Thursday, March 29, 2012

Habs Can Gauthier!

1) In a move that is a surprise to no one (except the timing) The Montreal Canadiens today fired their GM Pierre Gauthier. Its a move that in my opinion was LONG over due! His moves the past few years have been questionable at best. Gauthier, who took over as GM in 2010, has been the subject of constant criticism this season. It started with his decision to fire assistant coach Perry Pearn just hours before a game started. AS if a lowly assistant could be blamed for his own ineptitude!

2) However, that was nothing compared to the backlash that came when he hired hiring Randy Cunneyworth after firing Jacques Martin. Now, we were never big Martin supporters, but certainly the teams issues this season were NOT his doing. And Cunneyworth's inability to speak French was criticized, mocked and ridiculed in Montreal, and his 16-22-7 record since taking over isn't doing anything to help those tensions. Of course as we wrote at the time its DUMB that his language is an issue, but Gauther of all people should have known that he was setting Cunneyworth up to fail from the get go
His on-ice personnel moves have been just as head-scratching, like overpaying for an Andrei Markov contract extension, only to see Markov play in just 15 games since the beginning of last season.

3) So what next? As expected the Patrick Roy rumours are going to fly. The current owner, GM, and coach of the Quebec Ramparts is the media/fan favourite to take over the "Rouge Blanc and Bleu". However all our sources within Quebec and elsewhere with knowledge of the situation tell us uniformly that Roy would like to be considered but ultimately will decline the offer. Why? Patrick knows all too well the microscope and pressure he'd be under in Montreal. That any initial good will would quickly evaporate if the team gets off to a slow start. Instead he wants to be the head honcho and run things once a team is brought back to Quebec City.(Probably in 3 years) So who would be the logical choice? Almost everyone we talk to tells us that Serge Savard (who will be the man to make the choice), is very high on Black hawks asst GM Marc Bergevin. We're told he is well respected and highly thought of around the league and that even if the Habs pass on him, he'll likely find work at that level before long in another city.

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