While Kirk Muller was once considered to be next in line for the head coaching gig in St. Louis, he actually turned down their offer after the announcement of a contract extension for head coach Ken Hitchcock.
Muller, along with longtime Blues assistant coach Brad Shaw, were offered one-year contracts by general manager Doug Armstrong but elected to work elsewhere.
And while we do not know where Shaw will end up, we know that Muller has been appointed as an associate coach with the Montreal Canadiens.
“We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Kirk Muller, and are extremely happy about his desire to return to the Canadiens’ organization,” said Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin in a statement. “Kirk brings a great deal of experience, determination and leadership, and I have no doubt that these qualities will be essential for our coaching staff.”
Muller, who ran the power play for the St. Louis Blues, will probably assume a similar role in Montreal.
He’s already served with the Habs as an assistant coach, joining the organization in 2006 and sticking around until 2011. The team made the playoffs four out of the five seasons under Muller and their power play improved.
The Kingston native was also the head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, taking over from Paul Maurice in 2011. In 187 regular season games, he posted a record of 80-80-27 before he was fired in May of 2014.
Muller also has experience coaching in the American Hockey League, where he served as bench boss for the Milwaukee Admirals – the affiliate of the NHL’s Nashville Predators.
There is considerable history between the Canadiens and Muller and this hiring should serve both parties well. He spent four seasons with the Habs as a player and was a member of the 1993 Stanley Cup-winning roster, where he came off a 94-point season. Muller was named the captain of the Canadiens in 1994-1995.
“Kirk has a thorough knowledge of the Montreal market, he enjoyed success as a player, and as captain of the Canadiens, and these assets will certainly contribute to the success of our team,” said Bergevin.