Goalie coach Waite leaves for Canadiens

Goaltending coach Stéphane Waite has left the Chicago Blackhawks after 10 years to join the Montreal Canadiens, the teams announced on Thursday.

Waite was named the Blackhawks goaltending coach during the 2003-04 season and helped the Blackhawks to two Stanley Cups during his tenure. He was credited by Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and goaltender Corey Crawford for Crawford’s development this past season.

Crawford and Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery shared this past season the William M. Jennings Trophy, given to the goaltenders on the team with the fewest goals allowed during the regular season. The Blackhawks allowed 102 goals in 48 regular-season games. Crawford had a 16-7 record with a 1.84 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage during the playoffs.

“We would like to thank Stéphane for his 10 years of service with the Blackhawks organization and the quality of work he put in with many goaltenders over that period of time,” Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “We wish him and his family the best in his new position.”

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin had plenty of familiarity with Waite before hiring him. Bergevin spent time as a Blackhawks assistant coach and assistant general manager while Waite was with the Blackhawks.

“Stéphane Waite has over 30 years of experience as a goaltending coach, including the past 10 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks organization,” Bergevin said in a statement. “He contributed to two Stanley Cup championships with the Blackhawks during his tenure working closely with two different goaltenders, namely Antti Niemi and Corey Crawford. We are very pleased to welcome Stéphane in our organization. He has a vast experience, and a thorough knowledge of our local market and we are convinced that our goaltenders will benefit from his expertise and his work ethic.”