Canadiens give coach new 2-year contract

Aug. 1, 2002 at 1:34 PM
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MONTREAL, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- After leading the Montreal Canadiens to their first playoff berth since 1998, Coach Michel Therrien was

rewarded Thursday with a two-year contract.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Canadiens also came to two-year agreements with assistant coaches Roland Melanson, Rick Green and Clement Jodoin. The entire coaching staff, which also features Guy Charron, is now under contract through the 2003-04 season.

Montreal captured the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with a 36-31-12-3 record this past season under Therrien and knocked off the top seeded Boston Bruins in the first round, four games to two, before falling to the Carolina Hurricanes, four games to two, in the conference semifinals.

The NHL's most storied franchise with 24 Stanley Cup titles, the Canadiens have won just two playoff series in the last nine years.

Therrien, 38, took over as Canadiens coach on Nov. 20, 2000, replacing the fired Alain Vigneault, and was 23-27-6-6 in his first season.

Therrien joined the Canadiens organization in June 1997 as coach of the American Hockey League affiliate in Fredericton. Prior to that, he won the Memorial Cup in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with Granby in 1996.

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