Ray Shero extended a contract to another core member of the Penguins, head coach Michel Therrien (Penguins.com).
The deal is for three years, which keeps Therrien in Pittsburgh through the 2010-2011 season. Therrien was still under contract through next year, but the new offer will pay him more than he would have origionally earned this coming season.
“Michel has done a tremendous job with our team over the past two-and-a-half seasons, developing our young players while leading us to division and conference championships and the Stanley Cup finals,” Shero said. “He had one year remaining on his previous contract, and we could have simply talked about an extension. But we thought that, based on the success we’ve had together, it was time to negotiate a new deal, starting with an increase in compensation for the 2008-09 season.”
Though he has his critics, Therrien has accumulated a 94-51-19 record in the last two seasons.
“I’m excited to have a new three-year contract with the Penguins and am looking forward to continued success here in Pittsburgh,” Therrien said. “It is a great hockey city with an outstanding fan base. All of our players comment on how much they love playing in Pittsburgh, and I can tell you that our coaches love coaching in Pittsburgh.
“We still have a lot of work to do, though, because we fell short of our biggest goal last season. Our goal is, and always will be, to win the Stanley Cup.”
I’m excited to hear the news as I have been a huge Therrien supporter all along. His methods can be frustrating at times, but all in all you can’t argue against extending the contract of a coach who made his team 47 points better in his first full season, and then led them to the Stanley Cup Finals the next.
For those who don’t like Therrien, stop and forget he is the coach. Then, look at those previously mentioned numbers and think what you would do. Regardless of who it was, you would sign the guy.
It also needs to be taken in to consideration that players like Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury have grown and flourished under him. The guy knows what he is doing.
Lastly, TIOPS reports the Penguins and Jeff Taffe are close to signing Jeff Taffe to a one-year, two-way contract. If you’ve been stopping by Pittsburgh Puck Talk frequently, you know how excited that makes me.
Let’s hope there is a, ‘Just Call Me Coach Therrien’ Part Deux very soon.