Saturday, December 17, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Montreal Canadiens Fire Coach Jacques Martin

UPDATE - 11:29 AM - I've been doing some digging and it seems like "there is more to come".

I'm not entirely sure what that means but it seems like there could be a trade or two on the horizon.

UPDATE - 10:06 AM - As per Arpon Basu (on Twitter), Larry Carriere will go behind the bench as assistant to Cunneyworth.

This is a bit of a strange move since in HIS 40 years in THE NHL as player, scout, and manager, Carriere has never coached a game. Sounds like Gauthier wants a set of eyes and ears behind the bench.


The Montreal Canadiens have announced that head coach, Jacques Martin, has been fired.

Assistant coach, Randy Cunneyworth, will take over behind the bench until the end of the season.

I am stunned because I didn't think Pierre Gauthier was going to do anything.

The way this looks to me is that Gauthier knows his butt is on the line right now. Firing JM was something he would do only if he felt he had no choice. And that must be how he felt.

Randy Cunneyworth will take over as interim coach until the end of the season at which point they'll do a thorough candidate search.

That said, I still think PG and Gainey need to get the boot too. We'll see if Molson also thinks that same.

One thing for sure, is that Molson's vote of confidence for Gauthier, Martin, Gomez et al. doesn't mean much.

The Habs rock and roll season keeps rocking it seems!

More details to come, but what do you think of the firing and who do you think would make a good replacement?

Here's P.K. Subban talking about the coach being fired:

Chris Campoli:

Josh Gorges:

Michael Cammalleri:

Hal Gill:

Here's the discussion thread, so jump into the fray!

Kamal is a freelance writer, Senior Writer/Editor-in-Chief of, Montreal Canadiens Blogger on and featured columnist on Kamal is also a weekly contributor to the Sunday Shinny on TSN Radio 990 (AM 990) every Sunday from 9 - 10 AM. Listen live at

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Carriere behind the bench is a bit of a telling move. Gauthier perhaps wants first hand info on what is going on down there, as opposed to taking coaches word for what is going on down there?

I won't be surprised to see Martin remain with the club in some capacity, as did Perry Pearn. And lest people forget, Martin did do some good with the club. He doesn't deserve pariah status, but clearly his kick at the can was done IMO.

When it comes to candidates next year, I have to agree with Anonymous above - best candidate for the job and if need be, hire a translator already.

@anon/Roz: I think this is a good move for Montreal and one that undid the mistake of hiring Martin in the first place.

The thing is that Gauthier no longer has any excuses. His head is in the noose now and he knows it...which leads us to the appointment of Carriere as assistant coach.

This guy doesn't have any coaching experience so I think he is there to a) translate (since he speaks French and Cunneyworth does not) b) to be Gauthier's eyes and ears. He wants to know what is going on with the team, in no uncertain terms.

That said, I did a little digging and was told that "there is more to come".

I think this means there might be a trade or two in the works but wasn't given any specifics.

Interesting times indeed...


I agree (as I am sure you suspect) that I do not feel that JM is at all a pariah, or a bad coach for that matter.

Was his time running out and message running thin? Perhaps. Probably even.


Agreed. The best must be brought in. Not the most linguistically fluent.

This day might continue to get very interesting. Chris Lee is in Montreal again tonight. Oh joy.

To me, the firing should have been done 32 games ago or at least before the Kabele trade. Awful cap hit when they have so many RFAs and UFAs they need to sign. Price, Subban, Gorges, ..... to name a few.

I too think it should have been done sooner. I also think PG should go also. Give Gomez away if necessary. He's just lost it. Get an experienced coach in no matter what the language. 500 is just not acceptable in Montreal.

Great slip of the tongue by Lars Eller

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