Habs GM search: What we know

Ron Hextall

Ron Hextall: An unusual choice, but an interesting one?
Len Redkoles, NHLI via Getty Images

While countless names have been suggested as the next Canadiens general managers, only a few have leaked out as people who have actually been contacted by the club.

Sports Illustrated and CJAD’s Michael Farber (audio here) and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN reported Thursday that Detroit’s assistant GM Jim Nill was added that list. Most people expect Nill will remain with the Red Wings where, as Ken Holland’s assistant, he has been integral to the team’s consistent success over the years and many (including Pat Hickey in The Gazette) believe he’d be the best man available, even though he’s not bilingual.

Nill has been approached before and, as most have speculated — and as Farber told his radio audience on Thursday — Nill needs permission from the Red Wings to speak with other clubs and that either was not granted or Nill wasn’t interested. He is very highly paid by the Red Wings and seems happy where he is.

Helene Elliott of The Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday that the Canadiens had contacted the Kings for permission to speak with Luc Robitaille and Ron Hextall (pictured). Lucky Luc, a Montreal native, is the Kings’ president of business operations and is not involved in personnel decisions. Hextall, the Kings assistant GM, seems like an unusual choice for those with long memories, especially due to this 1989 incident when Hextall was the Flyers goaltender.

Regardless, as Farber pointed out in his CJAD spot on Thursday, Hextall is considered one of the better assistant GMs in the league.

TSN reported last week that Pat Brisson, the player agent, and Marc Bergevin, the Blackhawks assistant GM, had also been contacted by the club. Over last weekend, however, sources revealed that Brisson removed himself from consideration.

Additionally, Francois Gagnon revealed last week in LaPresse that  Lightning assistant GM Julien BriseBois, former Ducks assistant Francois Gigeure and  Maple Leafs assistant GM Claude Loiselle were on the contact list.

Beyond that, no other names have been reported as officially being contacted, but a number of sources have said the list is far larger than those eight  as the Habs cast a wide net and are inquiring about many more possible candidates.


  1. HUDSONHAB says:

    Even if the Habs have someone specific in mind, I think it would be smart to talk to any up and coming GMs for future reference.

  2. HankHardball says:

    As far as the new CBA goes, Bob McCown & Stephen Brunt speculated yesterday that the coming NHL season won’t start until Jan.01

    They seem to feel Gary Bettman wouldn’t mind more time to deal with ownership issues in Phoenix, New Jersey and Florida. And therefore he’s in no hurry to settle the CBA.

    They think Bettman is commited to keeping those teams where they are, instead of sacrificing the $200 million each entrance fees the league would get from expansion teams in Quebec City, southern Ontario, or Kansas City.

    And if the season doesn’t start by Jan.01, then it’s lost.

  3. alwayssunny says:

    Where else would Pat Hickey’s opinion on anything even be mentioned? I mean really.. The only time any of his stories have any interest is when he makes stuff up. And he does that on a fairly regular basis. He gets called out on it, it gets ignored, and off he goes to the next column. He’s been lounging around in his beerfarts and saying nothing for years. He thinks Jacques Martin is our best bet for coach, say no more.

  4. habstrinifan says:

    Any reaction to Sutter (ex-Calgary) coaching Canada at the Worlds. Didnt he coach the juniors?

  5. habstrinifan says:

    I am very excited about the future of the HABS considering the thoroughness with which they seem to be approaching their GM search.

    I don’t have a preference anymore…(well except maybe not Roy) because I think they are really going to get it right this time.

    One name that seems to have topnotch credentials and easy availability is Marc Bergevan. Seems to be highly regard for his knowledge and the hard work that he has put in in his career to where he is now considered an A-list GM potential.

    On a related note. I am also becoming more comfortable whith Savard being on board as a uber adviser. I believe it when he says that he would just be a ‘sounding board’ and that the GM will have full say and sole say in hockey specifics. I think any GM who balks at this is insecure and out of touch with the ‘team concept’ required to maintain your organization at the top in today’s NHL.

    And we had enough of GM’s who acted too much under the cloak of adamant autonomy.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I will have no problem supporting whoever the hiring committee feels is the best candidate. They are the ones sitting in the interview room, they can make the best decision. With all the qualified candidates being bandied around, we should get a good man. It goes without saying that we hope he surrounds himself with capable people, a strong team with a lot of good knowledge and opinions will lead to better decisions than a one-man show.

      As far as Mr. Savard remaining as Executive VP, that would add to a strong organization. Nothing wrong with a man who has a historical view of the NHL reaching back to the sixties to bring context to discussions when required. I have advocated that Mr. Molson doesn’t necessarily need to be the President, he should restrict himself to being the CEO, but by adding Serge Savard it removes my qualms of perhaps having an owner who might be tempted to meddle. Mr. Savard provides a layer of insulation, another source of wisdom when faced with big decisions, and another leader in the organizational chart. He would be a figure who inspires respect from outside the organization and confidence from within. It’s a big win if it happens.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  6. Price07 says:

    I’m all for the GM being the best man available, but I’m very unsure if Hextall is the “best” available and the fact that he doesn’t speak french really puts his candidacy in doubt. If it was James Nill, then maybe people would be able to say ok he doesn’t speak french but this guy is a star and everyone knows it. Can anyone say that about Hextall? I doubt it. French Speaking or not, I’m not too sure about Hextall. I’d rather Bergevin or Brisebois, guys with a bit of assistant GM experience.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      I’m very sure about Ron Hextall. He was an embarrassment as a player and has no business anywhere near the Canadiens’ organization.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


    • SuperHabFan says:

      I love how people on this website think they know anything about any of these candidates… Not saying Hextall is the right candidate, i don’t know, but how on earth would any of you have any idea that he has less experience (only been there more years than brisebois has been anywhere) or less suited for the job. People just let the Canadiens do they’re job and stop acting like you know anything about these candidates

    • Lizardking89 says:

      Agreed. I read this and said to myself Robitaille and Hextall? Are they serious? I guess they’re leaving no stone unturned but surely there are better candidates than these guys. I was hoping Pierre McGuire would get a shot, maybe as assistant GM or something but his name hasn’t been mentioned at all.

  7. HabsFanMTL says:

    umm why has ron hextall been mentioned as our next potential gm? does he speak a letter of french???

  8. aemarchand11 says:

    GM: Marc Bergevin
    AGM: Larry Carriere (Why Not, good resume)
    Coach: Crawford or Roy
    Draft: Galchenyuk

    Im worried about Roy and the selection of Grigorenko. Do we really want another version of Kostitsyn or Kovalev with this new management team. Galchenyuk, has been my choice since last season to go 1 or 2, if he didnt have the injury this season he might even be the #1. Articles are coming out now saying the same thing, so thats enough in my books!

  9. Un Canadien errant says:

    An issue I have when we look at past drafts is how we’ll wonder at what a great pick someone is who got plucked in the 6th or 8th round and who turned out to be a superstar (Andrei Markov, Theoren Fleury, Pavel Datsyuk…). While some of these guys may have been someone the organization had a hunch on, it’s not clear that there was conviction that this was a can’t miss player that they must have, or else that player would have been drafted in the first or second round, right?

    So how do we attribute credit? Was such a homerun a good guess of what the pitcher was going to deliver, along with good technique from the batter resulting in good contact? Or was the batter clueless and just ‘taking a cut’ and hit the sweet spot? Was the player drafted in the fifth or sixth round being championed by a scout starting in the second round who grew ever more strident and convincing as the rounds passed, until he convinced the Director of Scouting to take a shot, or was he number 22 on their list of available goaltenders, someone who was ranked, practically, even with the guy at number 12 or 32, and was chosen because he was the next guy on the list?

    I’ll use the NFL as an example. The draft plays a larger, more immediate role in a team’s fortunes in the NFL, since they draft players in their twenties instead of teenage years, and their greater maturity usually means they’re mostly ready to play that year, instead of having to spend a few years in junior and the AHL. Another factor is that player careers are much shorter, it’s very rare to have one play a decade with the same team, so you are constantly replenishing talent and bodies. Finally, because the players are ‘plug and play’, you can draft for roster need, instead of taking the far-sighted view and just grabbing the best available player. If you need a cornerback for example, you can plan on getting a starter in the first or second round of the draft and fill a hole in your roster that way.

    The classic case of drafting wizardry is the New England Patriots grabbing Tom Brady in the 6th round of the 2000 draft. While the Patriots were shrewd in eventually pulling the trigger on him, they were also ‘lucky’, and also just as blind as all the other teams in underestimating him. While he was a successful quarterback at Michigan, he was also in a constant battle with Drew Henson for playing time. The latter was a better physical specimen and athlete, and was a two-sport athlete, so the Michigan coaches were afraid he’d switch to baseball fulltime if they didn’t give him playing time, while Tom Brady had already committed to football and given up playing baseball.


    As the linked article shows, New England coach Bill Belichick liked what he saw of Mr. Brady, but hesitated for various reasons, one of which being that they were secure at quarterback with Drew Bledsoe as their starter. Even in the fifth round, when their turn came up, they couldn’t believe he was still on the board, but rationalized it by thinking that the other teams must also be seeing the same red flags they were, and so Mr. Belichick went ahead and drafted two forgettable players ahead of their eventual choice in the sixth round. So the Patriots do get some kudos for finally looking at the positives, but this is not an untarnished expression of organizational genius.

    Hockey has fewer of these classic cases, since we don’t often get the backstories on how a team selects its draft choices. One famous story we can go back to and have discussed before is the New York Islanders’ draft of Mike Bossy. They were presumably working off a list of their preferred choices in the first round when their turn came up at #15.

    “Who’s left?”, Islanders General Manager Bill Torrey is reported to have asked of his chief scout.

    “Mike Bossy, can score, can’t check. Dwight Foster, can check, can’t score,” was the reply.

    “Get me the scorer, we’ll teach him how to check,” snapped Torrey.

    Again, an inspired choice, and the Islanders look prophetic in drafting him, but would they have picked the Hall of Famer if somehow giant defenceman Barry Beck had still been available? Probably not. So how much credit do they get for picking the right player out of what they thought were two options left to them?

    The Canadiens meanwhile had drafted Mark Napier ahead of the hometown phenom, with the rationale that he was just as good a scorer, but had played a year of pro hockey in the WHA and and survived it, so he was more likely to be a productive NHL’er than the reputedly fragile Mike Bossy. The Canadiens, in this case, richly deserve the opprobrium for overthinking what should have been the natural choice.

    Another draft that is often dissected by Canadiens fans is the 2006 draft. The Canadiens skillfully manoeuvered and traded down from 16 to 20 in the first round, picking up an extra second-rounder in doing so, and still got their man in David Fischer. While he was evaluated as a late first-rounder at best by prognosticators, the Canadiens had been following him since his early teenage years and were convinced he was a pillar of their future.


    Nowadays, revisionists look at this draft and rue that Montréal didn’t grab francophone Claude Giroux instead, and see it as another example of institutional incompetence. In fact, Mike Boone clearly shows in the article linked below that instead of faulting the Canadiens for picking David Fischer, it’s the Flyers who should be lauded, since they gambled and took an undersized skill player from the unregarded LHJMQ higher than he was ranked, and hit the jackpot.


    Also instructive is the second round, where the Canadiens picked big scorer Ben Maxwell, the 49th player taken. Immediately after, the Boston Bruins grabbed Milan Lucic from the Vancouver Giants. This is another set of picks that now look idiotic/inspired depending on the evaluator’s perspective, but again, at the time, Mr. Maxwell was more highly rated by most scouts than Mr. Lucic. As I always like to point out, Ryan White was ranked even higher than both as the #7 prospect from the WHL, with Ben Maxwell at #12 and Milan Lucic at #14.


    This is where backstory might be helpful, and maybe Mr. Boone can come to our rescue with this question, but I have a hunch that if the Bruins had picked at #49 in front of the Canadiens, they still would have picked Mr. Lucic.

    While Ben Maxwell was a player with relatively low profile in his draft year, Milan Lucic was already seen as being a leader, impact player and difference-maker on the eventual Memorial Cup winners, despite his stats not being as impressive as Mr. Maxwell’s. It is reasonable to assume that his skillset would have fit in really well within the organizational philosophy of the Bruins and that he would have been more highly prized by them than by other teams. So the Bruins do get extra credit for ‘reaching’ for Mr. Lucic, snapping him up ahead of where he was normally slated to be taken, and ahead of the higher rated Ryan White, who the Canadiens moved up in the third round to get when he kept ‘sliding’.

    I often wonder what if at the Canadiens’ draft table, someone had piped up and asked if they should risk drafting Mr. Lucic just so as to avoid seeing the Bruins getting him and then having to face him eight times a year, would that have carried the day, or whether he was ever on their radar, especially that high in the draft.

    What this speaks to is the organizational stability in Boston, with Harry Sinden having steered the ship for decades. Love ’em or, more likely, hate ’em, the Bruins have played the same style since the seventies, and have scouted and drafted accordingly, and then developed their players to the same purpose. This gives them a great advantage in that it restricts their focus and allows them to concentrate on fewer players who fit into their philosophy, it gives them more clarity of purpose and reduces the likelihood of too many options causing ‘paralysis by analysis’.

    The Canadiens have the opportunity with the current front office shakeup to re-instill the team’s philosophy. We had a nebulous sense recently that there was no such clear guiding principles, in that for example Mr. Gainey had obtained speedy smaller skaters at forward, while Coach Martin favoured a defence-first style that seemed ill-suited to his personnel. It can be hoped that we in the future have a consistent vision of what the team should look like and how it should play, from the ownership on down, and that this will be promulgated by the GM, scouting, coaching, and player development staff. We can hope that this philosophy will rely firmly on the team’s history and legacy, and that the emphasis will be to build on some of the momentum which has been allowed to ebb since the glory years of the seventies and eighties.

    As far as the best way to determine which team has been the best success in drafting, both the methods used by Ed Wiles of the Vancouver Province (http://www.theprovince.com/sports/entry+draft+more+than+science/6319829/story.html#ixzz1peUkmRy7) and Andrew Berkshire (http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2012/4/13/2936786/evaluating-the-draft-a-new-methodolgy) have their merits, and show the Canadiens in a positive light, which goes to Trevor Timmins’ and his staff’s credit.

    I contend that, as Mr. Berkshire does, it doesn’t take a genius to draft a Sidney Crosby or a Evgeni Malkin once Alex Ovechkin has been removed as an option, or a Nail Yakupov. The Canadiens will draft a player at #3 overall this June who will have lots of promise but some warts, and it will be hard to debate the merits of this pick with any certainty until three or four years from now.

    I do think that the real test of an organization is how they do with the late first-round picks, as well as their second-rounders and third rounders. The Canadiens have historically done well with these guys, often grabbing unheralded players from the Québec league who turn into stalwarts for years. We have quite a few second-rounders coming up in the next couple years, and these will determine the team’s future and give us an accurate read on how skilled we are at evaluating and then developing talent.

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


  10. PureGuava says:

    What’s all this gobbledygook? When is Carey gonna give us some new mask stories?

  11. Fan Of The Game says:

    Do you think that if Julien Brisebois name was Mike Smith he would even get a sniff? What’s he ever done? Tell me exactly his accomplishments that would make him a leader of a hockey department and how a kid just out of diapers would command respect? Because he does cute French lawyer talk?What does he know? If he was so smart why did he screw up a call up some years ago and the Habs had to haul Ryan White off the ice. It never happened since the lockout and was kept hush hush about the big fine. Then you have Mcguire. Same questions. What does a fast talking cliche person know about leading people and running a hockey department. The 2 of them would get eaten alive. Next.

    • PureGuava says:

      you’re bang on Brisebois, but I like McGuire.

      “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”
      – Robert Anton Wilson

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      You’re being ridiculous. Mr. Brisebois’ résumé speaks for itself.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


      • Fan Of The Game says:

        Nice dodge. His resume? What resume? I Asked for details and you present nothing more than RDS or LaPresse propaganda of promoting a local born. You might impress a few here with your long winded posts that say little but your BS answer here means nothing

        • Un Canadien errant says:

          Speaking of dodges, if you really are unaware of what his résumé looks like, why don’t you educate yourself, instead of going on an unsubstantiated, bizarre rant to demean him and to suit your agenda.

          I’ll give you a hint: type “Julien BriseBois résumé” in Google, hit enter.

          How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


          • Fan Of The Game says:

            Another dodge. You don’t fool me. As requested, list his accomplishments or are you just a fan of his French name and clueless about his competence.

            I know what he has done which is little unless you and your ilk still praise doctors, lawyers, and accountants

          • Un Canadien errant says:

            I guess you and I are talking at cross-purposes. I’m not sure what you will accept as an ‘accomplishment’ if you don’t feel that ably filling roles in a hockey team’s management structure and being constantly and rapidly promoted, as well as being headhunted by another organization qualify.

            If you are unwilling to Google and read a couple of articles written by different reporters quoting various sources that speak very highly of him, or refuse to accept them as indications of his capacity to fill the role, there’s not much I can do to convince you.

            Me, I also consider having the intellectual capacity to obtain a law degree and an MBA as something of an achievement as well, but obviously you don’t. So let’s agree to disagree on this one.

            How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


    • habstrinifan says:

      I dont think you are being fair in either assessment. I dont think either is in anyway at the ‘top’ of the list right now but you are to disdainful in your evaluation.

  12. Mattyleg says:

    Hey everyone!
    Come join us on the next thread!
    It’s where all the cool kids are hanging out!

    (they told me if I said that, they’d consider letting me be one of them! Fingers crossed!)

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  13. Biggest thing I take from that ’89 video: Goalie pads need to be that size again. Goalie equipment measurements circa 1990 should be the yardstick moving forward. Goalies were well-protected, but not tanks.

    • Chuck says:

      6′-4″ goalies were rare back then.

      Being a Hab fan is like buying real estate: only over the long-haul will you appreciate the true value of your investment.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      The reason pads were smaller back in the day is not that goalies were more ethical, or that modern goalies cheat. Advances in textiles and other technology have made padding much lighter than in the day when they were made of water absorbing leather and felt and other such materials. They were small of necessity, so that a goalie had a chance to get back up once he got down on the ice.

      The new equipment changed the style goaltenders employ. In the old days, goalies were told to ‘stand up’, because once they were down, the equipment dictated that they would have to struggle to get back up. Nowadays, everybody employs the butterfly style that Cesare Maniago and Tony Esposito used, because flopping down to the ice doesn’t make getting back up impossible, especially in the third period once the leg pads have soaked up a gallon of water each like they used to in the old days.

      With 100 mph slap shot, we shouldn’t force goalies to use less equipment. The solution is to make the net bigger. 4 feet by 6 feet made sense when goalies were 5’8″ and unathletic, but with the evolution of the game it’s time to make the nets bigger, and allow for more scoring and more spectacular goals, instead of the ‘crash the net’ mentality we’ve been reduced to.

      How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?


      • boing007 says:

        They should also move the net forward about three more feet. It gets pretty crowded behind the net when the goalie decides to go after the puck.

        Richard R
        Price is an oyster. Unfortunately not all oysters produce pearls.

  14. myron.selby says:

    I don’t think it matters who they choose as GM at this point. The corporate culture comes from the top as represented by Geoff Molson and he’s already shot himself in the foot.

    In his presser announcing Gauthier’s termination he made a point of saying that it isn’t a requirement for the new GM to speak french. He then announces Savard as his special advisor to help with the GM search.

    So what does Serge do in his first comments the same day? He immediately and directly contradicted Molson by saying that the new GM MUST speak french.

    At that point, Molson had a choice – he could dismiss Savard, or force him to issue a new statement saying that in fact french is not a requirement for the position. By doing neither, Molson lost all credibility. He was very publicly de-nutted by someone who he had just appointed on one of the biggest hot button topics around the team, and he stood back and let it happen.

    The issue is not whether the GM has to speak french or not (I’m not sure it’s really necessary but it doesn’t bother me if they make it a requirement).

    The real problem is that this is not the kind of leadership that creates successful organizations. Sadly, I see more of the same hopeless muddling along, stumbling from crisis to crisis type of management as we’ve seen for far too many years.

    I also am not impressed with Savard as the special advisor. His comments that the GM has to be a hockey guy (meaning an ex-NHLer) is completely out of touch with where the game is going. What the position requires in this day and age is someone who can build an organization, create a winning culture by finding the best people for each role and trusting them.

    Not only that but if you look at Savard’s record he wasn’t a particularly good GM. I always suspected that he treated it as a part time job since he had his real estate empire to run at the same time.

    His draft record was appalling (go back and look) and he made some spectacularly bad trades. Chelios for Denis Savard stands out – Chelios (as over-rated as he was) was entering the prime of his career and Denis was out of gas. And throwing Leclair into the Recchi-Desjardins trade was unforgivable – it makes throwing McDonaugh into the Gomez deal pale in comparison.

    His 2 cup wins were more down to hot goal tending and luck than planning – both teams played way over their heads.

    • Cal says:

      2 Cups. I’d say he did a good job, particularly since they came in the Lemiux and Gretzky era.
      No GM’s record is perfect, but Savard’s beats any Habs GM since.

    • Mozeby says:

      Savard had a pretty good record in drafting and his teams were always in the upper rankings of the league. He assembled that super team that only lost to Calgary in the 89 cup finals. He drafted a slew of good defencemen in the early 90’s or late 80’s. Many other character guys like Skrudland, Keane, were brought in by him. He shafted toronto in the Kordic deal. He brought Kirk and Vinny and Brian Bellows in. He also seemed to chose coaches well too. He was the first to bring Pat Burns into the league. Brought in Demers when the team needed that type of guy.

      • myron.selby says:

        Well if you only want to look at the 84 draft he did great (Svoboda, Corson in the first round & Richer in the second). If you look at his first round picks after that:

        85 – Jose Charbonneau & Tom Chorske
        86 – Mark Pederson
        87 – Andrew Cassels
        88 – Eric Charron
        89 – Lindsay Vallis
        90 – Turner Stevenson
        91 – Brent Bilodeau
        92 – David Wilkie
        93 – Saku Koivu
        94 – Brad Brown
        95 – Terry Ryan

        With the exception of Koivu the only one that actually had anything resembling a career was Andrew Cassels. The rest of them either never made the show or were journeymen.

        And people get on Timmons for David Fischer.

    • habstrinifan says:

      You may want to consider the opinion of “french” analyst Norman Flynn who said that bringing Savard on board in such a public role was smart because i has taken care of the predominance of the language issue as a resume requirement.

      It may also be one reason why you are seeing some quiet from the French media re the mere mention of an English prospect.

  15. smiler2729 says:

    GM by committee! Hire all of us.

    Jack Edwards is a clam, Bruins are gutless weasel pukes.
    The Halakian Jaroslaves’ constant BS make me anti-Halak

    • habstrinifan says:

      I refuse to work with you. Dont think the there is an office big enough fro my ego and your ego.

      Just having some fun here… or maybe not. LOL!

  16. New says:

    Hextall for GM and Chelios for coach! Ignore the game just broadcast the office.

  17. nellis13 says:

    Get the entertainment value up. Hextall for GM, Roy or coach, Chelios for assistant coach, Gomez for zamboni driver and get Kaberle in that Youppi costume. Have fun with it Geoff. Make it a show.

  18. veryhabby says:

    My choice…Marc Bergevin. Once a player, has moved his way thru the Hawks organization. He is such a good assistant GM that when the team changed GMs, the new guy kept him on as assistant. Most new GMs would change and chose their own right hand man. He helped built the cup winning team. that’s the experience I want to see.

    Hextall, wierd choice….Luc, no experience….Losielle, please stay away from anyone who helped build a loser team in TO. Savard, Brisebois….I guess ok, but not my first choise

  19. Bripro says:

    Boone states that either the Red Wings refused to let the Habs talk with Nill, or that Nill declined.
    LeBrun tweeted yesterday that Nill is in no way interested in moving anywhere. So you can forget about him.

    • New says:

      I think Stu Hackel was writing of past offers from other teams with a view that Nill was previously content in Detroit and likely not interested in moving.

  20. 44har48 says:

    Andre Savard and Bob Hartley/Marc Crawford…I still wish we could have seen the end of Savard’s plan before Gainey came in and detroyed everything he touched.

    My first choice is Nill, but I have as much a chance of that happenign as I do trading our late second this year, one of our seconds next year, this year’s 3rd overall, and a player for the #1 overall and rights to draft Yakupov.

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Gainey destroyed everything Savard touched? lol are you kidding me? Look at the roster Savard had put together…hint, it stunk.

    • ZepFan2 says:

      “I still wish we could have seen the end of Savard’s plan before Gainey came in and detroyed everything he touched.”


      Thanks for the much needed laugh! 😆

      “I got a feeling, a feeling deep inside” – Lennon/McCartney

      I’ve got a feeling

    • Habsrule1 says:

      Wow, that’s funny. I now remember what Savard handed off to Gainey. No playoffs for 4 out of 5 years (not just Savard’s doing but he didn’t help). Then Gainey turned things around and made the playoffs 4 out of 5 years (the only year he didn’t was on the last day of the season). He also managed the team that finished 1st in the Eastern Conference and the one that got to the ECF.
      Made some mistakes like every other GM in history though (a couple pretty bad ones).

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • NCRhabsfan says:

      Really? 2 second round picks, a first round pick and a player to choose a small forward? And that when you’re already lined up to get the next best forward? This is how the Toronto Maple Leafs have been building for years. Please tell me you are not in the running to become the Habs new GM.

  21. habs-fan-84 says:

    Do what it takes to get Dale Tallon, end of story.

  22. adamkennelly says:

    Calgary just issued their list of possible coaching candidates: Patrick Roy, Guy Carbonneau, Michel Bergeron, Marc Crawford, Bob Hartley..ohh wait..no, wrong list…

    • Strummer says:

      You sure that’s not tonight’s L’antichambre line-up?

      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  23. Corson27 says:

    Well as far as I am concern I have not heard the name of Pierre McGuire mentioned seriously in these talks and that is a good thing. He belongs between the benches with over sized headphones.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      The Habs should consider him. It’s dissapointing if they do not. Why pass up anyone with any potential at all? I assume you don’t think he has any potential, but he does.
      At the end of the day, I just want the best person for the job.
      McGuire might make a good assistant GM or Scout. I doubt he’d leave what he’s doing for that though.

      Go Habs Go!!

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

    • DorvalTony says:

      Milt Melchnick deserves a comedic award for his campaign. Delusional.

      Thanks for listening, Geoff Molson.

      • Habsrule1 says:

        I always find it interesting when people think that if others don’t have the same opinion as them, they are somehow crazy or delusional. I guess some pretty important people in Minnesota & Calgary were delusional to interview him as well.

        Go Habs Go!!

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

    • steve17 says:

      Just because we haven’t heard his name, doesn’t mean he has not been contacted. Pierre talks a good, long talk, and he may have connections, but I am not sure he is the person for the job. I have read that the players had no respect for him when he was head coach in Hartford, they thought he was a joke! Maybe he has changed since then!


    • habstrinifan says:

      I posted a link yesterday. Not gonna get involved … too much rancour. But if you read the aricle and read between the lines it may just be that McGuire will be interviewed.

  24. RetroMikey says:

    We need 2 assistant GM’s = 1 GM
    My choices are Andre Savard and Jim Nill.
    Pay both of them equal salary for the responsibilites of a GM in this once proud franchise and bring back the glory to Montreal.
    Molsons have the money, time for them to dish it out.

    Patrick Roy as coach? LMAO….no friggin way.
    He’s a walking time bomb!

    Take the best coach out there whether he speaks French or not.
    My choice if he has to speak French…..Guy Carbonneau.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • HabFab says:

      Come on dude, keep up with the news. Nill has no desire to leave Detroit for any reason.

    • Habsrule1 says:

      We need 1 GM and a couple very good assistants. I don’t remember being all that impressed with Andre Savard, but maybe that’s a good thing. I don’t remember anything bad either.
      I think, from limited knowledge, that Julien Brisebois would be the best choice for GM. I would have been ok with Damphousse as an assistant. I would think the assistants will likely not already be assistants unless we are going to provide a substantial raise.

      I’d be ok with Roy as coach. I listened to Jacques Demers yesterday and he says Roy has changed and learned a lot and people don’t realize how much he knows and how smart he is. I hope he still has plenty of fire left though. We could use it!
      I like Carbo. If he wants to be part of the solution, how about assistant coach or even assistant GM?

      Go Habs Go!!

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

      • croozer says:

        agree on the GM team concept – no one guy will be good at everything. Drafting/trades/working the cap/dealing with media etc
        Put a team together that covers all the bases . McGuire is an example – good knowledge of current NHL rosters and a burning passion for the game – but too excitable for the top job – great choice for assistant. Brisbois is supposed to be a cap genius – also good – probably good for the top job. With two francophones you could even afford to add non-francophones to the team if they had expertise you needed.

  25. shootdapuck says:

    The Yotes have zero fan support?

    Suggest you get out of Mom’s basement and go to Glendale and see how much propaganda the media spews forth. First it was the Winnipeg media mob and now its the Allo Police media in Quebec.

    They get much better crowds than NJ, NYI, Florida.

    The only time the above mentioned 3 teams get a decent crowd is when ticket starved holidaying Montrealers and Laff fans fill their rinks.

    Get real!

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Agree about Devils and Panthers. Islander issues are crappy building and Milbury factor (awful team). Otherwise its one of the few great hockey markets in the US. Coyotes are bleeding money but interesting enough the franchise is still valued over 140 mil according to some reports. Value might be influenced by potential move to another city (Quebec) .

      • shootdapuck says:

        The Devils, Panthers, Blue Jackets and Islanders aren’t bleeding money?

        Why are the Devils in ownership limbo and the Islanders threatening moving to Brooklyn?

        The cerebral insight of PJ Stock:

        “Le problem est Markov n’a pas jouer un seul game cette annee”
        “Louis Leblanc est un kid locale”

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Thought I explained Islander situation. Devils problem is massive debt, poor management very similar to Phoenix situation. If you took the Devils arena and team to the Island, you’d have a most successful franchise. Cheers.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        The Yotes valuation by the NHL is irrelevant. Their value is whatever someone is willing to pay for them.

        I’m surprised people keep bringing up a move to Quebec City. The city of Glendale has been financing the Coyotes with the understanding that the team would stay long term. I wonder how easy it will be to move the team.

        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

        • Habsrule1 says:

          Eventually everyone involved will get tired of losing money every year. They will move. It’s not if, it’s when. The same can be said for getting a team in Quebec.

          Go Habs Go!!

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

    • Marc10 says:

      Actually I was in your mom’s bedroom… but I digress. Zing! 🙂

      I was being facetious. I know they do draw better than some of the other non hockey deadbeat markets. Good on ’em!

      Still, I like their team even if half their fans are secretly Detroit/Habs/Leaf fans…

    • Viruk42 says:


      Phoenix – 30th – 72.5%
      NYI – 27th – 81.3%
      Flo – 23rd – 86.6%
      NJ – 22nd – 87.4%
      (note: 29th is Dallas, 76.8%. So the Coyotes are a full 4.3 percentage points lower than any other team. The average is ~95.3%, so they’re 18.5 percentage points back of average)

      Oh, you prefer real attendance numbers, not percentages?

      Pho – 30th – 12,420
      Nyi – 29th – 13,191
      NJ – 24th – 15,396
      Flo – 21st – 16,628

      So the Yoes get better crowds than NJ, NYI and Florida do they? Well, no, they don’t. Perhaps more people show up in the playoffs, but you can’t support a team purely on playoffs. What happens if they miss?

  26. CanadienBoy says:

    Denis Savard as coach with Serge as GM surprise nobody mention Denis as coach

  27. Marc10 says:

    That Hanzal… He’s so hot right now!

    I’m cheering for the Yotes! They’ve got the goaltending, a decent team… and zero fan support. Make that one fan for the duration of the playoffs. Go Yotes!

  28. 24 Cups says:

    Does Hextall speak French, and what real qualifications does Robataille have besides the fact he speaks French and has played the game in the NHL?

    • Habfan10912 says:

      Morning 24. I thought I saw a post earlier that Hex does not but of course Luk does. They felt the combination might work. Interesting.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Robitaille is president of the Kings so he has qualifications beyond the two you mention.

      Hextall has to be the most unlikely candidate since Newt Gingrich.

      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  29. HabFanSince72 says:

    Blues better hope Brian Elliott is a quick healer.

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

  30. petefleet says:

    Picking a GM and coach is a crap shoot. They can study and interview till the cows come home. There are no guarentees. More coaches and GMs fail than ever win the Stanley Cup. No one expected the Habs to win in 86 or 93. My point is, every coach and GM are hired to do the best they can. Where that ends up is anyones guess. Kenny Holland was not hired with expectation of having DET as one of the elite teams for 10+ years, it just happened that way. Anyone who sits in the seat has a chance at winning, some better than others but they all have a chance.


    “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

    ***Habs Forever***

  31. HabFanSince72 says:

    The Phoenix Coyotes lose $20M/yr and they are for sale for $140M

    Sounds like the investment opportunity of a lifetime.

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • petefleet says:

      Stop giving tickets away and devalueing their product and they will make some of that defecit back right away. The southern markets do it too but there are alot of Canadians who go to the games and watch TV down there. I’ve been to some of the rinks that are losing money and you can get tickets for next to nothing, any game you want. What does that say to would be ticket buyers? To me it looks like they are saying that their product is poor and they are having a fire sale. Some markets have “buy 1 get 2 free” sales. I don’t know what the answer is but giving away tickets is not working.


      “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

      ***Habs Forever***

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        If they don’t give away tickets and offer all sorts of incentives to entice fans to go the building would be completely empty.

      • The Cat says:

        Its a desperation move in hopes of creating traffic and hopefully a buzz. For sure they thought about how it would devalue the product but what can you do; when youre desperate, youre desperate.

        [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Increasing the price of your product to make it seem more desirable worked for premium vodka.

        And if the Yotes were 40% ethanol and 60% water it might work.

        But they aren’t.

        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • boing007 says:

      W. C. Fields couldn’t have said it better.

      Richard R

  32. Cal says:

    Hextall for GM? Baahahahhahahahahahahahha!
    With the Coyotes probably heading to Quebec, don’t look for Roy to be anywhere near the Habs anytime soon…or late.

  33. The Cat says:

    So the NHL issued a statement saying it was unhappy with the blown offside call that led to a Philly goal.


    Now to anyone who still doesnt believe the Pens are the NHLs preffered team, when was the last time you saw the NHL issue any kind of statement saying it was not pleased over a blown call? Usually, its the typical “its a fast game, errors are human etc”.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • The Cat says:

      Best bet tonight if you can find it: Which team will have more penalties?

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • Cal says:

      The NHL should be pissed at the lack of competence when it comes to their linesmen and refs. What do you expect when it’s the job no one wants?

      • The Cat says:

        Pitts scored when the play should’ve been dead from a blown icing call. Why didn’t the NHL mention that? The NHL is a bit phony, they make no attempt at being transparent whatsoever, the only thing they do is try to enforce their desired outcome. You think the NFL wouldve allowed the email crap that went on with Campbell a couple of years back?

        [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

    • petefleet says:

      That would be the same NHL that did absolutley nothing to Steckel for trying to decapitate the best player in the league who happens to be the captain of ……………….. “the NHLs preffered team”. There is an uncurrent all around the league that the officials are weak in the NHL and it’s to the point where it’s impossible to hide. 30 teams with 4 officials per game plus backups, that’s a watered down talent pool. Don’t expect it to get any better either. The players and coaches all over the league are very frustrated….as are the fans.


      “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

      ***Habs Forever***

  34. Hobie Hansen says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Roy as a coach either. I think his intense attitude is exactly what the Canadiens need behind the bench. Put a couple experienced assistant coaches beside him and I think he’d be great.

    It’s a major piss off that the media makes it so tough on players and coaches in Montreal. Guy Lafleur came out and said that Roy would have a hard time with the media in Montreal this week.

    I’m personally so sick of the media starting crap in Montreal. I know it happens everywhere in every sport but the media in Montreal has to be among the most disruptive to any team in professional sports.

    If I’m Geoff Molson or Serge Savard I would take a look at which journalists are getting too personal or creating controversy out of nothing and ban them from the Centre Bell. That or do like some teams do on occasion and allow reporters a very limited time to ask questions in a press conference type of format. If somebody asks a question about anything other than what happened on the ice, simply move onto the next question.

    People might say the media is the only avenue for a team to communicate with their fans and if that relationship is disrupted it wall cause even more problems. I think that is BS. If Savard or Molson came out and said that certain members of the media are costing us wins and explained the situation the fans would understand right away.

    • JUST ME says:

      Totally agree with your comment. It is somehow sad to say that Lafleur is right cause i do not understand what the media has to do with the decision process of a private enterprise even if called le canadien de Montréal.

      I somehow hope that Savard grabs the opportunity to put in place new rules to follow for the media,more restrictions,cancel the damn daily press conference and simply deal with those who really have something to do there. All those supposed columnist that are there with other reporters from the same medias are only there for their personal glory anyway.

      We all can name individuals that are undesirable and negative. If we can then i am sure the Habs know even better.

      Take the G.M. search per say. I am convinced that there are not as many candidates on Molson and Savard`s list as the media mention. Take Damphousse .He was not even called by the Habs and when he said he was not interested they said he was removed from the list. He was not even there anyway !

      Take the language issue. To whom does the coach have to speak ? Why can they translate what the 29 other coaches says but not ours ? By the way i am french so don`t accuse me of pro english or french crap cause this issue has nothing to do with sports ,it is a political/cultural issue and should be delt with with the ones we elected in parliament not with private enterprise.

      So again, the media should be delt the cards by the Habs and be in the passenger seat only.

      It will probably show my age but am i the only one scared with that Hextall guy ? The only picture remaining in my mind is more one of a goaler with a few mental issues…

      I would definitely go with new ideas and new energy for the Habs behind the bench and upstairs. I think mister Savard is the man of the hour for the job he has been hired to do. Afterwards i am not sure.

      Patrick Roy ? Let`s just say there are up sides and down sides…Is he mister right or mister right now ?

      Mister perfect probably does not exist but let`s wait as long as it takes to be sure we hire the good guys for many years to come or until the medias decide (again )…

      • petefleet says:



        “It just goes to show how difficult predictions are, especially ones made about the future.”

        ***Habs Forever***

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        The entire French/English thing is ridiculous. The city of Montreal and surrounding areas couldn’t give a rat’s ass if the coach/GM was English, French or Bilingual. They want the hockey team to win games!

        It’s some separatist media members and perhaps Quebec city and the smaller cities and towns across the province that insist that the coach/GM speak French.

        Screw’em! The amount of fans in the city of Montreal and the rest of Canada who don’t give a crap what language the coach speaks far outweigh this group of separatist reporters and so-called fans who are pressing the French issue.

        Not that I’d like to see Hextall hired but you can obviously see the Habs are talking to GM candidates who don’t speak French. Just hire the best man for the job regardless of his language.

        • JUST ME says:

          Did not want to go there honestly cause we already got all the sillyness out of the question ,just wanted to demonstrate how the sports reporters again are a nuisance and have way too much time on their hand. When you have that many individuals payed to follow one subject 24/7 it is bound to happen. Things get out of hand,lies are written and finally much ado about nothing.

          But still at the end of the day the team has to deal with would be diva reporters and things that have nothing to do with their priorities.

          • boing007 says:

            Maybe journalists should be required to attach a warning at the top of their daily column stating that it is an opinion column … and nothing more than that.

            Richard R

      • Just me… I’d vote for you any day! Shame our politicians aren’t as rational as you!

        Promote the Youth, Support From The Veterans and Remember the Heritage!

    • DorvalTony says:

      Geoff Molson is a lot smarter than that. Roy’s one tantrum away from being in a rubber room.

      Thanks for listening, Geoff Molson.

  35. VancouverHab says:

    Patrick Roy = Mario Trenbley.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  36. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …Colin Campbell ??? … 🙂

    HIS’ Official Habs’ Fan Theme Song; Morrissey ‘There is a light that never goes out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjObvIQtsLk&feature=related
    What I WANT ! is an aircraft carrier at centre and nuclear destroyers on each wing going to the net like bats out of Hell !, …NO MORE rubber duckies !!!
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  37. FanCritic says:

    Quit fooling around – Brisbois for GM – Roy for Coach it’s easy – Mr. Molson and Mr. Savard it’s done….

  38. sampson12 says:

    I still haven’t got a call..

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