Gauthier is gone


The Canadiens have fired general manager Pierre Gauthier.
Principal owner Geoff Molson will meet the media at 11:45 Thursday morning at the Canadiens training complex in Brossard.
HIO will be there.
More later.

Media hordes are swarming in Brossard and the lines are blazing on all-sports radio.

Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated told CJAD listeners the primary criterion of a new GM is “smarts”. Quite aprt from language and the other peculiarities of the Montreal market, running a hockey team in 2012 is a tough gig.

Long gone are the days when the NHL was Sam Pollock and the Five Dwarfs.

The new man will have to be sharp … and he’ll need help, because running the Canadiens is not the one-man job Pierre Gauthier tried to pull off.

The question, as we await Molson’s remarks: What happens to the other guy in the front office?

What happens to Bob Gainey, architect of so much of the current misery (Gomez in, McDonagh out … to cite just one case)?

Given the timing of Gauthier’s sacking, will Molson appoint an interim GM?

And will Gainey be the man?

Answers to come … soon.


  1. doogie says:

    Julien Brisbois

    * * * * * * *

    Need to get my clubs ready for the golf season since there ain’t gonna be any playoffs!

  2. blu_blanc_rouge says:

    I tweeted the following to Geoff Molson on January 20th:

    @BigZee1222: @GMolsonCHC Mr Molson please bring in Serge Savard as the one to choose the next General Manager… He is intelligent, respected and classy.

    …I guess he listened.

  3. gerrybell says:

    i think we should have waited and fired PG during the second intermission of the Ranger game tomorrow.


  4. Top Corner says:

    Yessss !!!!!!!!!!

  5. HabsFanMTL says:

    quite frankly i don’:t want to see Carbonneau back as coach. I still remember when he was on a long losing streak and was asked by media what he was going to do, he shook his head and said he was lost for words and quite frankly didn’t know what to do……he looked like a rookie coach who had no game plan to fix anything, thx but no thx guy. And when he was fired and tried going back to coach in minors to redeem himself he did poorly there to, no way do i want him back as our coach ty

  6. Stev.R says:

    The legacy of PG/BG:

    11/12: Worst record in history. Lead league in injuries during a period when our AHL affiliate was weak. Several underperforming players. Bad start to season. PP suddenly drying up.

    10/11: Lead league in injuries. 2nd in NE. Lost to Boston in OT of game 7.

    09/10: Lead league in injuries. Lost in third round of playoffs after bringing in 12 new roster players.

    08/09: 1st in East until Feb. Every important player gets injured. Finish second in NE. Lose in 1st round.

    07/08: Finished 1 in East. Lost in second round.

    06/07: Missed the play offs due to the last game of the season.

    05/06: Lost to eventual Champions in first round.

    04/05: Lockout

    03/04: Lost in second round. to eventual Champions.

    playoffs: 6/8
    1 conference title.
    Twice to the second round.
    Once to the third round.

    Pretty decent when you remember they missed the playoffs 4/5 times before they arrived.

  7. JohnBellyful says:

    Man oh man, as if we needed further proof of how much power we fans wield: First we got rid of the problematic Pearn, put the boots to the stolid Martin, dispatched two superannuated D, Gill and Spacek, shoved off an underperforming Cammy and an inconsistent AK, and now we’ve engineered the departure of the Gauthier the Loathed and Gainey the Influential.
    Who’s next on our HIoT list? Cunneyworth?
    And why is our extraordinary ability to effect change rendered useless when it comes to ridding the team of Gomez? Is he the kryptonite to our super powers?

  8. The Dude says:

    Just heard the inevitably great news…THANK YOU MOLSONS!

  9. joeybarrie says:

    Bilingual GM or not?
    The best comment I heard about this was something along the lines of let the people keep the culture alive. Its not something you can force. All that does is limit our options.
    The new GM can learn French if they want to. We had an American owner. We have an American Captain. Our two highest scorers are American and we love them like we do our own family.
    Keep hockey out of a political issue. The NHL consists of hockey players from around the world.
    They do not give out Stanley Cups for being good at interviews.
    Get a translator. Get the best person for the job. Get us a Cup. Let them speak Albanian for all I care. We are a country and Province founded by foreigners anyways.
    Good players, and good deals…. Who really cares if they are able to do an interview with The Gazette and Le Journal. The media are the only ones who care. They are the ones who stir the pot, and the political leaders use it as an opportunity.
    It was said we used to live our lives in 3 places. The school, the church and the hockey rink. Well the last time I visited my hometown, there were a lot of people doing a lot of different things. Its not 1945. We must adapt to the times. Limiting our players, coaches and management will only hurt us. I am sorry to be so brunt… BUT MONTREAL IS NOT ONLY KNOWN AND SHOULD NEVER BE LIMITED TO BEING BILINGUAL.
    We are successful as the best city in the world, to me, because of the wonderful richness and heritage we all share. We have the best food in the world and its not limited to POUTINE AND CHIEN CHAUDE.
    We are a wordly city that is attractive to all.
    Why do we insist of sheltering ourselves? Walk around, talk to people. MOST are from many different countries speaking many different languages. Greek, Italian, Irish, Chinese, Indian, and the list goes on and on.
    Let us CHOOSE.
    We are not a people who FORCE.
    Hockey is a sport. It is not bound by language. Why make it so in only Montreal.
    We wonder why so many talented French Canadien hockey players play out of our market. Cause we expect things of them based on the language they speak, and not the talent they have inside.
    Molson himself is in a joint venture with Coors to make them a better Company.
    Language does not win Hockey Games.

  10. kerrgte says:

    there are lots of candidates – but 1 step at a time

    i expect larry carriere to fill in for a while.

    this move comes at the right time – before the draft. Potential ufa’s will look more favourably at a team with a credible management.

    the team will be better next year anyway with the return of gionta and moen. Add a hot ufa and we’ll be in the mid-range again.

    also say good-bye to Randy C and the other coaching staff.

  11. Jdub1985 says:

    Scotty Bowman… Scotty Bowman … Scotty Bowman

  12. habsfan0 says:

    Why wasn’t Boone at this press conference grilling Molson as to why he forced Gazette to change name of “habsinsideout” to “hockeyinsideout”?

    Would have loved to see Molson squirm about that one.

  13. pmaraw says:

    we should start a petition to get hard habits a job interview!

  14. durocher says:

    My early vote: Marc Bergevin — assistant GM with the Blackhawks. He replaced Cheveldayoff when he went to be the GM of the Jets. Bervegin is a homeboy (French-Canadian), and he worked his way up through the Hawks’ organization — he was pro scout, and then director of player personnel (the equivalent of Trevor Timmins’ position), before being elevated to assistant GM. He was with the Hawks when they won a Cup in 2010.

    The Hawks are a model organization in many respects, with their young core (Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook), vets (Hossa, Sharp), other up and coming talent (Leddy, Frolick, Bolland). They will be competitive for years.

    Bergevin is rather young for a GM (46), and as such can build a long-term relationship with the Habs and give us the stability that Molson spoke about. Perhaps Serge can remain on as his consigliere.

    My vote for coach: Roy, with experienced coaches (Hartley, Crawford, Robinson?) as his assistants. Roy has a “winning culture,” and the drive, passion, and energy we need. He is also proven as a junior coach, winning the Memorial Cup.

    I also hope we draft Grigorenko, who plays for Roy now, and could help give us strength at center. He’s apparently NHL-ready, and we could use all the help we could get at this point.

    It’s a good day for our franchise. Go Habs Go!

    • AllHailTheFlower says:

      I’ve heard Bergevin’s name circulated before, and he seems to be well thought of and respected in the hockey world, so I’d be on board with that. But I think my views on Roy having any renewed affiliation with this organization are already known on HIO, so I’ll leave it at, “Non, merci.”

  15. AH says:

    So how many of you would want to be in Molson`s shoes right now making this decision?? Last cup 1993, pretty much crap since then culminating in this sorry season. It`s crossroads time for the Habs. Given the state of hockey now with the cap, parity, the KHL, the upcoming CBA, etc., and in Montreal, the fire breathing fanbase, language issue, French media. We all have our rants and opinions, but THIS DECISION IS HUGE for the future success and direction of this once great organization. I really hope they don`t screw it up.

    Good luck Geoff and Serge…

  16. HankHardball says:

    The Mcguire possibility makes me think of his advisor, Scotty Bowman.
    Who, of course, was one of the most successful coaches in Canadiens history.
    2nd only to Toe Blake, maybe.

    It’s hard to believe that one of the coaches most responsible for the Canadiens legacy (5 of the 24 Stanley Cups) would not qualify to coach the team today.

  17. durocher says:

    USA Today published a list of people who would make good GMs:

    1. Jim Nill (Detroit assistant GM)
    2. Jason Botterill (Pittsburgh assistant GM)
    3. Julien BriseBois (Tampa Bay assistant GM)
    4. Pat Brisson (agent)
    5. Pierre McGuire (NBC broadcaster)
    6. Brad Treliving (Phoenix assistant GM)
    7. Laurence Gilman (Vancouver assistant GM and director of hockey operations)
    8. Ron Hextall (Los Angeles vice president and asssitant GM)
    9. Claude Loiselle (Toronto assistant GM)
    10. Mike Santos (Florida assistant GM)
    11. Ricky Olczyk (Edmonton assistant GM and director of hockey operations)
    12. Matt Keator (player agent)
    13 Paul Fenton (Nashville assistant GM)
    14. Kris Draper (Detroit special assistant to GM Ken Holland)
    15. Jim Johannson (USA Hockey assistant executive director)

  18. habsfan0 says:

    Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson spends millions on free agents.

    Habs owner Geoff Molson says he’ll hire “best” person for job.

    I’m not sure, but I think hell just froze over.

  19. Hammer says:

    Last time I looked competence did not have an official language!!

  20. blu_blanc_rouge says:

    This is what I tweeted to Mr Molson on January 20th

    @BigZee1222: @GMolsonCHC Mr Molson please bring in Serge Savard as the one to choose the next General Manager… He is intelligent, respected and classy.”

    I guess he listened..

  21. secretdragonfly says:

    With the departure of Gainey, I wonder if Carbonneau will be considered for the coaching job again? Not saying he would be the best candidate but I remember reading that to this day, he still does not know why Gainey fired him and that effectively ended their friendship.

  22. The Jackal says:

    I hope the next GM gets a good amount of time to prove himself, like that Globe and Mail article suggested, it takes time for GMs to make their mark. Not saying we should have kept the Goat, but the next GM should be allowed to have that benefit of the doubts and not be afraid to make moves for fear of being hanged the next day.

  23. slamtherimtim says:

    tampa aint doing that well , why would we want someone from there , we need a fresh start , please stop the boucher talk

  24. Cal says:

    So, like, when’s Burkie walking the plank?

  25. Kfourn says:

    Oh please don’t let the next GM be Mcguire, Damphouse or Roy.

    I would love to see Brisbois as GM

    • athanor says:

      I don’t know how Damphousse would be as a GM, but he is to me one of the most impressive panelists on l’antichambre.

      He had taken reasonable positions — as on Cunneyworth’s not speaking French, for example — and doesn’t feel the need to shout to make them heard.

      If he has some hockey business acumen, and interest, he might be worth a look.

  26. boing007 says:

    Gau-ing Gau-ing… Gone!

    Richard R

  27. Mattyleg says:

    Still don’t get the dislike of Gainey.
    He built a team to succeed in the post-lockout NHL, and it worked very well until the NHL decided to change their resolution and brought back thuggery.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • FlyingFrenchie says:

      For some of us, success means winning the Stanley Cup.
      How many did Bob win here in Montreal?
      He may as well been working in Toronto.

      • Mattyleg says:

        So by that mentality, Pat Burns was a miserable failure.
        You (and the people you claim to speak for) have a very narrow and blinkered view of success.
        Should we fire the management and all the players every time we don’t win the Stanley Cup?
        Gimme a break…

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Crazy comment because you have to think further than your nose. Gainey actually brought a crap team to respectable, including first place in the conference. Agreed the job was not complete, but he improved the team and stacked the cupboards as well.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

        • FlyingFrenchie says:

          If the cupboards were stacked, who stole the dishes.
          It really comes down to what success means to each of us.
          IF you’re a Leaf’s fan, reaching the playoffs is like a Stanley Cup victory.
          For many of us older Hab’s fans… Anything less than winning a Stanley Cup was considered a failure.
          That mindset made this organization the best.
          I think Sam Pollock would agree with me on that. God rest his soul.

    • Ali says:

      -He traded away a top flight prospect in Mcdonagh while getting the cap-strangling Gomez contract, allowing the Rangers the capspace to sign Gaborik. Every other deal in the NHL since the cap was instituted has seen the team getting the bad contract get another blue-chip asset as well for taking on the burden. (the Malakhov trade between Jersey and San Jose, the Giguere trade between Anaheim and Toronto, the Lupul trade to Toronto, the Lombardi trade to Toronto).
      -He refused to see that having pretty much your entire team be a free agent at the end of the season was a catalyst for disaster. -He refused to trade free agents he knew they wouldn’t resign, losing assets for nothing.
      -He engineered the timing of his own departure to make sure his sidekick got the job instead of letting the best man be chosen.

      • Mattyleg says:

        I disagree with pretty much everything that you wrote, but I don’t have the time to go into it.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • LA Loyalist says:

        And if all that wasn’t enough, he gave us Jacques ‘sound the retreat’ Martin.

        Bob Gainey will always deserve every honor as a player and a man and for what he did in Dallas. I was so happy the day he took over the Habs.

        But… by any objective view his “putsch” rebuild was a train wreck for which we are still suffering and will suffer a while yet. We have no cushion for further error.

        This time we have to get it right.

        • The Jackal says:

          Well he also gave us a magical playoff run not too long ago with an overachieving team, courtesy of BG and JM. And in retrospect we can see JM was not even the problem here. So…. yeah BG may not have been that successful but I don’t think we can call him a failure.

    • The Jackal says:

      It’s certainly misguided in a way. Gainey is a great guy who tried hard and unfortunately it did not work out as GM, he admitted that by stepping down and giving the reigns to someone else. Because of the Gomez trade some people like to crap on him and assume he is behind the stage pulling the strings somehow… Yeah Gainey would like the Gomez trade back, but he also made some good moves, like sticking with Carey, and changing the mentality of the players. Before he was GM he also had a storied career with the Habs, lets not forget that!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Matty me too. I am sad that BG has stepped down. Can’t help but think that the change in the game from speed, wide open and no clutching to Lessing if these post lockout moves hurt his rebuild. Then, the tragic loss of his daughter would kill any spark in any of us. I hope he finds peace in whatever he decided to do moving forward. For me, he’ll always be number 23.

  28. HabsFansince49 says:

    Just listened to Geoff Molson’s media presentation. He rekindled my faith in his ownership. Has to be applauded.

  29. Now, if they could only get Jack Edwards to replace Randorf… Could you imagine Edwards calling a Habs game? But for the GOOD GUYS.

  30. Ali says:

    Serge Savard on the next GM:”he will speak french.”.

    Oh come on, it hasn’t even been an hour since Molson said they’re hiring the best guy! Make up your damn minds!

  31. habsfaninboston says:

    Thank you Mr. Molson. I will start buying your products again.

  32. MontrealAtheist says:

    Best news I heard in a long time … Gainey and Gauthier both finally gone. Gauthier should never have been appointed GM anyway, he was simply chosen by BG so that Bob could still exercise his influence over the team … PG never had any credentials himself that would justify managing an NHL team, or even an AHL team for that matter.

  33. Phil C says:

    WRT timing, once the decision to fire the GM is made, very little can be gained by waiting. The team is on the cusp of a major rebuild with a very important draft on the horizon as well an important free agency period. Giving the new GM 10 more days to get organized, set priorities, and provide direction was not only smart, but critical to success. The owner is being more courteous to the incoming GM rather than to the outgoing GM. Class is a matter of perspective in this case. The team should come first.

  34. AH says:

    My sportsworld is finally starting to emerge slowly out from under its black cloud; my man Tiger wins again in convincing fashion, and now Gainey and Gauthier are finally gone, yes!

  35. Stev.R says:

    GMs worse than Gauthier who still have a job:
    Garth Snow
    Brian Burke
    Scott Howsen
    George Mcphee
    Steve Tambellini
    Jay Feaster
    Greg Sherman

    The best one’s with a job:
    David Poile
    Dave Tallon
    Ken Holland
    Ray Shero
    Doug Armstrong

    List of possible Candidates (help me out here):
    Julien Brisebois
    Pierre Lacroix
    Patrick Roy
    Marc Bergevin
    Claude Loiselle
    Irving Grundman

  36. alwayssunny says:

    I heard Pat Hickey and some hockey commentators from around the league say that the blood went into the water when The Goat made the Kaberle deal. This confused me because when I read the great hockey analysts who comment here, I’m told that was a great deal. Solid acquisition. Half a point a game, says it all. Can’t argue with results.

  37. Cal says:

    Serge Savard as special advisor. +2012.
    The idea that going for the Cup is the goal each and every season? + 2012.
    Let’s hope the hockey decisions are wise ones. The search for a competent GM and coaching begins today!

  38. ogilthorpe says:

    Agree… BUT bilingualism should NOT be first qualification …. The best for the job is first… Language lessons. If it comes to that… Will and should be on the list

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