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. Timo says:

    So any word on a lineup tonight?

  2. habs12 says:

    Can we all just be thankful that Gainey isn’t back behind the bench again..

  3. Everlasting1 says:

    Great. I come home to hear of this latest development after stepping out for some pro-line lottery tixs. Picked the Habs to lose tonight’s game, but after this turn of events, I would’ve opted for a tie 🙂

    Nice ‘diplomacy’ by Cole, Gorges et al with their bs dishing over JM’s firing.

    Props for the Goat/Molson in swallowing that pill and taking the loss of that contract.

    I imagine the number of hits on HIO will plummet significantly after this boils over lol

    “For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the Gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.” Exodus 12:12

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  4. icemachine says:

    I am reminded of that great Monty Python clip

    “And there was much rejoicing”

  5. Toe Blake says:

    Way too little, way too late. They should have done it while Boucher and Muller were still in the fold.

  6. 24 Cups says:

    I wonder what Kirk Muller is thinking right now.

  7. Timo says:

    Someone posted a good comment on TSN (paraphrased) – player have lost the excuse for sucking.

  8. Marc10 says:

    I’m just shocked they actually did it. Let’s see how the team responds now…

  9. immortalhab says:

    Yes it is Jm’s fault they were playing badly. The total lack of effort was due to the fact that they always got the first line, PK and pp even though they were not producing. If you want to wear funeral clothes tonight, great. A good coach would have brought more out of those guys or not played them.

  10. Neutral says:

    Eller had it right

  11. habs-fan-84 says:

    I hope this means that going forward when we have a one or two goal lead we don’t sit back and try and protect it.

    Not sure what type of coach he was in Hamilton, but I’m hoping he takes advantage of this teams abilities, namely, speed.

    The bottom line, I just want to see more offense. Time will certainly tell if it was the player’s that just weren’t good enough to score on a consistent basis, or if it was JMs system™ that was stifling the offense the whole time.

  12. Habsrule1 says:

    Love the love for RC.
    Can’t wait to see how fast that changes when he does something that not everyone will agree with, like bench a rookie or something scandalous like that.

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  13. Timo says:

    So, how long with RC’s honeymoon last? I give him 3 games… just cause I am in a kind mood today 🙂

  14. longtimehabsfan says:

    Mixed feelings about JM’s firing. PG deserves much of the blame. As does the Habs’ owner. The Markov signing was a mistake. And Molson could have forced the GM to waive Gomez and free up much needed cap space and bring in another quality player [see Erik Cole]. With these handicaps, what was JM supposed to get out of this bunch? A repeat of last year’s fast start?

    Still, the team has talent. Cammy, Pleks, and Gio are not producing. JM’s fault? Cammy sulks when he’s not playing with his favorite players? Where are the leaders on this team?

    What can RC do? I remember RC as a player. Not a star, but a leader and team oriented. He revived MaxPac’s game in the AHL. I believe he is and will be the type of coach who will not accept anything less than everyone’s best effort. And that will be a good thing. Let’s hope.

    “It’s a moo point. Like a cow’s opinion, it doesn’t matter. It’s moo.”

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    JM was brought in to bring consistency and stableness to the team. He did do that, but with it came mediocre results. He did his best, and whether he had the horses or not it wasn’t enough. Coaches are hired to be fired, and he gets a wonderful monetary reward to console him. Good luck JM, but I am happy for change.

    I am most excited to see how the veterans perform. I do wish that Gio and Gomez were healthy right now, as I would like to see if indeed both still have the skills they displayed a couple years back. I do believe the JM system stifles the higher end talent and rewards the common man per se. There is a reason he loved to play the Darches, Pyatts, Moens of this team.

    My biggest frustration with JM was his seemingly unwillingness to have this team play with any physical edge. PG made sure this past offseason to provide more Grit. Granted White has been injured but JM did not want to play White’s replacement in Blunden, he continually chose the playing style of Diaz instead of Emelin. He played Darche on the pp early on instead of Cole.

    I think/hope we will see players fulfill their natural roles much moreso now. Now I hope to see if indeed some of the players I thought were very talented prove they indeed are.

    I really hope tonight we see a crashing and banging 4th line which actually provides energy to the rest of this team. As for Price seeing more rubber, I am fine with that, how often do we see our team outshoot opposition with limited shots against, but high percentage chances to a goalie who has not been busy. Often a busy goalie is a better goalie.

    I look forward to the next few weeks of hockey and hope to see a change for the better develop.

    Thanks Mr. Molson, and PG, your assets will now be utilized, make sure you bring in the corect ones here on out.

  16. JUST ME says:

    I guess we have to admit that Martin`s style of coaching did not fit with the potential of the players. You can keep them on a leash for a certain time but not for a long period. Unfortunately all the injuries in the last two season prevented any progress within the system. Hopefully now the different lines will have a chacne to play together for a decent period of time and natural instincts will have a chance to grow.

  17. HABZ24 says:

    hip hip hooray ! at long last bye bye martin ! no more trying to sit on a one goal lead with rookie dmen games. never liked martin. onward and upward. best xmas gift yet thanks geoff And pierre. go habs score goals go !

  18. showey47 says:

    Should we be thanking chris lee for his role in getting JM fired?

  19. Bripro says:

    I didn’t like JM’s defence-only philosophy.
    So now we’ll see whether the speedy forwards will be unleashed.
    The excuses are over. If they don’t perform, PG’s head is next.
    Let’s see now if they’ll
    – Step up
    – Follow the System
    – Play as a team
    – Get the job done
    – Do the things they need to do to win and
    – Keep it simple!

    • Timo says:

      We will also get to see if Cammalleri and Gionta are fraud just like Gomez is. (I believe they are, cause both of them put very little effort out there every night, which should never be the case for a professional hockey player making millions of dollars a year)

      • boonie says:

        They played Martin out of town.

        Josh Gorges. “If you only have half the guys doing what’s asked of them, everything is in disarray and I think that’s where we got to.”

      • Bripro says:

        I don’t think that’s Gionta’s nature. Cammy, I’m not so sure. He might be hurt.
        And I think the opposition is used to facing them now, with no power forward to defend them. They’re just getting thrown around.
        DD wouldn’t be performing like he is without Cole and Max up front.

    • chilli says:

      Almost all coaches today us the ‘defense first’ – even your beloved Boucher and Muller.
      Randy is a ‘defense first’ guy as well – the real issue with JM was his stubbornness.
      I truly feel he got fired for playing Darche 17 minutes after Louis The White Knight had just brought the entire Bell Center to their feet for the first time this year.

      I also think Randy will stabilize some lines and get Eller to play with some guys that can help his offensive numbers.


      • Bripro says:

        If you believe what the players have said about playing under him in Hamilton, then it should definitely be a step in the right direction.
        Max loved playing for him, and look at how he was tearing up the AHL before being brought up.

  20. Danno says:

    Reading between the lines of his interview; anyone else sense that Cammalleri is not at all bothered by Martin’s departure?


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

    • Timo says:

      Cammalleri should be bothered by the fact that he is paid 6 mil and his effort is just not there. No-one gives a rats ass whether he likes or doesn’t like Martin. His job it so leave it all on the ice. Instead all he’s done in the past 3 months is perfecting his shooting mouth off skills in front of the cameras. Can’t stand the guy.

      • Strummer says:

        A coaching change won’t solve Gionta getting crushed along the boards and in the corners thereby losing evey puck battle because of his size.

        It won’t solve Cammilleri being unwilling to risk playing in the “dirty” areas when he like GIonta have guaranteed $5-$6 million contracts


      • Da Hema says:

        You have a good point. Cammalleri appears to be one of the players whom Gorges may have had in mind when he claimed half the team was not doing its job. I am, of course, speculating, but Cammalleri looks utterly disinterested in playing hockey anymore.

  21. Sal says:

    None of this amounts to a hill of beans, if RC doesn’t loosen the reigns and let them play hockey. Anyone with half a brain can see that when the Habs use their speed and skill they are a challenge for any team to handle. The Bruins are prime example. The Habs have their number when they bring their speed game, and, they keep their foot on the peddle. What’s the point of having youth, speed, and skill, if you are just stifling it! Cammy, Gionta, Pleks, Eller, Patches, Subban, DD, Cole, especially CP, this is your lucky day!

    Sal from the Hammer

  22. habs001 says:

    This team to me looked the same the last 200 plus games…change had to be made as the team was not getting better..this year we were winning less poorly played games than in the previous years.

  23. kakey says:

    Luc Gélinas reported that JM and PG had a heated argument after the loss to Flyers, witnessed by many including some players. So in reality many were not surprised of the firing today.

    Link: (comment around 2:10 mark)

  24. habstrinifan says:

    Best line I heard from RC. When we have the puck I want all 5 players to be in on the play.

    Maybe we will see less of a space between the 3 forwards and the 2 defenders when we are on offense.

    Defensively, except where laziness led to lapses, our forwards have always been involved defensively… thanks to JM.

    But offensively I have always shouted at the TV “where is the defense where is the defense” to complete our offensive thrusts.

  25. 100HABS says:

    Naming an interim coach in December is a very bad idea. Basically, you’re telling the players we don’t trust this guy enough to win in the playoffs and we’re gonna replace him in a few months. Just go out there and play your heart out even though we know we’re gonna loose.

    This is not a motivating work environment.

  26. otter649 says:

    Kyle Turris to Sens for David Rundblad & 2nd……

  27. ZepFan2 says:

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

    I hope that means what I think it does.

    Enough of this barely hanging on to win. If we’re ahead, forecheck, forecheck, SCORE!

    Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

  28. gmur says:

    Wow, lots of insightful analysis here today… Darche is the problem too… and Martin…

    The problem with the Canadiens is offence, not fourth-line forwards who bring their lunch bucket to the rink every day, like Darche. He’s not the one who’s supposed to be generating offence. Gomez, Cammalleri and Gionta are not pulling their weight. End of story.

    The math:

    7.4 for Gomez
    5 for Gionta
    6 for Cammalleri

    18.4 million dollars for a projected 102 points this season combined. That’s all on Gainey and Gauthier, not Martin.

    Yeah, Darche and Weber are the big problems on this team. 700, 000$ and 800 000$, respectively.

    While we’re at it, let’s blame Hal Gill and Ryan White too.

  29. habs001 says:

    Devils played yest no reason not to win this game regardless who is coaching…

  30. habsfanforever7631 says:

    Just want to say thanks JM for everythin, but as alot of us have said, his systam just wasn’t the rite one for the team.
    Excited to see what will happen!
    I wonder what fans will complain about now?
    We wanted JM gon, and he’s gon, lets give PG some props for actually doing it, some of us thought that JM will never go!

    Go Habs Go, lets start the wins tonight!

  31. LizardKing1967 says:

    Finally. Now maybe we could see the real HABS hockey team. Maybe we can see Emelin PLAY EVERY GAME. Maybe we could see Leblanc PLAY MORE AFTER SCORING A GOAL (not less). Maybe Pleks, Cammy and Gio will finally LISTEN to the coach and play LIKE THEY ACTUALLY CARE. Maybe we will see the FIREWAGON hockey that our team seems to be built to play AND NOT the damn DEFENSE FIRST philosophy. Maybe ALL the young guys will get their DUE CHANCES TO PLAY.
    Well, so if we win the Stanley Cup, it will prove that we DO NOT CARE WHAT DAMN LANGUAGE THE COACH SPEAKS! GO RANDY GO!!!!
    GOOD LUCK Randy!
    You deserve it. You are a true teacher, and you seem to ignite a fire under the guys butts from time to time when JM lets you speak to them.
    Good luck dude, let’s do it for the BOOMER!

    Hell has finally FROZEN OVER. Now I can start living, and finally say:

    The Cup is coming home!


  32. ZimHabwe says:

    I will be pleasantly surprised if this change makes a difference for the better. Right now I am convinced it won’t. It’s about time we made the race to the bottom and start afresh.

  33. durocher says:

    My prediction: Chris Thorburn comes to the Habs in a trade (Randy C had him in ATL, and in the A, he brings size and PK ability too). If homeboy Cormier comes in the trade too, many Habs fans will truly believe Santa exists.

  34. Thurston says:

    Eventful day:
    -Martin fired, replaced by Cunneyworth
    -Milbury removed from HNIC to take care of ongoing legal issue
    -Ottawa gets Turris from Phoenix for Rundblad & 2nd rounder

    • Da Hema says:

      I am happiest about Milbury. It says a great deal about Hockey Night in Canada that they hired a “man” who assaults children. Most posters here are probably too young to know that Milbury was also a rat as a player. Cherry must have some weight in HNIC to be able to get Milbury hired in the first place.

  35. kakey says:

    Finally we have a coach with some coarseness in his voice.

  36. ABHabsfan says:

    I think I found the real problem, Eller’s helmet is way too tight. Open that baby up a bit, Larry!

  37. avatar_58 says:

    So IF this year is a throwaway (and it is, given cunneyworth is not the answer) – trade Gill, Nokalainen, Campoli and any UFAs you aren’t going to resign. Get picks, even if they are low. Get rid of Gomez somehow, either through a trade or down to the bulldogs. Decide whether you want to keep Cammalleri and Gionta or trade for some players with contracts into next season.

    Sign Subban, Price, Pacioretty etc NOW. No reason to wait, the season is already over. Obviously you can’t if their agents want to wait, but hey – their stats will only get worse right? This team won’t win. So they might prefer to do it now anyway.

    NEXT YEAR. Work for that, not this year. This year is done. Keeping UFAs like Gill is pointless and stupid. Let’s not have another blowup year where they get nothing (Koivu, Kovalev, etc)

    • jbroderi says:

      3 points out of 6th in the conference. Yep. Shut the year down, for sure. I think that is a little premature. By all means, come trade deadline, unload the dead weight if we are still in the same spot, but a 4 to 5 game winning streak puts us at striking distance to the upper teams. It’ll be a struggle to make the play-offs, but it has been every year lately. The team in underperforming while the likes of Florida, Winnepeg, The leafs are swingin way above their heads. They are playing as well as the possibly can, while we’re just dicking around.

      “I’ll take potent potables for 500, Alex” JB

      • avatar_58 says:

        I said “if” and don’t give me that points garbage. I don’t believe in the loser point system – if you lose in OT it’s a loss. They don’t deserve those points. Take away the OT points in the league and tell me who the real top teams are. OT points don’t exist in the playoffs – you either win or you go home empty handed, which is why that system needs to change already.

        The team has been terrible this year, I’m sorry. If they can’t fix it then you need to look towards the future. Allowing UFAs to walk for nothing is stupid if you have no hope for this year. So make a choice. This year for the cup, or bust.

        I don’t know about you, but the cup isn’t attainable this year in my eyes. So close up shop and make the most of your current assets while they still have any worth at all.

  38. SmartDog says:

    A quote from Pierre Gauthier, great judge of hockey talent and all-around classy guy:

    “Especially in the last few weeks, we didn’t really know what was coming out of the box every night,” Gauthier said. “And the way we were losing the leads and the way we were coaching the games wasn’t very consistent, and that’s what we hope to change.”

    Wow. Way to throw Martin under the bus Goat. Couldn’t have anything to do with the 7.5 million you recommended we take on for Gomez, or the contract you just handed to the still injured Markov. I knew you could be a real idiot. I didn’t know you are a completely arrogant ass until now.

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • Propwash says:

      Anything to slag anyone in the organization eh SD?
      PG made a very good point about what was going on with the team.

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

      • SmartDog says:

        Listen to the players and you’ll hear classy answers. GM’s usually are just as classy. They don’t do what Gauthier did.

        Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

        • Mattyleg says:

          They’re not the guy that fired Martin.

          —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • Jim Edson says:

          Better check out Josh Gorges comments on the TSN website!

          His comments cut through the spin doctor BS and are more true than any of the “classy” player comments!

          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.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Holy cow.
      That’s a little much, don’t you think?
      1) Would you prefer to hear “Why did you fire JM?” “Well, you know, it’s just one of those things… have to keep looking to the future… important to keep goals in mind…”? I would not. I’m happy about his candour.
      b) Gauthier didn’t sign Gomez.

      I don’t really see how giving the reasons you fired someone as being ‘arrogant’.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • dallyd31 says:

      ??? What is the issue. He made a fair, valid assessement…WITHOUT actually embarrassing or slagging anyone.

      Geez…if PG says nothing he gets slammed, he makes an honest, conservative assessment, he gets slammed. Can’t win. Some people like to moan and complain just to moan and complain.

  39. Unlike many (most) on the site, I believe Martin was neither the cause, nor the solution, to the problem. The team is essentially the same as the one that took us the the conference finals 2 years ago. Interin coach for the season? Sounds like they may be thinking about next year already. They’ll take what they can get this year, but won’t blow up the team. Sigh.

  40. habstrinifan says:

    Greates reaction was from Lars Eller!

    Question: ‘Were you surprised?”

    Answer: No! I wasnt surprised. (oh wait.. I wasnt supposed to say that) YES! YES! I was surprised…….”

  41. SteverenO says:


    Mission Accomplished! Go Habs Go!

    (Does Cunneyworth speak French?)

    Scenario, Habs go on to win 70 % of their games and make it through two rounds of playoffs……. Do we replace him with a french speaking coach?

    Watch the best of the videos in the Fire the Coach You Tube series. When Gauthier saw this one he had no choice.

    Hurray! They Fired the coach!

    Steve O.
    Qlik View – Data Discovery.
    Every team needs it- Every coach needs it.
    Every fan needs it!

  42. durocher says:

    Darche and Weber are probably hugging each other right now. “We’ll be okay… you have savings, right?” “I always wanted to go to law school anyway” “I’m going to write a novel about a glorious count who was driven out of town by an evil goat.” “There’s always Tampa”

  43. JIMVINNY says:

    Just watched the Eller clip. Kid’s got some learning to do. “Lars, were you surprised?” “No, not really, I mean yes, I was very suprised…” And then goes on to spout the same canned answers as everyone else.

    So either he doesn’t understand english nearly as well as he speaks it, or he was the only one to answer the question honestly.

    • christophor says:

      OR he was just asked “Did you expect this?”, he said “No”, and then Boone’s lead-in was “I know you were just asked this…”, but then actually posed the inverse question, “Were you surprised?”

      This isn’t a soap opera. Have a little faith/common-sense.

    • Danno says:

      That is pretty funny!


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

    • avatar_58 says:

      Haha yes I was like “…what????” then he corrected himself. It’s just a funny slip

  44. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Cunneyworth? Damn! I was really hoping for Ian Herbers. You know, the genius behind Kirk Muller’s success in Milwaukee?

  45. rhino514 says:

    Wow. Surprised by the comments of Lebrun saying if it were up to him he would make a GM change. He said he thinks Kaberle will be seen as a failure.
    I agree it was a gamble, but it all depends on wether a) they are able to unload his contract in the offseason (entirely possible) or b) his point amassing totals approach his latter Toronto days (unlikely)
    If A or B happen and they make the playoffs, it´s a ballsy gamble that paid off. Likewise, the Cole signing was great, and the Halak trade as well IMO (sometimes when you see Eller make a move you can see the future he holds)
    I do feel they should make the playoffs, and probably win a round, for PG not to lose his job, given the talent on the team, simpley because: the team was still playing for JM. They were at exactly the same place as they have been the last two seasons at about this time. Last year they were close to 500 and they went out and got Wisniewski, who was the missing piece on the PP. I think the same thing would have happened this year with Kaberle, further reinforced by the return of Markov, and further reinforced by the fact the team is stronger on paper than last year. So I don´t see the JM move as necessary, though I am sure most of you do. I do agree that JM´s approach tires after three seasons and would not have re-signed him after the season.
    But switching a coach in mid season…even if they get by the adjustment period undamaged and make the playoffs, then you are in the playoffs with a completely inexperienced coach.
    So I think Kaberle and The Firing will be his legacy and determine his future, based on the results of these two moves. But at least PG RISKED making moves. If they weren´t made, particularly Kaberle, the team probably doesn´t recover in time to make the playoffs. I´d rather go out that way, not regretting doing SOMETHING. And like I said, they weren´t terrible gambles. they could work.
    And to think none of Pearn, Kaberle, JM happens if they just decide to scope Markov´s knee in September. It´s funny the things that can affect people´s lives, even people who are high up in the food chain.

    • SteverenO says:

      “In the playoffs with a completely inexperienced coach”

      You must be joking, or you have not watched this video;

      An “experienced” coach who either does not know, or does not care, about his own players strengths and weaknesses will LOSE to an inexperienced coach every single time.

      Even a “completely inexperienced” coach would not play his most productive PP performer on the PK unit while playing a better penalty killer in his place on the PP.

      Nor would he play an entire 5-3 situation while leaving his two most productive PP performers on the bench.

      The short answer is that experience can not overcome incompetence.


      Plekanec in NOT our best penalty killer,

      Steve O.
      Qlik View – Data Discovery.
      Every team needs it- Every coach needs it.
      Every fan needs it!

  46. Habsssssssswin says:

    …J.M. is canned. Now what?
    There’s no Frank Selke nor Sam Pollock in our future. No Toe Blake nor Scotty Bowman. It is what it is. We are what we are. Is it enough? … Next to go…P.G. Get away from “The Old Boy’s Club” that rules the hiring of GM’s. We need a Lou Lamoriello or a Jim Rutherford type. Sans the ‘Ol Boys lineage. No Phil Esposito / Pierre Gauthier connection.
    A Lou doing his own thing….. REAL hockey doesn’t start ’till after Christmas anyway. Let’s turn this ship around.

  47. daveho29 says:

    Wow! guess I have to go see Randy’s brother and buy him a beer and see if he can get me some tickets to the Habs/Canucks game in March.

  48. kempie says:

    I bet Darche is not a happy camper today.

  49. I would like to say.. thank you Jacques Martin for everything. You were a dedicated head coach – but your system just wasn’t suitable for this team.

    This team is built for speed – not strictly defensive hockey.
    Not your fault.

    Cammalleri and rest of the wingers have no excuses now.

    • Danno says:

      Yes, you can say it’s not Martin’s fault but with one proviso. Martin can certainly be faulted for not realizing or accepting the fact that his system did not mesh with the talent he had. He should have had the wisdom to adjust his system instead of forcing players to strictly adhere to it. This lack of judgment on his part is what brought about mediocre results and ultimately his demise.


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

    • OneTimer says:

      good post HCP

  50. Boomer says:

    anyone know how long muller’s contract is with carolina? hows it work with coaches?

    Boom baby!

  51. Habsrule1 says:

    So….who does everyone want to see as the next Habs coach, assuming it will not be RC next season?

    Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Jim Edson says:

      Dave Tippett!

      He’s been making silk purses out of sows ears in the desert for more than 2 years now!

      Great coach!

      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.

  52. Higman says:

    I haven’t felt like calling a game for months because of the garbage on ice. But now that Martin is out, well, I am feeling a tremendous amount of excitement. LET THE BOYS PLAY! At last. Habs 4 Devils 1. Subby gets one on an assist from Kaberle.

  53. geo_habsgo says:

    Using our speed and being a puck possession team is what Cunneyworth seems like he’ll be preaching moving forward. I see us moving more in the Detroit vein then the Devils and thats a great thing! We have the tools we need to just find a way to put them all together. Looking around the league and besides a few exceptions, I don’t think many teams are performing at a level that is beyond this incarnation of the team.

  54. Propwash says:

    Something tells me that Price is gonna see quite a bit more rubber from now on….

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

  55. Da Hema says:

    “What system is in place doesn’t matter if everyone buys in and plays the right way,” defenceman Josh Gorges said (reported on TSN). “If you only have half the guys doing what’s asked of them, everything is in disarray and I think that’s where we got to.”

    Very candid. Pretty much sums up what has happened this year.

  56. habitant101 says:

    Well let’s hope that tonight we will finally play some hockey outside our blue line and put some pucks in the net.

  57. The Dude says:

    Wow ,just heard the news! Want to thank Coach Martin for his efforts and remind him Mr Gauthier and Mr Gainey aren’t far behind and will be joining him at the golf course soon. GO HABS GO!

  58. Habsrule1 says:

    So, who will be the coach next season? Who would you like it to be?

    Go Habs Go!!

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

  59. Fansincebirth says:

    Please, please, PLEASE do not, under any circumstances hire the lunatic Patrick Roy!

  60. JIMVINNY says:

    Darche is probably the one who is most upset about this decision. Probably even more so than Jacques is.

  61. gmur says:

    Now fire-trade-bench the veterans like ‘Cammi-donna’ and Plekanec who play like princesses when they don’t get what they want. Fire the coach… it’s always an easy solution. Cammi-donna, Gionta and Gomez are on track for a 100-point season… all three of them combined… being in 11th place might have something to do with that.

    No more than 5 months ago didn’t Martin coach the same team to a winning season and bring the Cup champions to a 7th game? Must be him that’s skating around like he’s playing shinny in a beer league, not some of the pouty, multi-millionaire veteran forwards.

    • neumann103 says:

      I don’t want to sully the HIO site (Hickey got a bit of a taint going with the Fleury attack but nevermind) by giving this post the response it deserves, so, in more restrained, less profane fashion:

      WTF? “fire-trade-bench” Plekanec?

      Tomas Plekanec is the single biggest reason for any success the Habs have had the past 3 years. Yes, more than Carey Price. While Price is certainly the most important player on the team, and the one most capable of singlehandedly changing a game, Plekanec is the best skater on the team. He does everything. He plays all situations. He is the one player you want on the ice at all critical times. He takes the tough assignments, the ones that don’t help his personal stats but help the team. And he does it without grumbling. On an offensively minded team with cushier assignments he would be an 85-95 point player year in and out.

      He is the ultimate team player, one of the dozen or so most versatile hockey players on the planet. His last three or four games have been a bit less than spectacular but he is still contributing and playing all the pressure situations.

      Dedication? This is a guy who goes on a three game west coast roadtrip when his wife is 9 months pregnant, gets back on Sunday she gives birth that day (must have been induced to fit into the Habs schedule), he takes the next day’s optional practice off and is back on the ice the next day for practice and game.

      So with all due respect… well no respect is due frankly, because this opinion questioning both what Plekanec contributes to this team and his dedication to the same is due no respect.

      “Et le but!”

  62. durocher says:

    You think Patrick Roy got a little giddy this morning?

  63. keepthefaith says:

    Two words. The Crow

  64. geo_habsgo says:

    I don’t know why but I expected the atmosphere to be different here with the news of his firing? Isn’t this what so much of us were calling for? I think big changes to the way we play are coming.

    I don’t think the system is dead but I think the all out devotion to it at every point in the game is dead. The team will hopefully now start making the right adjustments in game and develop more of a killer instinct.

    As for tonight, you heard it hear first: 5-2 for the Habs I guarantee it!.

  65. Ian Cobb says:

    Just wait for the standing ovation tonight, when Cunnyworth and the boys hit the ice. It is going to be awesome!

    There will also be a very large spring in their skates as well, now that they are FREE AT LAST!

  66. immortalhab says:

    I agree that JM did the best he could with what he had- which was nothing- between the ears.

  67. Ron says:

    So there is a Santa. I just got home and checked my e-mails and a buddy sent me a message of the dumping. Deck the halls with balls of holly and let the bells ring, time to let the players open up abit. I would think that the senior players like Gill, Cole and Gorges had lots to say to PG about this mess of this season and helped the process. The media sure as hell has been roasting JM about his coaching style. Now Molson do the right thing and tell PG to start bringing in some grit to help out our skilled players.

  68. habsfan0 says:

    Randy Cunneyworth is, I believe, the first unilingual anglophone head coach of the Habs since Al MacNeil in the 1970-71 season. Bob Berry, I believe was able to speak French. MacNeil took the Habs to the Stanley Cup that year,and was released for for his troubles at the end of the season. I wonder if history will repeat this time around.

    • Caper says:

      As I commented previously about MacNeil. The Pocket Rocket got him fired after winning the Stanley Cup for crying out loud. If Cunneyworth is successful he can learn the language. He has to. MacNeil was a CAPER!

      • habsfan0 says:

        After calling MacNeil incompetent because of a perceived lack of playing time, the Pocket Rocket scored the tying and winning goals in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final against Chicago on May 18,1971. After the game,Richard and MacNeil embraced. Nothing like winning to bring two adversaries together.

  69. PeterStone says:

    to Mr Boone, Mr Hickey and the rest of the esteemed staff of the Gazette, and HIO … can we not make Mr Gauthier more accountable during the few times he talks to the media ? He gets all these lob ball questions. Kudo’s to Mr Francois Gagnon for asking him what his responsibility is for the current situation., although that question was smartly ignored.

    • SmartDog says:

      No kidding. But if the coaching change doesn’t help, it’s probably the Goat’s head on the block next. And he knows it. Oddly, it’s probably as much as anything up to Kaberle to save the Goatboy. But even good play by him won’t be enough if the Habs don’t make the playoffs. So mixed feelings no matter what happens!

      Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

      • TomNickle says:

        I think this move signals that the team no longer wants to rely on Special Teams. I wouldn’t be so sure about Kaberle’s perceived responsibility here. But it wouldn’t hurt if he realized significant success here.

        I’m not sure what Gauthier has done or not done to deserve questions about his fate.

      • PeterStone says:

        SD .. I dont hate PG as much as everyone else, as I am still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Although, I am starting to see the same mind set as Mr Gainey had during his time as GM.
        One thing about PG, that really woke me up. I was chatting with a buddy of mine about PG, and he was GM of the Sens , apparently, when they had to make a choice between Redden and Chara. They chose Redden, and we all know how that ended. You and I have been on the same page forever. I recall everyone being pleased about the Gomez deal , but you and I freaking out at the time. Hopefully Mr Molson starts to execute his gameplan, and HOPEFULLY, Mr Gainey gets a job as a PR guy with NO hockey responsibilities.

        • Old Bald Bird says:

          I’m pretty sure it was Muckler who kept Redden over Chara, and I also heard that the coach, Murray, wanted it to go the other way.

        • neumann103 says:

          I wasn’t following HIO at the time but i had been following the Habs for almost 40 years, and I can say I was flat out flabbergasted and felt sick.

          I was never a big Gomez fan, and believed that the “disapponting” Gomez of the Rangers was closer to the real Gomaz than the career year that had neeted him that big contract. As a second line Ceter for $4M i would have had no problem with Gomez, but he is not the foundation for a team.

          Mainly it was that I thought his contract was unmoveable. Who would take that on? Koivu +Kovalev together signed for about what Gomez made, but on short term deals with little risk. How was Gomez an improvement? I understand that they wanted to change directions but why drive into the ditch?

          I was lukewarm on the Gionta signing and positive on the Cammy signing, although I was convinced that they were going down a list that kept thinning as guiys signed. Hossa, Havlat, Gaborik…. okay Cammy

          And I say this not as someone who is critical of all “bad” deals. Signing Roman Hamrlik for too much money for too long was exactly the right decision at the time to fill a specific need. Sometimes you have to do that. But Gomez?

          “Et le but!”

    • Timo says:

      Do you not remember Boone praising Bell center hot dogs and wings? You ask “pointed” questions and bah-bye free hot dogs.

    • malmn says:

      Accountable? LOL! What a crock. It’s not up to the media to hold PG accountable, and besides, they don’t have the experience and inside knowledge to have that responsibility. Anyways if I were PG I would ignore or ban any journalist who was only giving me a hard time.

      GO HABS GO!!!

      • PeterStone says:

        Excuse me ? What then is a journalist’s job ? Its to ask tough questions … this is only hockey so , does it really matter ? Well, it does to us, but, if journalists dont question what goes on, then who does ?

  70. NightRyder says:

    Hey, some news to actually wake me from a season-long slumber. Shake me again when PG gets the hook or Gomez is dealt for a bag of pucks and some stale hockey-card gum.

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