The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is one of three leagues that comprise the Canadian Hockey League, the largest feeder of talent to the NHL. It seems appropriate that the QMJHL also acts as a developmental league for coaches, as well. Five head coaches in the National Hockey League during the 2012-13 season previously won the President’s Cup as QMJHL playoff champions.

Bob Hartley

Hartley spent the 2012-13 season behind the Calgary Flames bench, his first with the club and first year coaching in the NHL since 2007-08. Bob coached the Colorado Avalanche from 1998-99 to 2002-03, winning a Stanley Cup championship in 2000-01. He was head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers from 2002-03 to 2007-08.

Bob won a President’s Cup with Laval Titan in 1992-93. It was his second of two years coaching Laval. The Titan were led by future NHL stars, Martin Lapointe and Manny Fernandez. During the regular season, Laval finished first in the six team Lebel Division and second overall in the twelve team league with 88 points in 70 games.

The Titan went 12-1 in the playoffs. They met the Sherbrooke Faucons in the finals and won the series, four games to one. At the Memorial Cup tournament, Laval lost in the semi-final 3-1 to the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League.

Michel Therrien

Therrien returned to the Montreal Canadiens in 2012-13. He had coached the Habs from 2000-01 to 2002-03. Michel was also head coach in the NHL from 2005-06 to 2008-09 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In 1995-96, Therrien coached the Granby Predateurs to a President’s Cup championship. It was his fourth of five years coaching in the QMJHL and his first with Granby. The two previous seasons, he coached the Laval Titan to the President’s Cup finals, coming up on the short end both times.

The Predateurs finished first overall in the fourteen team league with 56 wins and 114 points over the 70 game regular season schedule. In the playoffs, Granby went 17-4, winning the final series four games to one over the Beauport Harfangs. Granby was crowned Memorial Cup champions with a 4-0 victory over the host Peterborough Petes in the final game.

Claude Julien

Julien has coached in the NHL since 2002-03 with the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins. He has been with Boston since 2007-08, winning a Stanley Cup championship with the club in 2010-11.

Claude led the Hull Olympiques to a President’s Cup championship in 1996-97. In his only year coaching in the QMJHL, Hull finished first overall in the fourteen team league with 48 wins and 99 points in 70 games. The Olympiques went 12-2 in the playoffs and swept the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the finals. Hull hosted the Memorial Cup and won the championship with a 5-1 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the final.

Alain Vigneault

Vigneault coached the Montreal Canadiens from 1997-98 to 2000-01. He was the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks from 2006-07 until the end of the 2012-13 season. He has since been released by the team.

Alain won his President’s Cup with the Hull Olympiques in 1987-88. In his second of six years in the QMJHL and his first with Hull, the team finished first overall in the regular season with 43 wins and 90 points over 70 games. Hull met the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the finals and won the series in seven games. The Olympiques lost in the Memorial Cup semi-final.

Guy Boucher

Boucher had coached the Tampa Bay Lightning since 2010-11 before getting canned 31 games into the 2012-13 season. No doubt, Guy will have another bench boss job at the start of 2013-14.

Guy won the President’s Cup with the Drummondville Voltigeurs in 2008-09. It was his third of three years with Drummondville. The team finished first overall in the eighteen team league with 54 wins and 112 points over 68 games. The Voltigeurs swept through the first three rounds of the playoffs before going the seven game distance against the Shawinigan Cataractes in the finals. Drummondville lost in the Memorial Cup semi-final to the Windsor Spitfires.


bob hartley