Here's the link:
The story cites "...three separate sources close to the team...", going on to say that Bob Gainey has been speaking with owner, Geoff Molson, about making some significant changes.
They also intimate that Habs ownership is seriously considering a shakeup that could affect both General Manager Pierre Gauthier and coach Jacques Martin.
So, in short, they are saying that Gainey and Molson are talking about firing both Gauthier and Martin.
Interestingly, they even name a few possible replacements:
"It's unclear, at this point, whom the Habs are seriously considering to replace Martin, or Gauthier, despite speculation suggesting the likes of Patrick Roy, Gerard Gallant and Randy Carlyle could come in behind the bench, while Red Wings VP and assistant GM Jim Nill could become a candidate to replace Gauthier."
For those of you unfamiliar with The Fourth Period and David Pagnotta (founder and the guy who broke the story on TSN 990 today), both have solid reputations. They are not a rumour mongering magazine or site and tend to be pretty plugged-in to the NHL scene.
That being said, I am a little leery of a story coming from the Fourth Period that somehow escaped all the eminently capable and connected media-types that follow this team on a daily basis.
That doesn't mean the story is false, mind you, just that it's surprising to see a magazine that tends not to be a source on the Habs, having the info first.
So, veracity of the information aside, this piece brings up several interesting tidbits.
La Presse's Francois Gagnon had a conversation with Geoff Molson just this week, in which Molson gave a vote of confidence to Gauthier, Martin and even Scott Gomez! Now, if the shakeup goes through, it wouldn't be the first time an owner has publicly given a vote of confidence only to turn around and fire everyone.
That being said, when speaking with a journalist who is asking him about his coach and GM, what do you expect him to say? That he thinks the GM isn't creative and that the coach is old-school and doesn't understand the modern game?
Molson said what he had to say and now all that's left is to find out if he meant it or not.
What I find most interesting about the story is that they are saying the Bob Gainey is involved in the process, and working with Molson. I find that interesting since Gainey is the one who brought in both Gauthier and Martin.
Not to mention he was the one who fired Claude Julien, hired guy Carbonneau and then fired him too—before bringing on the current regime.
So, at least in my books, Gainey is as big a part of the problem as Gauthier and Martin. Let's not forget that Gainey is the one who was sitting in the driver's seat when Gomez became part of this team.
So what's really happening?
The Fourth Period's Pagnotta took to twitter shortly after his on-air interview with Tony Marinaro, stating that "To clarify folks, as I told @TonyMarinaro on @TSN990Radio, doesn't mean something's happening today. MTL's simply weighing options right now."
Makes sense to me.
What is surprising, again, is that this info is out there at all, since the Habs tend to have a lockdown on the media. Information just doesn't get leaked with the Canadiens unless something is imminent.
But I guess there's a first time for everything!
The bottom line is that, as owner of the team, Molson would be a fool not to be exploring options right now. That doesn't mean that he will or even has to act on them. But to sit back and watch the team floundering without covering all his bases would be negligent.
Molson claimed, when he came on board, to be a fan of the team and to want to bring the glory back. I, for one, believed him and still do.
That being said, Molson's relatively new tenure as owner is being tested right now. Does he actually care? Will he do whatever needs to be done to make this team a winner? Or, like many are saying, does he only care about the dollars and cents?
If the latter is true, then the Canadiens have never been on a truer path to becoming Harold Ballard's Leafs.
If not, however, and Molson is a man of his word, then there is nothing but a world of options for him and the team. All that's needed is a little house cleaning to start things off.
Kamal is a freelance writer, Senior Writer/Editor-in-Chief of HabsAddict.com, Montreal Canadiens Blogger on Hockeybuzz.com and featured columnist on PowerScoutHockey.com. 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 http://www.tsn.ca/montreal/
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