Carbo at 50: Looking ahead, still no answers

Former Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau, photographed last Saturday in the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast booth at the Bell Centre.
Dave Sidaway, Gazette

Gazette feature: On his 50th birthday, Carbonneau looks ahead and back

Texte en français: At CKAC Sports

Guy Carbonneau turns 50 on Thursday, happy with the many good things in his life.

And this birthday promises to be less eventful than No. 49.

A year ago to the day, Carbonneau sat before a news conference at the Bell Centre, nine days after he’d been fired as the Canadiens’ 28th head coach, a job he’d viewed as his destiny.

He answered questions for nearly an hour, addressing his dismissal by then GM Bob Gainey that had taken him and many others by surprise.

Today, Carbonneau is impressed by what he sees of his former team, for whom he played for a dozen years, served as captain and coached 230 games with a regular-season record of 124-83-23. He is busier than ever as a husband, father and grandfather of three who is moving painlessly on two new surgically replaced hips, serving as a Hockey Night in Canada analyst, starring in a TVA hockey reality show and soon heading to Belarus as head coach of Canada’s under-18 world championship team.

Good things in the present and the future. But Carbonneau still hasn’t gotten closure over his firing. He says his relationship has changed with Gainey, his former teammate and mentor in Dallas and Montreal who handpicked him to coach the Habs.

At the very least, the timing of the firing was puzzling: when Gainey pulled Carbonneau’s plug, alone or with pressure from above, the Canadiens were in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, having turned the corner from a horrible 1-11-3 skid in January/February, and Carbonneau, a finalist as NHL coach of the year the previous June, was only five months into a new three-year contract.

I sat Saturday at the Bell Centre with Carbonneau, who spoke at length about all of the above. There is no bitterness in him; he’s moved on and is loving his life. But he won’t lie to you – he was angry to be fired, and he still wouldn’t mind knowing the whole background behind his dismissal.


  1. EricInStL says:

    Sorry for the late reply but here it is



    it’s in french but it seems they have 2 to 3 solid sources….

    In Guy Boucher I trust.

  2. king ddd says:

    HOly s**& the guy was on crack.. i jus i magined benoit brunet doing that.. i cant stop laughing!

    .::moen & georges for co-captains::.

  3. crabvader says:

    In a year or two, there will be no more hockey because everything will be a suspension.

    Headshots are unnacceptable and should be automatically suspendable… but come on… every hit is turning into this huge ordeal.

    The concequence was worse than the actual hit. He got him face-to-face with that hit. Seabrook had his head down and Wisnewski was charging. It was a reckless play and if anything merited a double-minor or a major in my books.

    Until the instigator is removed, it is useless to suspend guys for every single hit.

  4. crabvader says:

    I don’t like the first paragraph of this analysis calling Wisnewski’s hit out for more than what it was. When I saw it, I automatically said: “Charging”.

    Now, I believe charging penalties should be more severe than two minutes but come the F on…

    Wisnewski stood up for his team mate Perry who actually was on the receiving end of a much more questionnable hit.

    I would never take Perry’s side after that crap he pulled on Markov and especially since Chicago is my home away from home and has always been my Western team… but I’m starting to get sick of every single hit being dissected now.

    Headshots deserve the suspension… but this was a smaller Wisnewski coming in for a retalitory play on Seabrook for almost ending Perry’s season.

    It’s hockey. One of your stars gets crushed, you never like to see it happen. Wisnewski hit him in a head-on collision… apply directly to the fore… ugh.

    A charging penalty was all I say. Sure, his hands were up high but so many hits that are actually legal often have the hands up high. This, in my opinion is a simple frustration play and wasn’t as vicious as this blogger has made it out to be.


  5. crabvader says:

    Absolutely amazing! When I checked, they were losing 4-1 in the 2nd.

    I check again this morning and I see 6-5 in a shootout! Crazy!

    What a team! PK with another 2 goals. Wow. That’s more than he had last year with Belleville.

    Also, Palushaj with a goal and assist, nice!

  6. HFX-HabFan says:

    A few thoughts:

    1- don’t you hate it when fellow Olympians fight?
    2- bad blood on Wiz’ end for Seabrook emerging as a top-level D-man in Chi-town which paved the way for him to be moved elsewhere?
    3- aren’t you thankful it wasn’t a Bruins player who hit Seabrook, which would have no doubt set off the embarassment to broadcasting otherwise known as Jack Edwards?

  7. CanadienBoy says:

    For all the Carbo talk good or bad ,after a good year the young player life style kill the team because the vets did not keep them grounded look at chicago limos.. pics.. off kane or phillys youngs core players living down town and bar hopping , it is the vets jobs to help  to keep them focus and out of trouble and bad press

  8. Malreg says:

    I wonder if the commentator still thought that when Seabrook left the game with a concussion?  He also said Seabrook delivered a head shot to Correy Perry right before that.  He hit Perry in the shoulder, which caused him to turn and hit his heard on the boards.

    I hate Wisniewski’s hit, because it’s totally not necessary.  He could have just stayed low and delivered a solid body check to the chest, instead he rises up, leaves his feet, and his forearm goes right into Seabrook’s face.  Definite suspension imo.

  9. andrewberkshire says:

    Same old tripe. Walk on.

  10. andrewberkshire says:

    Glad to see you woke up in time to shit one every second person’s posts. Always the contrarian. If you payed any attention to Hamilton’s games lately, you’d see that Weber has been getting better and contributing more offensively. 

  11. andrewberkshire says:

    You’re completely right, I’m ashamed I didn’t include him. Can’t believe I didn’t put his name on there!

  12. HugeHabsFan says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more AB.  Honestly, the whole “TSN quiz” thing is such a joke!  TSN, as we all know, is so biased to the Leafs, so why WOULDN’T they say Guillaume over Benoit?  It’s just a given and was a waste of air time, lol.

    ……….. “Thank you Cammy for making my day even more amazing!” I STILL BELIEVE. I WILL ALWAYS BELIEVE.

  13. G-Man says:

    That line was so good they were all gone at season’s end. 🙂

  14. G-Man says:

    Is “crative writing” when you’re writing and you’re boxed in?

  15. G-Man says:

    A quick survey of Montreal-area barbers reveals that 50% like Price, 50% like Halak. Their haircuts, that is.

  16. G-Man says:

    Doug Harvey belongs on that “best” list.

  17. nightmare_49 says:

    … Bulldogs storm back to beat Phantom 6-5 in a shootout / Hamilton Spectator  ………………  

  18. nightmare_49 says:

    … Wisniewski’s Head Hit on Seabrook …  (Duck’s color analyst thought Seabrook was selling it ? ? ? ) ………

  19. andrewberkshire says:

    Spacek would still be on his wrong side if paired with Markov, because there’s no way Markov is moving to the right side. It’ll probably look more like:

    Markov – O’Byrne

    Spacek – Subban

    Gill – Gorges


  20. christophor says:

    Metro played PP in Philly, maybe in Boston. Not an original idea

  21. shootdapuck says:

    Consider the SOURCE!

    Its TSN, half the votes were no doubt cast by LAFF trolls!



    “The three stars as selected by Red Fisher of the Montreal Star:
    1st star: Henri Richard
    2nd Star: Doug Harvey
    3rd Star: Jacques Plante

    Final score Detroit Red Wings 5 Montreal Canadiens 3”

  22. christophor says:


    A comment on future defence:

    For next year, assuming Hammer wont be back (though it will be hard to unload his contract), I think we could see Spacek moved back to his natural side of the ice and paired with Markov. Hear me out. People hate him for some reason because they expected more production. He’ll be at that level with Markov, who he was expected to play with this year, and he will be on his natural side. Also, his plus minus is great, so he’s a conservative complement to Markov if necessary. 

    This wont take away from OB, since I can see him paired with Gill on the 3rd string as a dynamic shut down duo. Martin uses all his D almost equally, so OB will be getting almost 20 min anyways.

    Also, this leaves us with a very good second pair in PK and Georges. Georges being able to steady the back end behind PKs rushing style (and chipping in a bit offensively too).

    This looks just fine to me. I actually think it looks excellent if they all stay healthy and the pairs stay together and get used to each other through a full year. Webber would be playing as the 7th D. He hasn’t been too impressive but still has the potential to have a rocket of a right-handed shot. He might need one more year in Hamilton and I think PK being gone gives him a chance to run the show and learn how to quarterback a powerplay even more (with some stints with the big club to showcase what he’s learned).





  23. likehoy says:

    i have to say the quiz is stupid (it’s more of a survey!! since there’s no right answer) but pierre mcguire used to rag on guillaume latendresse and how bad of a player he was, and now he turns tail and says he’s a good player once he’s no longer a montreal canadien.

    – Team Halak V.S. Team Price…Montreal Canadiens Fans are similar to 14 year-old Girls going through Puberty.

  24. Say Ash says:

    Finding out what REALLY happened to Carbo – it’s like waiting for the JFK files to come out…Mario Tremblay behind the grassy knoll…

  25. ManApart says:

    We won the trade because Gui didn’t do anything here. Minny won the trade, from their perspective, for the same reason. Pouliot was an AHL player with MInny. Now they have a guy who is on pace for 40+. I’m  sure both sides are very happy.

  26. ManApart says:

    Guy exploded in Minny, no doubt, but we got a very good player in our own right. No matter how good gui is doing, The habs are bettre off because they improved. Nobody can say Price would flourish elsewhere more than he has here. Pure speculation.

  27. Ayan_SB says:

    I was just about to say what Andrew posted. Jesus H. Christ, I still remember McGuire saying that.

    Do they take ever questions when he goes on the radio? I’ll bring that up one of these days.

  28. Bugs says:

    Feh. Mais c’est rien du tout, ça.

    Dubiously unequivocal, know me as

    L.B. Potter, esq. First Bugler of the St-Habberson’s Club Red Brigade and Head Coachman to the President of Habsbros Flannel-weaving Services:

  29. Chris says:

    Was just about to fix that. This is what happens when you post tired. 🙂

    But definitely thanks for the correction.

  30. ZepFan2 says:

    Pouliot was drafted 4th overall. Carey Price was 5th.


    Fans are great, but the quickest way to start losing is to listen to them.”
    – Sam Pollock

  31. Ayan_SB says:

    Do they speak English in “what”?!?

  32. Habhopeful says:

    Heres a funny video I happened to find…


    Strong language though…If your offended by Samuel L Jackson…I suggest ya dont click the link…

    “I went to see a fight the other night…And A hockey game broke out!” ~Rodney Dangerfield~

  33. SeriousFan09 says:

    The debate is always about the goaltending in Montreal, but so many forget the Canadiens always had a great defence for their years as a dynasty team. Subban and Markov would give us one of the most skilled Top-4 units we’ve seen in well over a decade. O’Byrne enjoying the Markov factor helps a lot for his development as well, you can see it in the way he plays lately.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  34. POPS says:

    Finally….some sense!

  35. POPS says:

    Really can’t stand McGuire!  He was the same spineless jellyfish that ripped Gainey for not getting O. Jokinen at last season’s trade deadline.  What does he think NOW!  I wish the Habs had a Ewen/Nilan type that would crush Latendresse the next time the Habs face Minny.  Latendresse could never make it here and he did not LOVE this organization!  He was too busy worrying about himself and I am sad to say that Lapierre is next!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Ayan_SB says:

    Haha I bet that guys came like 5 times. And that was probably just on the first goal.

  37. andrewberkshire says:

    I don’t think there’s ever been a top 3 as good as those 3 in the NHL. Robinson to me is right there with Orr, Bourque and Lidstrom as one of the best defensemen of all time, so you could take every defenseman Toronto has signed and combine them and still never tie Robinson’s skates.

  38. SeriousFan09 says:

    Technically it was Schenn, Komi, Beauchemain and Kaberle, the “Big Four” he called them, comparing them to the Big Three, which is insane as they were one of the best defensive units in NHL history, if not the best.

    Not a single one of them is fit to tie Robinson’s skates. I always think of him as the Canadiens most complete defencemen ever for all of the elements he brought as a player. Savard was the first defencemen to winn Conn Smythe and Guy Lapointe was a scoring dynamo from the back end. You could combine the skills of three of those Leafs and you couldn’t equal what one of those guys brought to a game.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  39. Propwash says:



    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  40. andrewberkshire says:

    Gotta find something to bitch about during the winning streak. I heard Price made fun of Halak’s haircut, he must be a bad team player.

  41. andrewberkshire says:

    Could be done easily with a bit of research, especially with PVR technology these days. I’d like to see it thrown in McGuire’s face that he said Beauchemin, Komisarek and Kaberle were as good as Robinson, Savard and Lapointe.

  42. andrewberkshire says:

    We’ve won several trades under the Gainey regime, the Kovalev trade was also a massive win.

  43. andrewberkshire says:

    Good post Chris, I tend to agree that it was a bit of both.

  44. king ddd says:

    i really hope so dude cuz all the bloody trade MTL makes except the one for rivet(props gainey, couldve been dbl probs if he wouldve landed perron instead of 67) does not go our ways. and i agree with the first guy replied my post i hope people would shut up about  price or else hes gonna get traded and will eventuallly burn this league

    .::moen & georges for co-captains::.

  45. SeriousFan09 says:

    I really wish Mitch Melnyk on Team 990 would record Pierre saying something about a player and then play it back to him six months later when he completely reverses his position. Would be nice to see him called out as a two-faced twit for once.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  46. ooder says:

    wasn’t he the one who stole the puck from the rangers causing 4 of them to go defend them drawing a penalty?


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  47. habsguy says:

    EVERYONE here wanted Gui gone,  thay all got their wish, now the same thing is happening to Carey.  Be careful what you wish for!!!!

  48. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Guy and Bob were the 2 greatest defensive forwards I have seen, whether as a Hab or otherwise …there were at least 2 Cups We would not possess now if it were not for Guy Carbonneau

    …yet, it was a nightmare season last year, and I still find it difficult to decide if Guy was part of the problem, or it’s victim of a very toxic Player malaise

    …IMO, I believe it was a bit of both

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  49. SeriousFan09 says:

    He scores 14 goals in 28 games and we’ve got people questioning his commitment already… In-freakin’-credible.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  50. Harani says:

    Renaud Lavoie just posted this video on RDS as a response to those who think the Benoit Brunet favors the Habs in his commentary. The man in the video is HILARIOUS! I spit my coffee. Worth the click!

    “I gotta a feeling…that tonight’s gonna be a good night!”

  51. ooder says:

    all i am saying is that lets not portray carbo as some god send coach from above.

    ya he did well with a team, that had 0 injuries all year and a line that happened to catch fire.

    defensively we still stunk, and gave up 40+ shots a game.

    he did some things well, but common guys. when the going got tough, well the habs didn’t get going


    “I like what I’m seeing right now,” assessed Markov. “We’re not perfect, but we’re trying to be.”

  52. andrewberkshire says:

    I find it funny that the same guys who are lauding Latendresse are the guys who were saying he was trash 20 games into the season, and would be a career AHLer. McGuire especially. Watching Pouliot play every game, we win that trade on skating ability and defensive responsibility alone. Think you’ll ever see Latendresse killing a penalty? No way.

  53. Mattyleg says:

    At 3:14.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  54. TheIndian says:

    or it could be other way around

  55. SeriousFan09 says:

    It’s TSN, to hell with them. Gui will come back down after he secures his new contract and will do the Ryder thing likely, or just fall apart the next time Havlat is injured, whichever comes first. Pouliot has speed, hands and size, he’s got better ability than Gui in every category. Pouliot’s stats are excellent considering his limited time in the NHL as well. He misses scoring chances in a couple of games and suddenly everyone questions him? It’s not like he can score each and every game.


    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu.

  56. Bugs says:

    Carbo was also the first to put Metro on the PP…

    What does “losing the discipline” mean? You mean he shoulda been a better nanny and follow the Ks around at night? Or do you mean he lost the room? As in, where those players are playing now, their new coach is getting the BEST outta them? Please.

    He did his best; it didn’t work out. I don’t remember all this double-talk when he guided the team to 1st smurfin place and was a Jack Adams candidate. Or…did he not have anything to do with that?

    I agreed with Carbo and Muller: if THEY had been on the ice, Philly wouldn’t’ve intimidated anybody. And that’s ALL that series was about, as they were neatly trashed by Pitt subsequently.

    Carbo couldn’t “grow a pair” for’em all, could he? And he left with a WINNING record.

    Carbo did just fine, thank you very much. And I hope his U-18 team kicks all sorts of hell outta the opposition in Belarus. Line juggling and adaptation problems he may have and all.

    Dubiously unequivocal, know me as

    L.B. Potter, esq. First Bugler of the St-Habberson’s Club Red Brigade and Head Coachman to the President of Habsbros Flannel-weaving Services:

  57. habsguy says:

    Crawford ordered Bert to go break his neck?????……Really,  he said sucker punch him from behind and break his neck..LOLOLOL…..or did he maybe say lets pay Moore a little extra attention….now thats funny!!!

  58. king ddd says:

    on tsn quiz show today they asked which of the the players would you take for the rest of your career. a) gui b) mueller c) benny  all of them voted for gui. and i hate to say it but i may have to agree, but i hope benny can prove me and tsn wrong,, good for gui but imagine how it would be if gui becomes a leclaire and benny ends up a one hit wonder



    .::moen & georges for co-captains::.

  59. HabFanSince72 says:

    Carbo also rarely stood up for his players. He always had a scapegoat handy when things didn’t go well. Sometimes his scapegoating hurt the team (e.g. benching Kovalev during a powerplay in the last two min of a game).

    I remember when we lost, Carbo’s press confrences always referred to the fact that “they” (the Habs) played poorly. When Gainey took over it was always “we”.

    (OK they still played poorly with Gainey but you get my drift…)


  60. Chris says:

    Which site is that?

  61. deuce6 says:

    Pouliot’s game has slipped, as of late..I am worried he is starting to go into the “relaxed” mindset he had in Minny..

    He hasn’t been hitting and causing turnovers in the offensive zone..He hasn’t been camping in front of the net, but preferring to stay high in the slot, (Not willing to get his nose dirty)..

    He looks as though he lost an edge he had earlier..I hope he snaps out of it or this trade would work entirely in Minny’s favor..

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