Montreal Canadiens Executive vice president and general manager, Marc Bergevin, announced Friday the appointment of Jean-Jacques Daigneault as assistant coach.
“I am extremely happy to welcome Jean-Jacques Daigneault to our coaching staff. He brings a solid expertise, and his knowledge of the game will be an important asset to the development of our young players. Our group of defensemen will largely benefit from his experience and his solid reputation as a coach,” said Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien.
Jean-Jacques Daigneault, 46, was as assistant coach for the Hartford Wolf Pack in the American Hockey League (the franchise was renamed Connecticut Whale in 2010-11) for the past five seasons (2007 to 2012). He helped his team to seasons of 110, 99, 83, 88 and 86 points and a playoff berth each year during his five-year stay with Hartford. He took on coaching in 2005-2006 when he joined the ECHL’s Phoenix Roadrunners as an assistant coach, also working as director of player personnel.
A native of Montreal, Jean-Jacques Daigneault was selected in the first round, 10th overall, by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. He had suited up with the QMJHL Longueuil Chevaliers where he recorded 32 goals and 126 points in 144 games earning a selection on the First All-Star Team and the Émile Bouchard Award as the QMJHL Top Defenseman in 1982-83. In the months leading to the Draft, Daigneault played for Canada’s National Team, recording 5 goals and 15 assists in 55 games, and the National Junior Team, finishing fourth at the 1984 WJC, tallying two points in seven games, before wearing the Maple Leaf at the 14th Olympic Winter Games in Sarajevo where he amassed a goal and an assist in seven games.
The professional hockey career of Jean-Jacques Daigneault spans over 18 years, including 16 seasons in the National Hockey League. He suited up with 10 teams, including the Montreal Canadiens for six seasons, playing a pivotal role in the Canadiens Stanley Cup championship in 1993. Between 1984 and 2001, Daigneault participated in 899 NHL regular season games with the Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers, Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, New York Islanders, Nashville Predators, Phoenix Coyotes and Minnesota Wild, recording 53 goals and 197 helpers for a total of 250 points. He also played 99 playoff contests collecting 5 goals and 26 assists. Daigneault also played with Hershey, Sherbrooke and Worcester in the American Hockey League and skated with the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the defunct International Hockey League in 2000-01. He would end his playing career in 2001-02 as a player-coach with the Biel team in Switzerland’s second league II.