The Montreal Canadiens have made the first step towards their offseason makeover that consists of finding a new owner, possibly a new GM, a new head coach, and new player contracts. Radical, isn't it?
Bob Gainey admitted to La Presse last week that the Organization advised him to focus on his duties despite the fuss surrounding the team’s ownership. So he went ahead with the nomination of a new head coach: Jacques Martin.
Now, a few criteria had to be part of the potential candidates’ resumes.
Let’s just say that he missed the playoffs once with Ottawa, brought them to the Conference finals once, but missed the playoffs again during his entire trip with the Florida Panthers.
And since the insatiable fans that we are have to ask the deadly question: no, he hasn’t won a Stanley Cup yet.
The opinions are divided regarding this new hiring, with Jacques Demers judging it as an “excellent choice” due to Martin’s sense of work ethic and discipline; while ESPN’s Scott Burnside said Bob Gainey “missed the mark by a wide margin."
Burnside questions what was in Bob Gainey’s mind; which has been what we all wondered since the beginning of times. After numerous attempts to decipher the Bob Gainey’s decision process puzzle, we decided to settle down with our popular saying: only time will tell.
However, Coach Martin’s sense of discipline will benefit the Montreal Canadiens which had to deal with enough controversy to give the team an allure of The Young and the Restless.
The coaching staff has now to find, well, the staff. Kirk Muller and Doug Jarvis are still in office but there is little chance that they will remain assistant coaches this season. And now that Mario Tremblay won’t be back with the Minnesota Wild, should we expect a return of one the most controversial coaches of the Habs’ history to assist Martin?
Goalie coach Roland Melanson has however learned last Monday that his stay with the team has come to an end as he failed to polish Bob Gainey's most precious treasure.
Price, who held for the first time an NHL full time job as starter for an entire season, had his fair share of struggles on and off the ice.
A spot is then now open for “I am a goalie coach, get me out of here” contest, to make the GM's diamond shine despite the rough.
The first name that comes in mind is Anaheim Ducks’ Francois Allaire. Allaire was Patrick Roy’s mentor during his American League years, and graduated with him with the Montreal Canadiens to take on a Stanley Cup that very rookie year.
Allaire was also behind Jean Sebastien Giguere’s Stanley Cup in 2007. He is under contract with the Ducks until June 30, but it would be surprising that the team lets him leave since they have their own precious stone to take care of in Jonas Hiller.
Don’t we all regret that Patrick Roy has confirmed his stay with the Quebec Remparts? He would have given us enough material to practice our second National sport, speculating!
About our soon to be UFAs, Bob Gainey declared on RDS a few days ago that he still hasn’t started any contract discussion with the ten players who are about to be free agents this summer. Apart from Alex Kovalev’s captaincy and contract rumours, we haven’t heard much about that sensitive subject.
Notes from aside
The race for the Canadiens’ next owner is still on, but took another turn when Serge Savard decided to temporarily withdraw from the run once he learnt about the Molson family’s interest into the team. Recall that Quebecor’s Peladeau is also a potential buyer.
Guy Carbonneau told RDS that he recently had a discussion with Bob Gainey, but still hasn't found answers to some questions. The players did not have answers to their questions either when he was behind the bench, so can we call it even?
Serge Savard said that if he had bought the team, he would have offered the head coach job to (drum roll) Jacques Demers. That would have been a glimpse of the glorious years, just minus the glorious roster.