Catching Up With Michel Therrien…

Mike Therrien is in the house this evening. He has accepted a job scouting for the Minnesota Wild and was taking into tonight’s Penguins/Habs tilt… we were given a chance to catch up a bit during the first intermission…

I have to admit, I have a very soft spot for Mike Therrien. Though he could be a bit of a… let’s be honest… hard ass, he was always a dream for me to deal with. He was the coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins when I started covering the team and though he was tough, he was always willing to answer any question thrown at him in a thoughtful way. He was easy to talk too, a regular guy, who told it like it was. I can’t say the same thing about every coach that I have dealt with in this league.

Therrien is here in his new role, pro scout for the Minnesota Wild. The team decided to have a quick scrum with the former coach so that everyone wouldn’t be asking for an interview when he was here to scout a game. I know this isn’t a popular sentiment with many Penguins fans, but he will be back in the NHL coaching before it is all said and done. Believe it or not, he is a good coach, especially with developing teams. Which is why he was so vital to the successes this franchise has had. He showed a group of kids how to come together and play a system. One that took them to a Stanley Cup Final.

Unfortunately his abrasive, demanding style became a bit much for the youngsters as they matured and grew into the players they are today, which is why Dan Bylsma was so great upon his arrival. He had a feel good vibe about him that was like day to Therrien’s night and it was a winning combination. It happens… sometimes the guy that was great for part of the trip just isn’t the guy that can get them over the hump. I think Mike understands that.

The former coach is very gracious, he loved the building and admitted that he still watches a ton of Penguins hockey games. He even admitted to being a bit torn last spring when the two teams he previously coached met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

I am not able to get this sound edited up, as I am perched on press row at the CONSOL Energy Center, but I wanted to get it out there for you to hear right away. As usual, when I got my chance to ask him a question, he gave me a very thoughtful answer… one of the longer of the scrum IMO. Just saying…


2 Comments on this Post

  1. Good interview. He helped calm me down after that terrible ending tonight. He seems to really care about some of our players, good to hear some of his nice thoughtful responses.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. It was great to see him… I hadn’t gotten a chance to talk to him since he was fired. He definitely seemed to have an affection for some of the players and that came through in the answer he gave me when I asked about being happy to see their success…


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