The hope at Eyes on the Prize concerning assistant coaching position left vacant by the departure of Gerard Gallant from the Canadiens' bench was that the Habs would find a way to convince Guy Boucher to come over from Switzerland to re-invigorate the powerplay and help Therrien install a solid puck possession system. That wasn't to be, but in a way, the Habs got the next best thing, or at least that's how it appears.
Dan Lacroix worked with Guy Boucher in Hamilton and Tampa Bay, before joining Alain Vigneault in New York last season. Those are some seriously excellent chops from a possession perspective. While it's impossible to really evaluate assistant coaches properly without knowing exactly what they do and what they bring to the table, on the surface this looks like yet another excellent move by the Canadiens this summer.
Michel Therrien seemed happy with the hire:
"We are very pleased to welcome Dan Lacroix as part of our coaching staff. Daniel earned the respect of his peers for his coaching skills and his impressive knowledge of the game. He has worked as a coach for almost 15 years, including seven seasons as assistant coach in the NHL. He knows the Canadiens organization and his experience at the professional level made him a much coveted candidate. He is an excellent addition to our coaching staff and to the Canadiens organization"
Interesting side note: Dan Lacroix was the Rangers coach that Therrien flipped out at in the playoffs for spying on his practice.
The Canadiens also replaced Patrice Brisebois, who left the club recently for family reasons, hiring former gritty defenseman Rob Ramage to take over. Ramage was a pretty excellent point producer throughout his career, but also a physical specimen at 6'2" and 210 lbs.
"We welcome Rob Ramage as part of our hockey personnel. Rob is a dedicated and competent hockey person who will contribute to our player development group. Our entire organization, and particularly our young defensemen will benefit from his experience and his knowledge"
It's worthwhile to note that Ramage was convicted of impaired driving causing death in 2007, and served time in prison. Since his release he has been working with young hockey players and helping them learn from his mistakes. This hire in many ways is a redemption job for Ramage.
There was also some changes announced at the top of the club, with Rick Dudley no longer filling the role of assistant general manager, instead filling the role of senior vice president of hockey operations. Scott Mellanby was promoted into Dudley's former job of assistant general manager, expected to work with Larry Carriere. Trevor Timmins was also given another promotion, his second in two years under Bergevin, as he will now be vice president of player personnel, while retaining his position as director of amateur scouting.