TORONTO — If it wasn’t already clear just how important it is to the Canadiens that their head coach be bilingual, GM Marc Bergevin hammered that point home on Thursday.
While announcing that Claude Julien had been taken to a hospital by ambulance the previous night suffering from chest pains, Bergevin felt it was important to basically apologize for the fact associate coach Kirk Muller — who will be taking over the head-coaching duties — doesn’t speak French.
“We understand that Kirk does not speak French, but there are exceptional circumstances and we’re asking you for your understanding,” Bergevin said.
The timing of the apology seemed bizarre and out of place while Julien was about to have heart surgery to add a stent to a coronary artery at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital. The very good news is that the surgery was a success and the 60-year-old coach was scheduled to return home to Montreal Friday to rest, with doctors expecting a full recovery.