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Martin St-Louis: 2-3 years before his departure, La Presse journalists think

Martin St-Louis has been at the helm of the Canadiens for almost two years now. Obviously, his 45-64-10 record isn’t necessarily glorious, but when you put it in the context of the city’s current rebuild, it already looks a lot better.

Some would like to see victories come faster, but when you add injuries to the equation, that’s a lot of obstacles that have held the Habs back over the past two years.

That said, even if two years isn’t necessarily a long time, it is for an NHL coach. To give you an idea, only 10 of the NHL’s 32 current coaches have been on the job longer than MSL.

Inevitably, then, this leads us to wonder what awaits St-Louis in the years to come in Montreal… and the very question was raised during today’s episode of the Sortie de zone podcast, presented by La Presse and 98.5 FM.

And today’s panel gave us an answer that’s sure to provoke a reaction: two La Presse journalists, Richard Labbé and Alexandre Pratt, are talking about St-Louis leaving within the next two years.

Jérémie Rainville, for his part, isn’t much more optimistic, mentioning a possible departure in three years’ time. Antoine Roussel, on the other hand, is the most optimistic of the lot, predicting (at least) another 4-5 years.

At first glance, this may come as a surprise, given St-Louis’s current goodwill in Montreal… but all four panelists have a good point: the coach is bound to leave, and it could happen sooner than we think.

Currently, there are only six coaches across the NHL who were hired before the start of 2020, i.e. in the last four years. That means that if St-Louis is on the job for another two years, he’ll be one of only a handful of coaches who have been on the job that long.

And the thing about these six coaches (Jon Cooper, Mike Sullivan, Jared Bednar, Rod Brind’Amour, Todd McLellan and Sheldon Keefe) is that they’ve all been very successful. Their teams are among the contenders every year, and while Keefe’s Maple Leafs haven’t had much success in the playoffs, the other five have.

The first three have won the Stanley Cup at least once, while the Hurricanes and Kings are consistent league powers. You get the picture.

So I’d like to say that the rebuild will have to start bearing fruit within the next two years to ensure job security for Martin St-Louis…

Unless he’s tempted by another position across the NHL if he feels he’s served his time in Montreal.

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