Michel Therrien, who is returning for his second shot as the Canadiens’ head coach, said he was “frustrated and disappointed” by the NHL lockout.
“We’re ready to go,” Therrien said at the team’s annual golf tournament on Wednesday at Royal Montreal. “The staff has been working all summer on a new structure for the team, one that I think the players are going to like.”
Therrien said he hoped to take advantage of the team’s speed, but also welcomed the addition of “character players” like Brandon Prust, Colby Armstrong and Francis Bouillon. The thinking in the Canadiens’ revamped organization is that this team has been too easy to play against, and that’s something Therrien plans to change.
Therrien noted that defenceman Andrei Markov is healthy and the coach added that he likes what he’s seen from the players on their return from the summer. He said he met with captain Brian Gionta and Bouillon before the lockout and is counting on them to provide an example.
“We can’t lose focus,” Therrien said. “Our staff was working yesterday and we’ll be working tomorrow. We don’t know how long the lockout is going to be, one week, two weeks, and we have to be ready when it ends.”
While waiting for the lockout to end, Therrien will keep busy by looking in on the Hamilton Bulldogs’ American Hockey League camp, which will open with physicals in Brossard next Friday, followed by four days of on-ice training in Sherbrooke.
(Photo by Dave Sidaway/The Gazette)