After many years in the top-tier of sales, the firm begins to struggle. Where the company once seemed assured of success, sales have dipped dramatically and the organization is now well behind its competitors.
And this, even though the VP of Marketing has been given significant new resources to help promote and improve the product. Eventually, the CEO decides to shake things up and fires the VP of Marketing.
Does this story sound so farfetched? Does it seem so out of line?
I didn't think so. So why then would the firing of Perry Pearn mystify so many people?
When a team regularly ranks at the top of the league in powerplay efficiency and suddenly—in spite of additional tools in Erik Cole, David Desharnais and Raphael Diaz—finds itself floundering, it's not complete folly to fire the coach responsible for this particular facet.
Add to that the fact that the team had an overabundance of coaches and a rather quiet group at that. As such, putting the much more vocal Randy Ladouceur behind the bench makes sense on other levels as well. Also, as a former defencemen, Ladouceur brings a perspective behind the Habs bench that has been lacking since the departure of Rick Green in 2005.
Fans and media constantly decry Pierre Gauthier’s stoic demeanour and seemingly infinite supply of patience. Yet, when he decides to replace someone responsible for an underachieving area, Gauthier is accused of using Pearn as a scapegoat in order to deflect criticism or to buy time.
Jack Todd, amongst others, even said as much in today’s edition of the Montreal Gazette.
Perhaps Gauthier truly felt Pearn's performance had slipped. Perhaps the two had a disagreement. Perhaps he was buying time. Perhaps he was simply trying to shake up his team.
Pierre Gauthier’s job is to use the best people at his disposal to promote a winning environment, not to look like a "good guy" in the eyes of the media.
At the end of the day, Gauthier fired an Assistant Coach who was running an anemic powerplay. He replaced the coach with a more vocal, motivating figure who, due to his previous experience as an NHL blueliner, also offers fresh insight to the team.
If a CEO replaced the Vice President of an underachieving department in any other company, no one would blink an eye. Why is this any different? We constantly sing the refrain that hockey is a business. Yet, when Gauthier makes an executive decision, he is painted as a bad guy.
He is not a bad guy. Just a manager doing his job.
Louis is an Associate Editor at HabsAddict.com and an Editor at HabsWorld.net. Louis was born in Chicago but grew up in Quebec City where he earned Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Université Laval. He currently lives in Ottawa and works for the Coaching Association of Canada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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