Stephan Lebeau returns to the Habs

It was recently announced by Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin that former Habs player Stephan Lebeau has been hired as an assistant coach for the Hamilton Bulldogs. Going back at least a few decades, many remember the 1993 team that won the last Stanley Cup as well as that Lebeau was a part of that championship. Stephan Lebeau is ranked 2nd all time in Canadian Junior Hockey League scoring. He broke records and won awards in the one season he spent playing in the Montreal Canadiens Sherbrooke AHL team before being called up to the Habs. I still remember watching him score his first goal for the Montreal Canadiens. Lebeau was the last of the highly skilled, finesse style clean player for the Montreal Canadiens. When the NHL went in a direction of Don Cherry style, physical rough play over skill, players like Lebeau were exiled to play in Europe. Putting up decent numbers in his short tenure in the NHL, he was passed up by the Habs and other teams for less skilled and more aggressive players. Both Stephan and his younger brother (former Habs prospect who only played one game as a Hab putting up 1 point) went on to illustrious careers in Europe. Hence started the decline of the Montreal Canadiens as they departed from their style in the past of producing and keeping French Canadian players like Cournoyer, Lafleur, the Richard brothers and so forth. Lebeau was brilliant offensively and extremely creative back in his day. Last year the Hamilton Bulldogs really struggled offensively and players like Louis Leblanc as well as Michael Bournival had problems scoring. Lebeau should be able to give both of them as well as Charles Hudon and Stefan Fournier that extra spark they need to light it up offensively as the current head coach Sylvain Lefebvre and his assistant Donald Dufresne were defensive minded (and even struggled at that). Lebeau, from coaching in the juniors to his playing career as well as a resourceful analyst at RDS really knows the game inside out. He was once a prodigy and very similar in style to Mike Ribeiro as well as David Desharnais. The Montreal Canadiens really struggled and were unable to open it up against the Ottawa Senators in the playoffs due to lack of offence and Stephan Lebeau will be a huge impact to the future stars of the team.


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