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Michel Therrien smiles during a news conference announcing his appointment as new head coach of the Montreal Canadiens NHL team in Brossard, Quebec, June 5, 2012.

CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/Reuters

Montreal defenceman P.K. Subban thinks the Canadiens can finally move forward now that Michel Therrien has been named head coach.

Subban and some of his teammates were at a gala Canadian Grand Prix cocktail and fundraiser on Thursday night when asked about Therrien.

"This is a part of the process — the part of growing a championship team, building a winning team," said Subban. "He's got the experience at this level obviously, coaching in Montreal and working with great players."

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Subban took it as a compliment when Therrien called him a thoroughbred on Tuesday as the new coach was introduced at a media conference.

"I'm looking forward to see what I can learn from him, he's got a lot to offer and it's going to be up to me to soak it all in and be there like a sponge and soak it all in," said Subban on Thursday.

Habs forward Louis Leblanc admits he doesn't know Therrien very well, but noted that the coach did well with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2005 to 2009.

"I'm very eager to get to know him," said Leblanc.

David Desharnais described Therrien as a hard worker who wants to have a winning team.

"He's got a lot of discipline," said Desharnais. "So it's going to be very good for us."

Tickets to the gala fundraiser cost $1,000 each, with proceeds going to two Montreal childrens' hospitals.

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