Stanley Cup-winning head coach Bob Hartley will be named the next head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, according to a report on The Hockey Writers site. Hartley takes over arguably the most prestigious and scrutinized head-coaching position in the NHL.
The Hockey Writers' Fred Poulin reports:
According to a source, it is expected that the Montreal Canadiens will name Robert “Bob” Hartley the team’s next head coach. It is also expected that Eric Veilleux ... will follow him to Montreal to become his assistant coach.
Poulin reports that the announcement will likely occur sometime this week, though likely not Tuesday.
Hartley brings a resume full of experience to the Canadiens job. He also speaks French, working for the past few years as a hockey analyst on the French-language RDS television station.
Then there are the coaching accolades. Hartley won a Stanley Cup as the head coach of the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. He took the Avalanche to the Western Conference finals in his first four seasons. The Avalanche fired Hartley 31 games into his fifth season.
Hartley moved onto Atlanta, where he didn't find the same success with the Thrashers. He missed the playoffs in three of his four full seasons as head coach and was fired after the Thrashers started off a franchise-worst 0-6 in the 2007-08 season. Hartley replaces interim head coach Randy Cunneyworth, who had been the subject of controversy since his hiring because he did not speak French. Montreal went 18-23-9 under Cunneyworth.