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For a dark-horse candidate I’d have to pick Patrick Roy, whose name I have seen bandied about more than once or twice when it comes to possible replacements for Kirk Muller.
If there was ever a suggested coaching pair that might prove to be oil and water or gasoline and a lit match, it’s likely Jacques Martin and Patrick Roy.
Roy’s history with the Habs is legendary, as is his temper and focus to win. He has backstopped the team to more than one Stanley Cup and, like Carbonneau, knows a bit about what it will take for Montreal to get another one.
He has some experience at the junior coaching level, having won the Memorial Cup during his first year as head coach of the Quebec Remparts. He also speaks the language and will command respect from the veterans and youth on the team.
As a younger, passionate persona, he may prove to be an asset when it comes to providing some spark behind the bench.
By contrast, Martin is a low-key, laid-back kind of coach who has a strong adherence to a system that allows for an excessive amount of shots at his netminder. I’m not sure that sort of game plan would fly with Roy, who enjoyed a much stronger defensive corps under blueliners like Larry Robinson and Chris Chelios.
It also seems that former star players do not usually make good NHL-level coaches. Wayne Gretzky and Maurice Richard spring to mind here.
Also working against his favor is that Roy is a former goalie and has no experience at the forward position.
In a tight room such as the Canadiens are currently boasting, I’m just not sure a possible personality conflict at the coaching level is the smart way to go.