back in March, as the season wore down. In March, Cape was asked to call back following the playoffs.
It seemed a role as at least a team ambassador was in the offing for Big Bird, who hoped to finish his hockey career with the Canadiens, but a couple of calls to Boivin and his office this week were not returned.
Today, Robinson signed as an assistant to new Devils coach John MacLean. Not since Rick Green have the Canadiens had a coach dedicated to the defence. Robinson seemed to be a good choice to work with the likes of P.K. Subban, Ryan O’Byrne and others on the blue line. But now he’ll be behind the bench of the Devils.
“Larry’s going to come on with his experience, both being a coach, a
defenceman,” MacLean said. “His knowledge of the game, I think it’ll be a great asset
for me and the players.”
Mario Tremblay, an assistant coach under former Devils head coach Jacques Lemaire, will be reassigned in the New Jersey system.