Former NHL coach Jacques Demers in hospital after stroke

MONTREAL -- Former Montreal Canadiens coach Jacques Demers was in a Montreal hospital Thursday, a day after having a stroke.

The 71-year-old Demers is now a Canadian senator.

Claude Carignan, the Conservative leader in the senate, said he spoke with an assistant to Demers and was told he was conscious Thursday morning. Demers, who coached the Canadiens to the 1993 Stanley Cup title, is a patient of the team's current doctor, David Mulder.

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"He's in good hands," said Carignan, who was appointed to the Senate alongside Demers in 2009 by Stephen Harper. "I am convinced that with his strength, he'll come back to us fully recuperated with all of his energy."

Demers quit the Conservative caucus several months ago to sit as an independent.

Demers also coached Quebec, Detroit, St. Louis and Tampa Bay in the NHL. He coached Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Quebec in the WHA.