Multimedia: Martin out, Cunneyworth in as Habs fire head coach

Randy Cunneyworth

New Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth – interim or longer – at his Bell Centre news conference at noon-hour Saturday.
John Kenney, Gazette

“11th place is what went wrong. It’s definitely a shared responsibility.”
– Mike Cammalleri

“We didn’t play well …” – Josh Gorges

“It’s a wake-up call and an opportunity to turn things around …” – Chris Campoli

“It’s the old story: easier to change the coach than change the players …” – Lars Eller

“Too often, even when getting points, our ewvaluation of games revealed we didn’t play well ..” – Pierre Gauthier

“We have to get back to doing things the players are capable of …” – Randy Cunneyworth

• AUDIO: Pierre Gauthier/Randy Cunneyworth press conference

PLAYERS AUDIO: Brian Gionta | Hal Gill | Michael Cammalleri | Josh Gorges | P.K. Subban | Chris Campoli

ARCHIVED AUDIO: Jacques Martin, from Nov. 18, 2011 1-on-1 with HIO’s Dave Stubbs


•  •  •

As we broke the news on Twitter at 9:50 a.m., the Canadiens fired head coach Jacques Martin this morning, replacing him through the end of this season with assistant coach Randy Cunneyworth.

Players were informed by GM Pierre Gauthier upon arriving at morning skate at the Bell Centre. Gauthier and Cunneyworth will speak to the media at the Bell at noon ET.

Assistant GM Larry Carrière will become an assistant coach, also through the end of the year.

Martin notes: Became the Canadiens head coach on June 1, 2009… Was nominated for the Jack Adams Award four times, winning it in 1998-99… Ranks 7th in league history with 1,294 games as a head coach and 9th for wins (613)… Coached his 1,200th NHL game on Nov. 20 against the Toronto Maple Leafs… Recorded his 600th NHL career win on April 9 against the Maple Leafs at Toronto… Has a career winning-record of 613-481-119-81 (.551)… Displays a 22-34-6 (.403) career record as head coach against the Devils.


  1. MrNax says:

    JM did the best he could given his hockey knewledge and the players on the roster. That being said, I think this team is capable of doing much more. Not only do I think they can turn the year around and make the playoffs, but I also think they can give any team in the league a run for their money. JM’s system CLEARLY didn’t fit the style of players he had before him.

  2. Caper says:

    We can never complain about being bored in Habland. Lots of changes coming in the next 3-8 months. This will be a different organization at the start of next season.

  3. immortalhab says:

    Neutral, you are aptly named. Great coaches have been able to make great teams out of garbage– because they know how to encourage and inspire. And Mtl has demonstrated some brilliant talent on few occasions this year.

    People, stop using injuries to defend JM. Look at the Penguins.

    • MrNax says:

      Look at the Flyers!

    • TomNickle says:

      The Penguins have done no better in the grand scheme of things without Crosby than the Habs have without Markov.

      And the Flyers with and without Pronger.

      I agree with the move to fire Martin but the injury justification for not winning a Stanley Cup is fair. Think Boston would have won it without Chara?

  4. mrhabby says:

    lets not overlook Larry C the new ass’t coach to Randy. As a few posters have mentioned hopefully there will be an evaluation of talent through the rest of the season and we may even see some big moves.
    To me its a shared problem..surely martin cannot be blamed for all the issues. he coachs what has been given to him.
    I see Eric Cole has played like a beast in the system..why others can’t is odd.
    I would like to see the players just play to there strengths what ever that is and enjoy the game…. let the chips fall.

    • likehoy says:

      well defensively, erik cole wasn’t great.. but cause he was scoring and actually driving the net, that fits in any system

      *Ahem cammalleri*

      – If the NHL was the Wizard of Oz, Cammalleri would be the Cowardly Lion.

  5. immortalhab says:

    People are starting to be too nice to JM. I’m not going to restate all the screwups he made here because there isn’t enough room in cyberspace. JM and Irving Grundman can spend eternity having boring sex with each other for all I care.

    I think RC deserves a chance. Some posters will start whining ‘we’re doomed’ after the first face-off we lose tonight with RC as the boss. Before you start crying its over, just remember he has a lot of (deleted) to fix. Plus the vets have a lot of pull and unlike JM, RC is not likely to be playing Sodoku during the game, so who knows what kind of flak he’ll get from carte Blanche holders like Leadfoot Gill and Nomez. Give him a chance!

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Did a quick check of RC’s coaching career. 8 years AHL head coach 2 years asst. Atlanta NHL , so he does have experience. RDS must be pissed off to no end as they were not able to hire a French coach. Quick note re: KM, who when he left the Habs the reason was probably that we had a very good team on paper and JM was going to be here a while so the chance of him moving into the Head Coach job seemed remote so it was time to move on. Who could have guessed.

      Mr. Biter

  6. billylove says:

    Had resigned myself to having JM behind the bench for the entire season. I’m thrilled! Sure, I would have preferred it happen sooner but it’s finally done. Will it result in more wins? Maybe, maybe not. It might even backfire and lead to a complete meltdown. Bottom line; something had to be done and taking a risk is more than justified. A solid effort producing a win tonight will signal the player’s approval of the change. GO HABS!

  7. Neutral says:

    I’ve always said – in most cases a coach is as good as the product he has to work with – sort’a like a carpenter – he’s as good as the wood he has to with work – when I look at the Habs – we have a team with 7 good forwards not exceptional – an inexperience defence – goaltending great at times – yes we’ve had injuries – so have other teams that are in a playoff position – when you sum it up – mr. cunneyworth has his job cut out for him and honestly – I’m not looking for a big improvement – you can’t improve what you don’t have – most of the teams in the eastern conference made moves to improve their teams during the off season the Habs made one Cole with the exception of two rookie defencemen – so far Cole has been a good individual one other than that take it for what it’s worth….

  8. 100HABS says:

    Who are the six players Randy talked to in confidence this morning?

  9. Caper says:

    Perhaps PK will be allowed to be PK. Why Martin stopped doing the things that made the team successful makes no sense. However, Goatier didn’t exactly do a great job replacing The Wiz and Hammer.

  10. badbalance says:

    I heard Milbury was available.

  11. durocher says:

    More from LeBrun:

    “I think that Kaberle contract ($4.25 million a year for two more seasons past this year) will represent another failure on Gauthier’s part. The Habs have a shot at a playoff spot because of the mediocrity at the bottom end of the Eastern Conference playoff bracket and having Carey Price in goal. But I wouldn’t bet any of my money on it.”

    • nellis13 says:

      we have a lot of players that could be great again. we just need more grit to fill in. i think PG made a lot of mistakes but getting eric cole makes up for a lot of them (not all). look what happens when you put DD with cole. DD’s a rock star all of a sudden. why? because he has room. the lines need to be balance. you can’t have 550 pound lines. another trade or two could really change the chemistry of this team. that’s PG’s test.

  12. EricInStL says:

    The nail in the coffin was benching the next hope in the 3rd. What was he thinking ? Was he thinking ?

    Louis Leblanc = $$$$ from jersey sales, Geoff was not happy.

    Now, anyone who thinks this group will be there after the end of the season will be disappointed. This group will not make the playoffs.

    The Canadiens need a management team that can and must take a bunch of rookies (the next batch looks very promising in terms of offense) and develop them, in an offensive system.

    I still think McGuire as GM + a young coach to go with the rookies is the way to go.

    • If Mcguire was as good as you think, he’d be back in the NHL years ago.The fact that he went this long between jobs tells me that no one is interested in his opinion (other than TSn and NBC).

      Shane Oliver
      Brandon, MB,Canada
      R7B 2R7
      Ph- 204 724 8418

      • EricInStL says:

        Maybe, but from what we hear he’s close with Molson. We need passion and a love for the Canadiens.

        Anyway we’ll see. But I do hope they bring someone who believes in an offensive system.

      • habs12 says:

        The reason why he isnt back in the nhl is because owners dont like being told what to do. Mcguire is very radical in his decision making and his philosophy. Any team he takes over would probably see huge player and personnel changes to follow. The problem is finding the right owner that trusts and gives him full responsibility and enough faith to make the decisions he deems necessary. If Molson and him are close, which seems to be the case, it might be the type of relationship necessary to turn this team around, and also prove that Mcguire does have more potential then an analyst on TSN and NBC like you have suggested.

    • nellis13 says:

      not only did he bench him, he blamed the loss the the young players. they need confidence, not insecurity.

      BTW which would you say PK’s been playing with this season?

      • Mr. Biter says:

        I may not have agreed with all of JM’s decisions, however in all major sport leagues unless you are the superstar of the team but mostly with younger players if you screw up you warm the bench for the next few shifts or series of downs etc. It’s a learning curve where if you screw up you sit.

        Mr. Biter

    • savethepuck says:

      I read a post on here before that the only thing Pierre McGuire has ever done successfully in his NHL carrer is opening the door on the bench for Lemieux and Jagr to get a couple of ruings. I agree with that assessment morre than ever wanting him in this organization.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

    • Seps says:

      First off, to put this into contrast, Toronto has had a great start, 35 pts, 6th place. Habs have had a horrid start, 33 pts, 11th place. We are only 2 pts out of 6th, so one win and we’re in a playoff spot and you’re writing off the team? As long as #31 is in our net, playoffs are always a posibility.

      Are you actually serious about McGuire? As in Pierre? Just because he knows every players junior career inside and out, doesnt mean hed be a good GM. Infact he’d probably annoy the players so much they would request trades so they wouldnt have to talk to him.

  13. durocher says:

    LeBrun today: “If it was me, I would make a GM change, no question.

    “The Canadiens made sure to announce that Cunneyworth was taking over for the rest of the season. In other words, Gauthier was not going to hire another head coach at this point. Is that ownership saying they don’t want to allow Gauthier to hire another coach until it is sure about the GM?”

    “In my opinion, this team needs new direction. The Canadiens are among the softest teams in the NHL and Gauthier did not address that in the offseason. The Canadiens are only contending for a playoff spot because they’ve got an all-world goalie in Carey Price, the same reason they made the playoffs last season.”

    • 24 Cups says:

      In fairness to Mr. Gauthier he did go out and get Cole and Emelin which helps a bit with team softness. It also hurts that White was injured.

      If I had a magic wand, I would replace one of our high priced forwards with a bigger player as well as one of the defensive rookies with another guy who has size and sandpaper. Those two moves plus White on the 4th line would be enough to rectify the softness issue.

    • JayBee says:

      Exactly what I’ve been saying during the entire Martin/Gauthier tenure. The team is SOFT, and that has yet to be addressed. Gauthier will be gone in a couple months hopefully.

  14. JohnBellyful says:

    RC, here’s a few French phrases to help you get through the interviews with the francophone media and develop a smooth working relationship:
    Vous avez peut-être raison. Je vais vérifier le jeu sur bande.
    L’équipe est montre des signes de progrès.
    Vous êtes une bande d’idiots.

    (For all the uniligual coaches out there:
    You may be right. I will check the game tape.
    The team is showing signs of progress.
    You guys are a bunch of idiots.)

    Thanks, Babylon website. Expect a lot more hits from the Bell Centre in the coming weeks.

  15. Strummer says:

    Coco and Bird iterim for the balance of the season.


  16. ManApart says:

    One step closer to the firing of the incompetents Gainey and Gauthier. There are no more scapegoats. They are responsable (especially Gainey) for the mediocre place this team is in. No foresight and no clue really. It’ll be 3 years too late, but their end is near. Maybe this joke franchise can get back on track

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Another fan who doesn’t remember where the Habs were before Gainey took over as GM. The team has improved significantly since the year before Gainey got here.
      Do a bit of research.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • PeterStone says:

        yea they are awesome … oh, sorry, you mean before the were horrible, now they are just bad. Thanks BG , 8 years to improve from horrible to bad. Exec of the year.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          They went from horrible…out of the playoffs 4 out of 5 years, and I believe points in the 70’s one season, to making the playoffs so getting better (but not great). It takes time to rebuild a team. Our system is better now with more good youngsters coming up than we did in a long time.
          I hate that we traded McDonaugh, but we got Gomez hoping that other players would sign here because he was a well respected player in the league. It worked to an extent (we also may have overpaid a bit). What UFA’s signed here before we had Gomez.
          Also, nobody knew he’d be quite this bad.
          That said, BG is no longer GM. Let’s find someone better than him, and than PG.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

          • PeterStone says:

            BG did one thing right, and that thing is hiring Trevor Timmins. Dale Tallon turned around the Panthers in 2 seasons …TWO. Holmgren took the Flyers from LAST to a Cup final within 3 seasons. We have been a 6th to 11th place team for most of the past decade, and this is satisfactory ? Sorry, i have higher standards for this organization. Add to that, they are unbelievably dull to watch, and I know, i have been to 11 games this season.

    • saskhabfan says:

      Speaking of jokes,here is femaleparts. The guy that would have kept halak and traded price for a 5th round pick. How are those predictions working out when you said halak is a top 3 goalie in the world and boucher is a top 5 coach? As usual, your own arrogance explodes in your face and you end up looking like the 3rd rate poster everybody knows you are.

  17. Seps says:

    Haaaaaaallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, haaaaalelujah, hallelujaaaaaaaaah.

    It’s a great day to be a Habs fan, maybe Louis will get more than 50 seconds of ice after he gets a standing O

  18. Caper says:

    Boucher gets canned in Tampa or have his disciples jumped ship? Do we go back to Therrien? Benoit Groulx? The only way Cunneyworth stays if he wins the Cup and that isn’t a guarantee. Anyone remember Al MacNeil my also native Cape Bretoner?

    Alain Vigneault is another should he get fired in Vancouver.

  19. remi_10069 says:

    The last straw was the “benching” of Leblanc on Thursday. I was at the game, the buzz from the crowd after he scored was up there with the best I’ve ever experienced, he must have been so juiced but instead of letting him go nuts, Martin sits him. He’s obviously an AH with a huge ego, time to go…perhaps bring in another AH with a bigger ego…Coach Roy anyone?


  20. JUST ME says:

    Read the comments and notice how the problems are within us. Listen to the medias reps and hear how a big part of the problem is there also.
    Pressure,knowledge and expectations from amateurs.
    The 70`s are over get over it . We are playing in a totally different league and era now.
    Basically RC wants more involvment from the players and wants their talents to be seen. Not sure if Martin always allowed them to.
    P.G. said that the way the habs were playing in the third periods was unacceptable. Beginning to think it was a demand from behind the bench.
    I believe there are many underachievers on this roster.Talent and potential are there ,just not exploited every game at 100 %.

    Thank you anyhow Mr. Martin ,i still say you did the best job you could with what you had and what you did not have on hand.

  21. solomio says:

    Here’s something from Wiki

    Cunneyworth gained a reputation for being a tough player who could hit, take a hit, and still win the game
    All in all, Cunneyworth scored 196 goals and 232 assists in 911 career NHL games. He also managed to tally 1,341 penalty minutes.
    During his final year as a player, he acted as a player coach/assistant coach for the Rochester Americans during the 1999–2000 season before being given full-time duty the following season. He coached the team for eight years as the full-time head coach with a record of 306-267-67.

    “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  22. 24 Cups says:

    Timing always has to be a consideration when it comes to firing a coach. Mr. Gauthier is probably hoping that he can get past today and then escape as the team goes on an extended road trip (until Jan 4th). He could have waited until after tonight’s game but he would have run the risk that the Habs might win (not that it saved Carbo’s job). It would appear that he had already made up his mind, even though it’s just a week before Christmas (Humbug!).

    The Habs play Ottawa, Tampa and Winnipeg twice each during the next few weeks. Montreal has to beat out those three teams for a playoff spot so that may have been a factor. The team needs the points now because they face a really tough five game span just before the All-Star break.

    Speaking of timing, it’s interesting how fate comes into play. Hedberg started last night for the red hot Devils so you know who Montreal will be facing tonight. I also believe Chris Lee is the ref (stand corrected on that point). HI/O fans might need a Mike Boone reverse jinx as well as a new head coach.

    Lots of people are celebrating the death of the “System”. It will be interesting to see what philosophy Cunneyworth uses in light of the fact that he also taught the system in Hamilton last year. This was done to promote continuity throughout the entire 50 man roster – a notion that was viewed as being progressive just a short time ago.

    Martin never really had Markov on his team throughout his entire tenure here as coach. It’s tough to be successful when your best player never suits up. Let’s hope a better fate befalls Cunneyworth.

  23. Danno says:



    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  24. homerbowen says:

    First of many changes necessary to regain a level of success. Next to go is Gauthier then Gomez, Gionta, Gill, Darche amoung others. Tow or three years to regain respectability but worth it. Only thing better than this would be to see Milbury jailed.

    • Timo says:

      Add Cammillari to that list. “Shared responsibility”. What an ass. This guy as done absolute jack so far.

      • MrNax says:

        You do realize that Cammalleri is amongst the TOP Hab goal scorers in the playoffs? Which would you prefer, a dud during the year and a stud come playoffs or vice-versa? See: Dan and Hank Sedin. I agree that he hasn’t done enough this season but I think that he deserves a little more slack and respect. If he continues to stink it up for the remainder of this year, THEN they should look into trading him.

        • PeterStone says:

          well, you still have to make the playoffs dont you ?

          • MrNax says:

            Yes. I don’t see your point.

          • PeterStone says:

            my point is yea, he’s great in the playoffs … there are still 82 games before they start. He hasnt really showed up for any of them this year. At 6M$ per, give me 70 solid games a year AND the playoffs. He’s capable, so, put on the work boots Cammi, and get to it. You made a comment about the Sedins, but, my recollection is they made it to the finals last season.

          • MrNax says:

            They made the playoffs, but they had little to do with it. It was on the rest of the team’s back that they made it that far. They were the reason that the Nuck’s didn’t win the Cup.
            Like I said, I agree that Cammy isn’t doing enough right now, however, I’m not ready to give up on him just yet. He has it in him to turn things around, he’s had good looks and has been improving. He’ll find his game, just cut him a little slack.

          • PeterStone says:

            MrNax … i havent given up on Cammi, but he makes a lot of money, and the coach shouldnt impact his work ethic. I agree the coach can affect the stats, but not the effort, and the effort is lacking … time for Cammi to cowboy up and do what he’s paid very well to do, and thats plays hockey and score goals.

          • PeterStone says:

            MrNax … they made the Canucks made the playoffs but the Sedins had little to do with it ? Sedins were MVPs of the league 2 years running. I think they had lots to do with getting to the playoffs and getting to the finals. Take Cammi and any one of our centers and give me the twins in a second.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        Cammalleri is in a slump but he has been getting chances. I think you’re a bit too quick to get rid of someone. Most of the time he’s been here, he’s been our best offensive player.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

      • Habtastic says:

        I think what he meant was it’s shared between JM and players, i.e. himself (not the rest of the players). I highly doubt he think that he’s not the problem. Having trouble, yeah. Being a jack, I’m not so sure. Good thing is that I see signs from him of trying to solve his problem rather than just giving up.

        The Drive for 25

  25. The Jackal says:

    HH, cool story bro!

  26. krob1000 says:

    Ok Conspiracy theorists…..This lays the groundwork for another impending offseason deal……straight up Cunneyworth for Muller. Cunneyworth is an ex Whaler/Cane and Muller is our last Cup captain. Muller could never get a head coaching position here because he didn’t speak French….well that was just sidestepped. Cunneyworth, Gomez, and Kaberle, a pick and a prospect in the offseason for Muller and Staal! lol

  27. j2w4habs25 says:

    Since JM is out 🙂
    who are we looking at??

    Carey Price #31

  28. Timo says:

    I would say it’s a start and a good start to a saturday morning. Not expecting miracles from Cunnyworth and hopefully he is only an interim solution. PG is still there. So is Bobo. A lot more clean up to be done.

    As for Martin – don’t let that door hit your boring behind on a way out.

  29. rwp1990 says:

    I saw a loT OF rANDY c. here in ottawa – leads by example and talks to the kids a lot. he already has a good relationship with many of these young players .this is aqood move.
    IT was broke and did need fixiing.

    c’est le but!

  30. Old Bald Bird says:

    When you stop and think about it, there’s little need for a bilingual coach, except for the symbolism. I’m sure the coach speaks English almost all of the time when dealing with the team, and the few platitudes that get muttered to the press don’t require much translation or explication. So … how important is the symbolism do you think?

  31. Propwash says:

    I’m not expecting miracles to happen, and it will probably be the same old thing for the time being, a re-gelling of sorts.

    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  32. Miltie01 says:

    Now we will see what this team is all about. It is all fine that you cannot fire 23 guys, but these guys now have to respond. Blame the coach all you want, but you cannot blame him for injuries, holes his GM did not fill, and players just not giving their all. If the status quo as it pertains to these issues remains the same I have a hard time believing any coach will make a difference.

    • Norm0770 says:

      I think the coach can be responsible for players not giving it their all. He can also be held responsible for not recognizing a player’s strengths and using them appropriately.

  33. HabsFanMTL says:

    so how is Randy cunnyworth sounding now? whats ur impression of him and his answers?

    • showey47 says:

      It sounds like to me he is trying to tip-toe around any questions regarding a system. I think he wants to play a more aggressive system but doesn’t want to get lured by the media into saying it and showing disrespect to martin on the day he was fired.

  34. HardHabits says:

    I just hope for the sake of Habs fans everywhere, meaning most of you guys since obviously I am not a Real Fan™ and wear another sweater, that the team you all love will start to make the moves to rebuild proper and stop squandering futures on meagre short-term and ephemeral upgrades that end up accomplishing nothing more long term than perpetual stagnation.

    For too long the Habs have ridden the coattails of their storied past and have forgotten the saying what have you done for me lately.

    Better to lower expectations and exceed them than to raise expectations and fall short. For too long the Habs have claimed to have a Stanley Cup contender every year and that all that was required was to make the play-offs. The assertion has proven as futile as the quest.

    Montrealers and Quebeckers are not stupid. They can buy a long term plan. Maybe not online at an English web site will there be talk of what is whispered on the streets and at the water coolers in the real world where everybody can say it in either English or French, but the Habs need high draft picks. By hook or by crook they need to stack talent in the prospect pool. Building a team via free agency is a wash. The Rangers couldn’t even do it when there was no spending limit.

    The Martin firing could back-fire as well. My hope, for y’alls sake is that the team starts winning. That maybe spectators get a chance to see that team that played 3 and 2/3 games of exciting, entertaining and winning hockey rather than the sub par plodding, predictable and uninspired game that became so endearingly coined The System™.

    Good luck tonight Habs fans!!! May your team play a good game and win.

  35. krob1000 says:

    I’m confused…can Cunneyworth speak French fluently? or have we just quielty abandoned that as a prerequisite?

  36. Captain aHab says:

    Darche must have soiled his pants when he read that news….here’s hoping we don’t see him anymore on the PP and that he plays 5 minutes a game.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      Boy, Hab fans clean up real nice. And sound really good, too.

    • HardHabits says:

      Love the dress code.

      • JohnBellyful says:

        That’s what could turn the team around: Better dressed fans. If Hab followers showed up dressed to the nines, it would tell the team they respect the game and they respect the club. It would set a higher standard for the players to live up to. Mind you, it would probably spell the end of the Summit. My Habs T-shirt and jeans with patches weren’t out of place when I went to the game in November.

  37. HotHabs says:


    I’m sure you are a nice guy, but the Habs need wins more than anything. Your “system” wasn’t working, so enjoy an extended Christmas holiday. Most assuredly RDS or TSN will call you soon to join the rest of the has-beens. Antichambre could become an all ex-coach panel.

    Randy, best of luck turning this team around and facing the Franco media assault. Better wear body armour!

  38. Old Bald Bird says:

    What I had been thinking of posting today …

    If we’re going to play boring hockey, I want to win.

    If we’re going to lose anyway, I want to see more offence and the kids getting more time and encouragement.

    Hmmm …. guess that will still do.

  39. Jim Edson says:

    Louis Leblanc’s benching in the previous game might have been the straw that broke the camels’ back but the continual blowing of leads leading to losses had much more to do with it.

    On ice personnel decisions were becoming more and more questionable!

    The “system” was clearly a large part of the problem, the passive approach when leading in games was costly, as was the rigid adherence to his game plan and lack of in game adjustments.

    His love of loser points was philosophically wrong in professional sport today!

    His (mis)handling of the youth of the team, all of them, was another coffin nail!

    What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

    In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

    They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

    ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

  40. solomio says:

    Now guys you know RC ain’t gonna be able to pull off a miracle chamge in this team within a few short hours.
    Within 5 to 10 games we’ll see his ” system ” fructify.
    Hopefully what will come immediately is sound decision making with regards to line make up, playing time, power play, the handling of the youth on the team and shoot outs.

    “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  41. Hali_Hab says:

    Does anyone else watching this presser get the feeling that molson had more to do with this firing than gautier did?

    “After 13 years, I couldn’t accept to be number two.”
    Guy Lafleur.

    • Jim Edson says:

      Molson’s finger prints are all over this one.

      As they should be!

      What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

      In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

      They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

      ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

  42. Wops says:

    Kirk Muller must be pissed

  43. tbovs says:

    I like player coaches. Not the guy who is nice to his players and lets them hang out at stripclubs till 5 in the mornin but the guy who played in the NHL for x number of years and understands the game. We as laymen have no idea. The guys who play at that elite level are always the more heady and some of the smarter coaches. This is why Guy Boucher is going to struggle. Which your seeeing right now. I like Cunneyworth, but I would like Larry Robinson as well. We shall see.

    • ooder says:

      i do like player coaches.. but by that i meant guys who relate to their players and talk to them.
      however the best coaches are NOT the ones who necessarily played in the NHL.
      In fact I can’t htink of any palyer who played in the NHL and is known as a succesful coach.

      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

      • G-Man says:

        How about Toe Blake?

      • Jim Edson says:

        Randy Carlyle, Billy Reay, Brent Sutter, Sid Abel, Joel Quennville

        What does the Commissioner of the NHL do?

        In short, a league commissioner is the action man for the Board of Governors.

        They tell him what they want done and he works to make it happen through his subordinates while making sure that individual franchises play by the rules.

        ******** Translated if you haven’t won the Stanley Cup in 40 years your NHL team is becoming irrelevant in a sports mad city long behind MLB, NFL and NBA teams, you just tell the commissioner(who you gave a new contract at 7 plus million per) to make it happen and the rules are bent sufficiently to action the command.

  44. KLear says:

    Unfortunate news. So many people on this website would blame JM for everything, including the zamboni if it broke. New coaches won’t make Markov’s knee heal, won’t turn Diaz, Emelin, or Weber into overnight Norris Trophy winners, won’t knock 10 years off Gomez’s age, and won’t score goals in OT shootouts. If anything, his simple approach with defence-first puck support emphasis allowed player substitutions when injuries occurred. I’m willing to bet RC is wondering what the heck he’s supposed to do with this mess.

    • Norm0770 says:

      Randy Cunnyworth just got what He’s wanted since he went from playing to coaching: Head Coach position on an NHL team.

      He will be eager to do as much as he can to improve the team performance and his own future job prospects.

    • JohnBellyful says:

      If he’s a coach of any substance, he’ll recognize those elements of JM’s system that served the team well and keep them, and make adjustments to the features that seemed to hold the team back or impair their creativity. There has to be way to inject more offence into the team’s play without sacrificing its defensive strength (and seeing as Price is still with the club, that isn’t likely to change).

    • solomio says:

      I’m thinking RC knows exactly what he wants to do with this team and how he’s going to do it.
      Randy Cunneyworth doesn’t look like a guy who fools around much, looks like you wouldn’t want to meet him when he’s pissed off. He;s a player who knows what its all about and looks to be behind the bench with emotion.
      This is the chance of a lifetime for the guy. If he can handle a citys worth of stress with mental toughness and a strong faith in himself and his players well…. the skys the limit. They may be calling him ‘ti beau’ in 10 games.

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  45. j2w4habs25 says:

    It had to happen soon or later. Now go win HABS!

    Carey Price #31

  46. alwayssunny says:

    There’s Gauthier. Have a drink every time he says “mister” and you wont make it ’til 12:15

  47. JohnBellyful says:

    Well, the sticker price on The System© manual just went for a nosedive. I just picked up a copy from the remainder bin at the local bookstore for 99 cents. Came with a free notebook.

    • RGM says:

      Fun story: I was at a sports card show this morning when news broke. One of the sellers had a Jacques Martin autographed card on his table – immediately announced a 75% off discount.

      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  48. t1tan5 says:

    Hah…it’s really weird seeing my initials flying around everywhere now.

  49. Mavid says:

    i just read on “eye on the prize” that the Habs lead the NHL in lost man hours to injury..and in lost salary? Is this true? If that is the case..then things may be better than they appear at this time…

    second place is just the first loser

  50. SnowManHabs85 says:

    Ah the news Habs fans have been waiting for. It’s finally here. So what else do we want? Gomez traded? Gorges ++ traded for Shea Weber? Better ask them now while Santa is here 😀

    “Responding to the media , or playing to the media, or listening to the fans is the quickest way to start losing” – Sam Pollock

  51. DickandDanny says:

    I watched RC way back in the day when he was an Ottawa ’67 and he always was the leader, and a good captain, for that team. Give the ‘captain’ a chance. See if he can’t get this thing turned around and our guys playing like they can. I think he can. Like they say, “a change is as good as a rest”. We can’t rest so this makes total sense to make this move now and make the change they made. I’m glad PG did not panic and run out and try and find someone completely new overnight. Good luck Randy.

    \”A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

  52. j0nHABS says:

    Now we might not have to sit through boring overly defensive minded hockey!
    Things I hope to see changed
    1. No more Darche on the PP!
    2. Stop playing Weber on the 4th and send him to the minors.
    3. No more playing 1-2-2 hockey when we only have a one goal lead in the second period.
    4. Keep pushing the fore check when we have the lead.
    5. Stop putting goal scoring prospects on the 4th line. 4th should be a checking line only.
    6. Shoot Gomez in the foot and put him on the long term IR for good!

  53. alwayssunny says:

    The criticism had reached a fever pitch. It was absolutely relentless on 990, hosts, fans, interviewees. Time to go. I thought it would be after xmas, but he’s a grown man. I always feel a little bad for a guy when they are fired though, but as for the team I am delighted. To me Martin just didn’t show any pride. I’m not saying he didn’t have any pride but he didn’t show much. There have been attempts to injure our players and lines and players sent out on occasion with clear purpose and you never saw him yelling at a coach or getting fed up with it. His use of the rookies and young players is confusing at best. Punishing rookies for making single mistakes while veterans can stink the joint up for months and won’t miss a shift. The division of ice time has become nothing short of absurd. Sorry Jacques, but I’m glad to see you go. I hope Cunneyworth as a former player brings some attitude that has been sorely lacking in this organization for years.

  54. C5U says:

    Finally!! I have been saying this to my husband and kids since February 2011 that JM should be fired! It is about time! Thank you for the early Christmas present! You have to go and look at the top to see where the problem is. Let’s keep on looking. Sorry Geoff Molson, you are part of the problem! React…get some Habs effervescence in you. Don’t treat your position like an inheritance, but as a privilege. Be worthy of your position or step down, please. Habs hockey is not birdwatching – this is a Canadian and Quebec institution. We need a franchise owner, and a head coach with a pulse – more than a pulse…an attitude, and a true love for the Habs, and Canadian hockey. The Habs should be lead and play like in the 70’s and 80’s…with true hockey heart. I vote for Patrick Roy for head coach.

  55. Propwash says:

    FIRE RC!

    Being negative has its advantages,
    you’re never disappointed.

  56. JohnBellyful says:

    Now that the Habs have got rid of Snuffy, will someone re-light the torch?

  57. Ian Cobb says:

    Gionta and Gomez will come back and produce well.
    Gomez and Martin was like water and oil.!

    • Habsolutely says:

      Gomez sucks. No coach will change that.

    • SmartDog says:

      Gomez and NHL hockey is like ‘water and oil’.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • solomio says:

      Get real Ian. Gomez never did have much of anything and the well is dry.He’s been give A LOT of opportunity to no avail.
      Gionta…maybe.. but I’m thinking hes become a little bit weary.
      And when they do get his best it ain;t really all that much.
      Habs need another Eric Cole in the line up to become something worthwhile

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  58. Aaron13 says:

    …and (finally!) the slaves were freed from Rameses II. Geoff must now get rid of “The Rabbit” as well. Get someone who will eat a 48 oz. steak!

    Time to get Big Bird in here. We’ve already lost Boucher & Muller as great replacements.

  59. WestHab says:

    I already feel sorry for Cunneyworth if they don’t win tonight. Some of the press will be out to get him from the get go. Montreal Media needs to mature and wake up to the notion that the best coach available should lead the squad not just the best Francophone coach available.

  60. shakey says:

    Not convinced this is the right move. made out of desperation and it rarely works to turn the season around. get ready to miss the playoffs.

    I said it two months ago, and now it’s the headline, and in march we will be saying it again “not good enough.”

  61. LifeLong says:

    Well, Louis Leblanc scored his first in the second period – and then saw less than a minute of playing time in the third against the Pronger-less and Giroux-less Flyers. A coach with a little offensive creativity could have woven Louis through three lines while he was pumped and inspired to play – instead of leaving him to get cold on the bench. Martin does not possess that offensive creativity in his coaching arsenal. BAD time to bench a rookie player, in front of that Louis-friendly crowd, filled with family and friends. These things have a tendency to come back and bite you, and that was Martin’s last straw.

    “Talent is a gift from God, but you only succeed with hard work.” ~ Jean Beliveau

    • SmartDog says:

      Right you are sir! I think Martin has TRIED to bend his weird internal rules about who to play (always play the veterans no matter how much they suck! always bench those stupid rookies!)… but his colors show through in decisions like that. No matter one good he did, I’m glad he’s gone if for only that one stupid (and important) thing.

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  62. JohnBellyful says:

    Okay, RC’s caretaker promotion gives the team some breathing space to find a permanent (three years in NHL years) replacement for JM. It also gives unilingual coaches out there some time to improve their chances of taking the Habs’ helm by learning French.
    Hey, it’s not that hard. 30 days is all they need. Check out the Internet. This site sounds good:
    So does this one:
    Don’t be surprised if you hear Paul Maurice’s name come up in a month or so. Or Andy Murray’s.

  63. Old Bald Bird says:

    This is a major step, but possibly just a first. RC has a chance to prove himself, and I think he has as much credibility at this point as Kurt or Boucher. He may surprise us.

    Meanwhile, as I said below, I think JM probably brought some important discipline to the team that may stand them in good stead in the future. I think he accomplished what he was meant to accomplish although we were all hoping for better.

  64. rjonline1 says:

    Quick question: What is Cunneywort’s M.O.? What type of system does he offer? Is he a D-first type guy or will he let the forwards do their thing? Does he speak french?

  65. HardHabits says:

    I said the Habs would sign an Anglo in the future but I never suspected this soon. PG has balls I tells ya. Stone cold steel nuts.

    EDIT: PG could have done better than Larry Carriere as assistant though.

    • showey47 says:

      Carriere may only be for a couple of weeks in order to help on the bench. Cunneyworth may hire another guy of his own chosing for the remainder or the season.

      EDIT: Didn’t know carriere worked with cunneyworth in buffalo.

      • HardHabits says:

        In what capacity? I didn’t find any record of his coaching anywhere only that he is an ex-player in the Darche mould.

        EDIT: At least he’s an ex-player. The worst players seem to make the best coaches too. 😉

  66. Norm0770 says:

    I’m curious, who has the ‘C’ while Gionta is out?

  67. jimmyb001 says:

    Good first step. Now we need to get rid of the real people responsible for the Habs situation today, Mr Gainey and Gauthier. JM certainly had his faults but he played what he was given by these guys. Doubtful this team will make the playoffs so hopefully if that happens Bg and PG will be relieved of duties.

    billy jackson

  68. SmartDog says:

    Dear Santa,

    Thank you for the early Christmas present. I love it! I’m sorry about not believing in you these last 36 years. 🙁 You are cool.

    Since I haven’t asked for much in a few decades, here are some other things I REALLY WANT this Christmas!
    1. don’t play to win by one goal, play to win by 5
    2. take it easy on the young guys when they make mistakes, they’re learning
    3. don’t give the veterans so much leeway, they should know how
    4. keep Emelin in the line-up
    5. let PK loose – get him back the way he was
    6. pick guys on the shoot-out who score goals
    7. don’t play Price 7 or 8 games in a row… I know he’s better but he starts to tire – he needs the break whether he wants it or not


    PS: I know this one is IMPOSSIBLE, but is there any way you could get Sergei K back for nothin?
    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

  69. ponyboy says:

    This is the best Xmas gift ever!!! I love waking up to great news!!!!!

  70. HabSgt says:

    Christmas came early! Ciao Jacques Martin, have fun forming an ineffective defensive shell around your XMas tree that allows the Grinch to score at will.

    Life is hard. Life is harder when you’re stupid.

  71. stevieray says:

    Christmas has come early !!!!…I’ll be watching tonite with great interest and a renewed sense of optimism

  72. FrederictonHabsfan says:

    I’m not sure why people are so angry with Gauthier. I’m not clear where he’s done a horrible job. I’m not saying he’s lighting the world on fire, but my biggest complaint about him would have been that he was sticking with Martin even though it’s clear he’s a terrible HC.

    The move for Wiz was the right one. He signed Cole who has been great. Signed Diaz and got Emelin over finally.

    The Kaberle move is undecided, but he’s been worth it so far. remains to be seen. Same with the risky Markov move.

    The only major complaint I have is that he didn’t lock up Gorges for longer.

    But if he gets Josh signed long term as well as ensuring the future with the young guys, overall i think he’s done ok. He may need to make some moves around Gomez and a few others to say he’s doing “good” but i am giving him some more rope since he finally wised up to the Martin thing.

  73. DickandDanny says:

    I’m reading these posts thinking where is the joy today? It’s not about who is behind the bench right now, c’mon people it’s about who’s not there. I wanted Martin gone for a long time, and I am rejoicing right now, but reading these comments about what Cunneyworth and the rest of his staff are or aren’t, may or may not be, is rather dishearteneing. This is like listening to my teenage kids whine about what’s next all the time. Can’t we simply slow down, enjoy the moment and WAIT and see what happens. It can only get better. I’m sure the new coach (es) will actually talk to their players, unlike the predecessor. And I’m certain 4 lines will be rolled out, rookies will be given the chance to perform, and star players will get their chance to shine. So, please stop questioning the new coach ability, calling him a band-aid, and predicting how long he will be coach, and who will be next. Just be glad we have one. At least for today. Thanks. This statement goes a long way to making us the fans look like the fans we once were, and should be again, the best fans in Pro sports. Lets all be positive and supportive and happy we have a new start. At least for today!

    \”A cannonading blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

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