………..I’ve always put up at least a half-hearted defense of Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier.   To me, many of his moves, good and bad, were generated by the unlucky string of injuries his team suffered last season.  Whatever was left of my defense is falling apart as more and more is revealed about his management style which is now being characterized as fraught with poor judgement and  vindictiveness.

Everything involving Gauther starts with his phobic need for secrecy and the draconian measures he took protect it.  In hindsight, everyone should have taken note of the warning signs.    The unjustified firing of Perry Pearn and then Jacques Martin.   He avenged Michael Cammalleri‘s dressing room comments by trading him in the middle of a game and then, we were to find out later, demanding over a thousand dollars for his team jersey.  Jaroslav Spacek gave a guarded but still devastating report to the Gazette’s Dave Stubbs earlier this week about Jacques Martin’s inflexible coaching style and Gauthier’s management style.

“So much bad stuff.  In my 20-year hockey career, I’d never seen anything like it. If you don’t like the way I play, kick me in the ass. But no one said anything. It was terrible.?

There’ll be more horror stories before we write ‘finis’ on this story.

…………At his introductory news conference Friday new assistant general manager Rick Dudley was asked what qualities in a head coach he would look for if he were responsible for the hiring.   Dudley said primarily, “You have to be a bit of a teacher because you’re going to have to deal with young players.”  Marc Bergevin echoed Dudley’s opinion which would make one wonder about the candidacies of Marc Crawford and Bob Hartley, neither of whom have demonstrated much patience for youthful mistakes.   Both were successful with a veteran team in Colorado but with teams in a growth stage their records are poor.   Crawford is noted as a “screamer” and something of a control freak leaving little room for input from his assistant coaches who are key to the teaching side of the game. Hartley’s handling of a young Atlanta Thrashers team, especially Ilya Kovalchuk, is also considered a black mark on his resume.   Because of the French/English thing, unless Bergevin can pull something out of his hat,  the Canadiens may have to hold their collective nose and settle for something that isn’t exactly what they want.  Maybe it’s time to put Guy Carbonneau back in the picture

……..The Gazette’s Red Fisher mentioned in his column this week that Bergevin made a trip to Florida to conduct a couple of job interviews.   Fisher suggested that Tampa Bay assistant coaches Daniel Lacroix and Martin Raymond were the reason for the trip.   Jacques Lemaire also makes his home in Florida these days.   Do you think Bergevin might have made a side trip?    Lemaire currently does consulting work for the Devils following his retirement two years ago.  Considering the unsatisfactory list of  available coaching talent, a short term agreement with Lemaire might afford Bergevin a little breathing room in his search for someone in whom he can place his full trust.

………..Whoever is accepted as the new Canadiens head coach, he shouldn’t expect job security.   “Hired to be fired” is the cliché that accurately describes the position.   Since Scotty Bowman left for Buffalo in 1979 after 634 games, the Canadiens have made seventeen coaching changes starting with Bernie Geoffrion, who’s tenure was  thirty games and ending with Randy Cunneyworth who lasted fifty. There have been ten head coaches in the nineteen years since the last Stanley Cup.  Only four coaches lasted the equivalent of three seasons, and only Pat Burns stayed more than 300 games (320).  Three coaches became Stanley Cup winners elsewhere; Jacques Lemaire, Burns and Claude Julien (it should be noted that Geoffrion, Lemaire and Burns left of their own volition)  Four won NHL coach of the year honours after their Montreal experience including Burns and  Lemaire twice.  The others were Alain Vigneault and Julien.

94 - Alexander Galchenyuk - Sarnia Sting

…………TVA Sports had the father of Canadiens first round draft pick Nathan Beaulieu on the air earlier in the week from London Ontario.    Jacques Beaulieu is now head coach of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting which means he coached both of  those two Russian kids Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk.  Said Beaulieu, “If  I were Trevor Timmins, I would draft Galchenyuk if he is still available.  He is a responsible player who challenges his opponent every night and works hard every day.  In my opinion he will be a front line centre in the NHL  He may need another year in junior but that is only because he missed so many games this season.”

………..Whoever is accepted as the new Canadiens head coach, he shouldn’t expect job security.   “Hired to be fired” is the cliché that accurately describes the position.   Since Scotty Bowman left for Buffalo in 1979 after 634 games over eight years, the Canadiens have made seventeen coaching changes starting with Bernie Geoffrion, who’s tenure was  thirty games and ending with Randy Cunneyworth who lasted fifty. There have been ten head coaches in the nineteen years since the last Stanley Cup.  Only four coaches lasted the equivalent of three seasons, and only Pat Burns stayed more than 300 games (320).  Three coaches became Stanley Cup winners elsewhere; Jacques Lemaire, Burns and Claude Julien (it should be noted that Geoffrion, Lemaire and Burns were not fired but resigned)  Four won NHL coach of the year honours after their Montreal experience including Burns and  Lemaire twice.  The others were Alain Vigneault and Julien.

Viggo Mortensen & Kirsten Dunst Celebrate the Canadiens at Cannes France

………….According to the Yahoo-OMG! Entertainment Website, Hollywood’s Viggo Mortensen took his passion for the Canadiens to the Cannes Frances Film Festival this week.  While promoting his newest film “On the Road” Mortenson took advantage of a photo opportunity to unfurl the Canadiens colours.   Apparently he packs his Canadiens gear ahead of his best suit. Mortensen was invited to take part in the Canadiens 100th anniversary celebration at the Bell Centre three years ago.  To many of us, he seemed out of place standing with all of the those Canadiens Hall of Famers.   Still, no harm done.  Mortensen’s fascination with the Canadiens dates back to a family to upstate new York as a teenager in the 70’s.  In those days it was easy to be a fan of those Canadiens teams.   Not so easy to maintain that loyalty the last decade or so.  Mortensen won a Genie award last year for a David Cronenberg film and dedicated the award to the Canadiens .  “I thank David Cronenberg but I dedicate this award to the Montreal Canadiens. We’ll be back next year with a vengeance!”  Love his loyalty.