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Hughes wants St. Louis to stay with Canadiens long term

Jonathan Kozub / National Hockey League / Getty

Montreal Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes gave interim head coach Martin St. Louis a significant vote of confidence Tuesday.

"I'd like to see him part of the Montreal Canadiens organization for the long term and remove the interim tag, if that's the question you're asking," Hughes told TSN from this week's GM meetings.

"In terms of the success or the impact that he's had, I expected him to have an impact, no question about it. Probably not as significant as he has in such a short period of time. But I said at the beginning, I'm not one to bet against Marty St. Louis, and those that have, have generally lost. He's a pretty special guy, and he's proven to be a pretty special coach."

St. Louis replaced Dominique Ducharme behind the bench on Feb. 9, marking his first NHL coaching gig. Since the Hall of Fame player took over, the Canadiens are 10-7-4 after a dreadful 8-30-7 start with Ducharme at the helm.

A notable turnaround in production for Montreal's young core forwards followed the coaching change: Cole Caufield has registered 25 points in 21 games, while Nick Suzuki has 22.

The Canadiens were recently eliminated from playoff contention and sit 31st overall in the league standings with 47 points.

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