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Ex-Penguins coach Michel Therrien returns for charity game, cherishes memories

Up-to-date 18 several hours in the past

Where ever he has long gone, irrespective of whether he was coaching the Montreal Canadiens from 2012-17 or operating in media and residing in South Florida like he does now, Michel Therrien in no way went much more than a couple of times devoid of functioning into another person from Pittsburgh.

And there was just one common thread functioning via all those people conferences.

“The matter that I’m always impressed with is they are all very pleased of coming from Pittsburgh, anywhere you are,” Therrien claimed.

When he heard about the taking pictures at the Tree of Daily life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill very last Oct, he was saddened by the blow the very pleased persons experienced from the city he termed house when he coached the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2005-09.

When he heard a charity hockey sport to reward the Hillel Jewish University Centre in memory of the Tree of Daily life victims was being arranged, he quickly approved the invitation to coach the Israel Pick national crew from the Penguins alumni crew.

The sport was set for Sunday night at UPMC Lemieux Sporting activities Intricate in Cranberry.

“When I heard about what occurred, we had been all stunned,” Therrien claimed. “When I experienced the possibility, when they asked me to occur guidance the charity sport, it was a no-brainer for me. I have a lot of Jewish buddies, and Pittsburgh has always been a distinctive area for me and my family. It was organic for me to be here.”

Therrien was joined by a range of local athletics stars at the sport, from former Pirates 2nd baseman Neil Walker to former Steelers defensive lineman Brett Keisel. Previous Penguins wingers Tyler Kennedy and Troy Loney, former Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham and former Robert Morris and Buffalo Beauts standout Ashley Vesci had been amid those people enjoying for the Penguins alumni crew.

Fortunately for the Israel Selects crew, Therrien claimed he experienced no programs to provide his no-nonsense coaching design to their bench.

“I’m just heading to go at the rear of and try out to guidance them as considerably as I can,” Therrien claimed with a chortle.

It is been almost two decades considering that Therrien very last coached in the NHL for the Canadiens. Although he’s savoring his time in Florida, he admits he nevertheless gets the itch to get back again at the rear of the bench.

It is not really hard to picture an up-and-coming crew lengthy on offensive expertise but short on framework supplying him a simply call.

“I wish to acquire the Stanley Cup,” Therrien claimed. “I was near just one time. I was two video games away. I was really fortuitous to be a coach in the NHL for 12 decades. I don’t know if I’m heading to have an possibility again.”

Although Therrien didn’t get to get pleasure from any of the Stanley Cup celebrations that Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury had been a aspect of above the decades, there’s no dilemma he laid aspect of the basis their achievements was built upon.

“That was a distinctive team,” Therrien claimed. “You could tell ideal from the begin. Due to the fact I’m not competing with them, I’m wishing for them to acquire an additional Stanley Cup. When I was coaching in Montreal, I was not cheering for them, but now, those people guys have always been distinctive to me and they always will. They are fantastic hockey players, but even much more, they are fantastic human beings.”

As the core players he when coached zoom previous their 30th birthdays, Therrien nevertheless is struck by just one trait they all have in common a 10 years later: Their unfailing really like of the sport.

“With that team, they had been younger and they had been really passionate,” Therrien claimed. “The only matter they had been conversing about was successful. Profitable, successful and successful. They had been young adults almost. I experienced to preserve them out of the rink simply because they invest their times at the rink. This was all they understood, shelling out time together.

“Looking back again 13, 14 decades right after, just one matter you can tell about these guys is they nevertheless have the passion. Marc-Andre has the passion. Sid’s bought the passion. Letang and Geno, they are passionate guys, and they in no way eliminate that. Which is a explanation why they are so distinctive.”

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Overview staff author. You can call Jonathan at or through Twitter @BombulieTrib.

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