Daigneault: "I always had it in the back of my mind to get back to Montreal"
The Montreal Canadiens continued the sweeping changes to the front office this afternoon with the addition of Jean-Jacques Daigneault as assistant coach. “JJ” played six of his 16 NHL seasons in Montreal, winning a Stanley Cup in 1993 and says re-joining the organization that he grew up idolizing is a dream come true.
“It means a lot. When I first started to coach following my retirement in 2001, I went to school for a little bit and then started to coach in the AHL. But I think along the way I always had it in the back of my mind to get back to Montreal. And the reason I started to coach in the AHL is I tried to get better, I tried to learn and I tried to learn from my mistakes from others around me. In the back of my mind I always had a thought of coming back to the Montreal Canadiens and to try to bring the Stanley Cup back with the coaching staff in place right now. “
Daigneault spent the last five years as assistant coach for the Hartford Wolf Pack (renamed the Connecticut Whale in 2010) in the American Hockey League, leading the team a playoff berth each year. But he said he jumped when Rangers GM Glen Sather offered to let him pursue his vision of coaching in the NHL.
“Glen asked me what my ambitions were and I said I’m looking for upward mobility. I’ve been in the minors for the past 4-5 years and I don’t think there’s any room for me with the Rangers at this time. Glen was very nice, he’s all about promoting his employees and he said “listen, i’ll give you permission to talk to Marc.” So I talked to Marc throughout the course of the day today and we agreed to a contract as an assistant coach with the Canadiens.”