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.