(FEATURE STORY: Shero Glad To Have Therrien Coach Penguins)
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed head coach Michel Therrien to a contract extension through the 2008-09 season, it was announced Monday by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.
Therrien led the Penguins to a 47-24-11 record (105 points) during the 2006-07 season. That mark represented a 47-point improvement over the previous season, which is the fourth largest single-season turnaround in NHL history. The 105 points is the second most in Penguins history, trailing only the 1992-93 team that earned 119 points on their way to winning the Presidents’ Trophy.
Therrien also guided the Penguins into the playoffs for the first time since the 2000-01 season. The Penguins finished second place in the Atlantic Division, missing first by a mere two points. The success of the season helped Therrien to be named one of three finalist for the Jack Adams Award which is presented the NHL’s outstanding coach.
Therrien was originally promoted to head coach of the Penguins on December 15th, 2005. Previously, he was the coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the American Hockey League (AHL) for parts of three seasons, compiling an overall record of 94-81-10. At the beginning of the 2005 season, he led Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to a 21-1-2-1 record to start the season and set a league record with 15 consecutive road wins. Therrien also led the club into the AHL Finals during the 2003-04 season.
Prior to his time with the Penguins organization, Therrien coached parts of three seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, leading them to the playoffs in 2002. He was a head coach with Montreal’s AHL affiliates Fredericton and Quebec from 1997 to 2000, winning a division championship with Quebec in the 1999-2000 season. Therrien also has four years of coaching experience in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). His teams led the league in points for three straight years, reached the finals three times, and he captured the Memorial Cup with Granby in 1996.