Montreal Canadiens Coaching Candidates: The Final 10
Just a few weeks back, Montreal Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey assumed the head coaching role on an interim basis.
Many fans and analysts have put their votes in already for who they would like to assume the duties at the start of next season.
My B/R colleague Daniel Arouchian submitted his humorous choices last week:
Now, I present to you my short list of ten candidates for the head coaching position of hockey's most storied franchise.
Some you may have already thought of, and others you may be seeing for the first time.
Please keep in mind that these candidates are in no particular order.
If Mr. Gainey makes any decisions based on this list, maybe I can get a finders fee? I have some uncovered dental work to pay for.
Montreal Canadiens HOFer, Larry Robinson
The former Canadiens legend would be a two-for-one coach as he could also act as the defensemen coach, something that his former team does not have right now.
Robinson has a Cup win as a coach with the New Jersey Devils and is currently there as an assistant.
Whether the Devils would allow him to talk to the Canadiens in the first question.
The second question is ,would he be interested in working in the media pressure cooker of Montreal?
Montreal Gazette Columnist and Blogger, Mike Boone
Mike Boone is a journalist with the Montreal Gazette.
A founding member of HabsInsideOut.com, Mike hosts a regular game blog throughout the season with his open and often humorous opinions of the game play, the Canadiens/NHL as a whole, and what the other media are saying.
He'd have great rapport with the media, cause he's been doing it for over 30 years. Not to mention he's bilingual....
But, I don't know if he can skate.
Former Thrashers and Av's Coach, Bob Hartley
He has the experience and has a Cup win with the Colorado Avalanche.
Many will argue that Patrick Roy won that Cup for the team.
Being bilingual is a big plus for him coaching in Montreal.
His firing in Atlanta was dubbed pre-mature by many, after the Thrashers started 0-6 in 2007-08.
Hell's Kitchen's Chef, Gordon Ramsey
Many of felt that the Canadiens have been a group of underachievers this season.
Who could motivate them and humiliate them better than the foul-mouthed, English chef?
"You call that a power-play you #*@%ng donkey!"
Just imagine his verbal blows with the referees??
A ratings dream for Gary Bettman.
Former Montreal Canadiens Winger and Analyst, Murray Wilson
Murray Wilson was a key support player for the Montreal Canadiens during the 70's.
A four-time cup winner, Wilson was traded to the Los Angeles Kings before the 1978-79 season, missing out on a fifth Cup ring with the Canadiens.
An excellent two way player, Wilson is now the color commentator for the Canadiens English language broadcast's on CJAD.
Having observed the Canadiens from high atop the Bell Centre for nearly a decade, Wilson knows, and has spent time with most of the players on the ice better than any other coach.
But, he is also best friends with Bob Gainey, so he may not wish to mix business with friendship (Guy Carboneau).
Former Leafs Coach, Pat Quinn
As good a coach he is, Canadiens fans would revolt in bringing a former Leaf coach on board...
Then again, the thought of the Leafs all-time scorer joining the Canadiens brought excitement, didn't it?
He must be good though as he managed to get the Leafs into the playoffs in all but one season, and proved his coaching abilities are still there in the 2009 WJC.
Speculation was that he would take the Ottawa Senators coaching position, but Quinn prefers to have the GM power as well.
The Coach from the Mastercard Commercial!
Those of you in Canada have likely seen this commercial dozens of times.
Those who haven't, need to watch this.
Canadiens Legend, Patrick Roy
The goaltending legend has the passion to win.
He was once offered the coaching job by the Colorado Avalanche but reportedly turned it down, expressing no interest.
When the position in Montreal opened up, Roy's response was not as distant as the one in Denver.
He won the Memeorial Cup in 2006 as the head coach of the Quebec Remparts.
His No. 33 was retired by the Canadiens last November, but his temperament may need a bit of control to get him to the NHL coaching level.
Current Assistant Coach, Don Lever
Don Lever knows how to win.
He took the Rochester Americans to the Calder Cup Finals and more recently led the Canadiens' farm team (Hamilton Bulldogs) to the Calder Cup in 2006-07.
Before firing Guy Carbonneau, Bob Gainey took a trip to Hamilton to observe Lever and how he works with the players.
He was brought on as an assistant and usually spends two periods in the press gallery then joins the bench staff in the third.
He has the early favourite as he also knows several of the players (Price, Higgins, Komisarek, Kostitsyn) from their Bulldog days as well as many of the prospects.
The big issue in Montreal is that he does not speak French.
Don Vito Corleone
Clearly he would have to be both the coach, and the GM.
Can you imagine Chris Lee or Kerry Fraser making questionable decisions against the Canadiens with this man behind the bench?
Not to mention when Kovalaev or Price start slumping...
"You can play like a man!"
It might get boring for Habs fans, as he would basically have control over the League, as well as the NHLPA, and the Canadiens would win year after year....OK maybe not that boring.
As for Mr. Corleone being a GM, I give you this excerpt from the Godfather where Michael Corleone tells his girlfriend Kay about his father's relationship with singer Johnny Fontaine:
'Michael (as Johnny croons "I Have But One Heart"): "Well, when Johnny was first starting out, he was signed to this personal service contract with a big band leader. "
"And as his career got better and better, he wanted to get out of it. Now, Johnny is my father's godson. And my father went to see this band leader, and he offered him $10,000 to let Johnny go."
"But the band leader said no. So the next day, my father went to see him, only this time with Luca Brasi. And within an hour, he signed a release, for a certified check for $1,000."
Kay: "How'd he do that?"
Michael: "My father made him [the bandleader] an offer he couldn't refuse."
Kay: "What was that?"
Michael: "Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains - or his signature - would be on the contract...That's a true story..." '
The Canadiens have 11 UFAs, nuff said.
Well these are just my 10 finalists.
There are clearly some other equal or in some cases, more obvious candidates than what is on this list.
But who knows, maybe Bob Gainey still has a choice that we will not expect.
Then again, failure to get his team in the playoffs and Mr. Gainey may not be making the decision.