I'm a 25-year-old Montreal Canadiens fan. The Habs have won the Stanley Cup twice in my lifetime and I have vivid memories of the second time. Watching Guy Carbonneau hoist the Cup as the captain of the team was one of the proudest moments of my life.
To me, he epitomized the "Bleu, Blanc, Rouge": he left everything he had out on the ice.
Even when he was traded away, I still rooted for him. It was so fitting that a player who worked so hard game in and game out was rewarded with yet another championship in the twilight of his career.
I welcomed him back to the team after his retirement. It was good to see Guy back where he belonged. He was an assistant to coach Michel Therrien until his old friend Bob Gainey asked him to come to Dallas. Though it was brief, it brought back fond memories of the three-time Selke Trophy winner.
When Gainey became the general manager of the Canadiens, I knew that Carbo would soon follow suit. Perfect.
However, he was not the perfect coach. He is, after all, human and so he made some mistakes.
He was fired yesterday. I was surprised, but in the back of my mind, I knew it would happen. I couldn't help hope it wouldn't. After a really tough stretch, Bob had to dismiss his old friend Guy.
And I have to read far too many articles about why he was fired.
Was he a good coach? Was he using the right system? Did he deserve to be fired?
I have a much more pressing and important question to ask: How are you going to feel when you see Guy Carbonneau behind another team's bench?
It will happen. He is a good coach. The team may have stopped playing for him, but that does not change the fact that he led the Habs to the top of the Eastern Conference last year.
He was still a nominee for the Jack Adams Trophy.
He still has a killer instinct and knows how to win.
He is and always will be a Montreal Canadien to me and countless others, and it pains me to see him leave on these terms.
I understand that it's part of the game, I just really wish it wasn't.