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Appointed CH assistant coach, Robidas will have the mandate to develop defenders

He replaces Luke Richardson, named head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks last month.

My role will be mainly in the development of young Canadian defenders, admitted the former defender by videoconference. I know that there are still good veterans in place, but my vision is to help these young people.

Stéphane Robidas is presented as assistant to the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens.

David Savard is the squad’s most experienced member with 673 NHL games and a Stanley Cup ring. Mike Matheson and Joel Edmundson have played over 400 games and Edmundson has also won top honors once. Chris Wideman has over 200 games to his credit.

Everything indicates that Justin Barron, Jordan Harris, Kaiden Guhle, Mattias Norlinder and Arber Xhekaj will be part of the group of prospects who will fight for the other positions on the blue line of the Habs.

General manager Kent Hughes has said over the past few months that he wants to be patient with his young defenders and put them in the best conditions for their development. Robidas recalled how different each player’s journey to the NHL is.

There is no perfect recipe. It is important to assess each situation. There are guys who will arrive at 18, 19 or 20 years old. Others will need more time. »

A quote from Stephane Robidas

Those who are ready, they must be well supervised and placed in situations for them to be successful. Each player has strengths and they must be maximizedsaid the former seventh-round pick of the Canadiens in 1995.

They were drafted for a reason and they have potential. My job will be to guide them, to be there to help them reach their full potential.

The 45-year-old former hockey player spent the last season with the Cantonniers de Magog at the M18 AAA level. He was named assistant coach of the Sherbrooke Phoenix on June 15, before accepting the CH offer.

Before starting his coaching career, the Sherbrooke resident successively held the positions of assistant manager and director of player development for the Toronto Maple Leafs between 2015 and 2021. He was also part of the coaching staff of their subsidiary in the ECHL.

Robidas believes his experience as a former player and in player development, more than coaching, led to his hiring.

My job will be to help the young defenders, not to lead the Canadiens, he recalled, returning to his role as assistant. I think Kent, Jeff (Gorton, vice-president of hockey operations) and Martin like my background in player development. I also finished playing in 2014-2015. I played in the new era of hockey, in the new trends.

And being a coach is not just about managing the structure or the system. It’s also about developing relationships and having good communication with the players.

Robidas noted having the same on-ice philosophy as St-Louis. He talked about the puck possession game and practices in tight spaces.

Stéphane fits exactly the profile we were looking for, St-Louis said in a statement. He is a very good communicator, and I believe that many players will recognize themselves in him because of his great experience.

Robidas played 937 NHL games with the Canadiens, Dallas Stars, Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks and Maple Leafs.

He said he was taken under his wing on his debut in Montreal by veteran Eric Weinrich, but didn’t start to feel really comfortable until he was 31. He then wore the colors of the Stars.

The mental aspect – how you feel in a group and an environment – ​​is very importantsaid Robidas, who will therefore want to establish good relations based on respect with his protégés.

And if he finds himself in a group of inexperienced coaches behind the bench of an NHL team, he does not worry about it.

Experience is acquired. It can’t be boughthe concluded.

The same philosophy could well apply over the next few months with the Guhle, Barron, Harris and other promising young defenders of the Canadian.

Buffalo Rookie Camp

The hopefuls of the Montreal Canadiens will participate in the Rookie Tournament, which will take place from September 15 to 18 in Buffalo.

This event will feature the prospect members of the Canadiens, Buffalo Sabers, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Each team will play three matches. The Canadiens’ hopes will be pitted against those of the Sabers on September 15, the Devils on September 16, and the Senators on September 18.

The Canadiens’ rookie camp will officially begin on September 14 with the medical and physical tests of the players in Brossard.

The Laval Rocket coaching staff will assume responsibility for rookie camp games and practices.

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