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Alex Burrows joins Canadiens coaching staff amidst Claude Julien’s dismissal

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The 39-year-old has been an assistant coach with Montreal’s farm team, the Laval Rocket, for the past two seasons.

2019 NHL Draft - Round One
Alex Burrows is the newest member of the Montreal Canadiens coaching staff.
Getty Images

Doesn’t it just feel like yesterday that the Canadiens were pounding the Canucks into submission?

Life sure does move fast.

This morning, the Montreal Canadiens announced that they are relieving head coach Claude Julien and assistant coach Kirk Muller of their coaching duties.

Assistant coach Dominique Ducharme will step in as head coach, and former Vancouver Canuck Alex Burrows will join the staff as well.

Burrows has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with Montreal’s farm team, the Laval Rocket.

Back in 2018, Burrows didn’t spend much time contemplating about what his retirement would look like. He joined the Rocket staff in the blink of an eye after announcing he was hanging up the skates.

Although the Rocket haven’t made the playoffs since Burrows joined the staff (they were a fringe team before the pandemic shutdown last March), the 39-year-old was behind the bench when players like Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Victor Mete, Brett Kulak and Jake Evans were in the minors.

Burrows joins a Habs team that still profiles as a group that can make some noise in the playoffs. They have depth at all positions, and they’re one of the only teams in Canada that can defend.

Consider that the Habs lead the league in expected goals against at even-strength (1.81/60 minutes). The next closest Canadian team is the Calgary Flames at 13th.

It wasn’t too long ago that the Habs were on a roll either. On February 2nd, after beating the Vancouver Canucks for the fourth time in five contests, Montreal sat atop the North Division with a 7-1-2 record.

Fast forward just 22 days later, and the Canadiens have dropped to fourth in the North Division after losing six of their last eight games, including two straight to the Ottawa Senators (in overtime and a shootout respectively).

Apparently, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin decided that it was time to shake up the coaching staff. It’s one of the more questionable firings as of late, but it certainly has benefitted one former beloved Canuck.