Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin was busy on Saturday afternoon, first announcing that he has traded Louis Leblanc to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a conditional fifth-round draft pick in 2015 and then announcing that coach Michel Therrien has been signed to a four-year contract extension.
“After three seasons with the Canadiens organization we felt that moving forward the best option for Louis and our organization was to give him the opportunity to pursue his career with another team,” Bergevin said in a statement. “Throughout his entire stay with our organization Louis showed great professionalism and a constant desire to improve. We thank him for his contribution and wish him success for the continuation of his career.”
Former Canadiens GM Bob Gainey selected Leblanc, a Pointe Claire native, in the first round (18th overall) at the 2009 NHL draft.
Leblanc only played eight games with the Canadiens this past season and was held pointless. In 50 career NHL games with the Canadiens he had five goals and five assists for 10 points. In 70 games with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs last season, Leblanc posted 13-15-28 totals.
Therrien led the Canadiens to the Eastern Conference final this season and has an overall record of 75-42-13 over the past two seasons in his second stint as head coach of the Canadiens. Therrien was already under contract for next season and the new deal will take the 50-year-old through the 2018-19 season.
“We’re very happy to have agreed to a contract extension with Michel Therrien for multiple seasons,” Bergevin said in a statement. “Michel is an accomplished and experienced coach who has instilled a culture of hard work in our organization while helping develop our young players.
“Michel and his coaching staff work in a unique and demanding hockey market and the team’s success over the last two seasons are a reflection of their excellent work. This decision reflects our desire for stability and consistency within our hockey operations department.”
On a conference call with reporters after the announcement, Therrien said: “I’m very happy we came to an agreement. It shows the stability within the organization and it’s a sign of confidence.
“I like the chemistry we’ve got going on this team,” he added.
(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)