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Montreal Canadiens hire Lacroix, Ramage to coaching staff

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Guy Boucher, center, yells at official Steve Kozari (40) as assistant coach Dan Lacroix, top left, players Pavel Kubina (13) and Adam Hall (18) listen during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. The Montreal Canadiens have hired Lacroix as assistant coach and Rob Ramage as player development coach. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Reinhold Matay

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Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Guy Boucher, center, yells at official Steve Kozari (40) as assistant coach Dan Lacroix, top left, players Pavel Kubina (13) and Adam Hall (18) listen during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. The Montreal Canadiens have hired Lacroix as assistant coach and Rob Ramage as player development coach. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Reinhold Matay

MONTREAL - The Montreal Canadiens hired Dan Lacroix as assistant coach and Rob Ramage as player development coach, and also gave new responsibilities to some management personnel on Wednesday.

Lacroix, 45, replaces Gerard Gallant, who left to become head coach of the Florida Panthers.

He worked as an assistant coach in the NHL for seven of the past eight seasons, including last season with the Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers. He previously worked as assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2010 to 2013 and with the New York Islanders from 2006 to 2009.

The Montreal native also worked as assistant coach with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Canadiens' main affiliate team in the AHL during the 2009-10 season.

"We are very pleased to welcome Dan Lacroix as part of our coaching staff," Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien said in a statement. "Daniel earned the respect of his peers for his coaching skills and his impressive knowledge of the game. He has worked as a coach for almost 15 years, including seven seasons as assistant coach in the NHL.

"He knows the Canadiens organization and his experience at the professional level made him a much coveted candidate. He is an excellent addition to our coaching staff and to the Canadiens organization."

"It's a step up. It's an opportunity to work for a great organization and with great people," said Lacroix

Lacroix had 11 goals in 188 NHL games for five teams in the 1990s.

He also played seven full seasons in the American Hockey League with Binghamton, Providence, Hamilton and Rochester. He recorded 213 points in 352 regular season games (101 goals, 112 assists), and totalled 1,618 penalty minutes.

Ramage, 55, was employed by the St. Louis Blues organization as amateur scout for the past two seasons (2012-13 and 2013-14). He also worked as an assistant coach with the OHL’s London Knights during the 2011-12 season.

He replaced Patrice Brisebois, who left to spend more time with his family.

A native of Byron, Ont., Ramage played a total of 1,044 regular season games in the NHL between 1979 and 1994 with Colorado, St. Louis, Calgary, Toronto, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Montreal and Philadelphia. He was drafted first overall by the defunct Rockies in 1979.

"Rob is a dedicated and competent hockey person who will contribute to our player development group," said general manager Marc Bergevin. "Our entire organization, and particularly our young defencemen, will benefit from his experience and his knowledge."

Ramage registered 564 career points (139 goals, 425 assists), and was assessed 2,224 penalty minutes. He won the Stanley Cup with Calgary (1989) and Montreal (1993).

He spent time in prison after being convicted in 2008 of impaired driving causing death. The charge stemmed form a 2003 car accident in Woodbridge, Ont., that claimed the life of one of Ramage's passengers, former Chicago Blackhawk Keith Magnuson.

Ramage's four-year sentence expired this month.

The Canadiens also announced that Rick Dudley was promoted from assistant general manager to senior vice president, hockey operations. Scott Mellanby was promoted from director of player personnel to assistant general manager, to work with Larry Carriere.

And Trevor Timmins was appointed vice president of player personnel, while retaining his responsibilities as the Club’s director of amateur scouting.

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