Whitby - Oct. 27, 2011 - Will he stay? Will he go?
These are the questions many Montreal Canadiens’ enthusiasts have been asking themselves for more than a week now.
I have bad news for you.
Habs’ Coach Jacques Martin is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
My confidence in so saying that Martin’s employ with Les Bleu-Blanc-Rouge is secure, stems from the bizarre tactic delivered by General Manager Pierre Gauthier only 90 minutes before game time last night.
Only in Montreal does an organization fire their assistant coach in one fell swoop and so close to the drop of the puck. Perry Pearn - are you kidding me? Tell me if you didn’t expect to hear a different name being announced by GM Gauthier. GM Gauthier should pack his bags and head to Texas tonight to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of the World Series because that was one helluva curve ball.
Sure, sure, Mr. Gauthier was eloquent in his reasoning for the surprising move. “It’s not about an individual person. (It’s) more the result of a change from a global perspective, from a big picture perspective where we need to be better. We need to be more efficient and in order to do that, that’s one of the changes that we decided to make.”
When GM Gauthier talked about being ‘more efficient’, do you think he was referring to the fact that the Canadiens had one more additional assistant coach on the payroll than last year? Was GM Gauthier looking at ways of ‘trimming the fat’? Are beer prices at the Bell Centre going up? Is the Canadiens’ organization looking to become more financially responsible?
All kidding aside, I don’t see how the Canadiens’ are more efficient via GM Gauthier’s latest move, unless of course, Randy Ladouceur is now going to take the reins and lead Montreal’s special teams to a much more favourable power play percentage.
You can never say GM Gauthier is not a compassionate individual as he did offer Pearn the opportunity to remain with the organization in a different role. No word if Pearn accepted.
To be clear, Pearn was responsible for the club’s special teams and Montreal is only 3-for-32 with the man advantage. Pearn was in his third season with the Canadiens’ organization and was a trusted advisor to Coach Martin for many years as the two have previously worked together in Ottawa.
I say the blame should not fall solely on Mr. Pearn. Every member in the organization, from GM Gauthier right down to the players, need to look in the mirror.
The Perry Pearn firing should get Habs’ fanatics to realize that the Canadiens are not ready to get rid of Coach Martin anytime soon. GM Gauthier was looking for a quick release to relieve the pressure from an already tenuous start to his organization’s 2011-12 NHL regular season.
After watching last night’s win versus the visiting Flyers, it is pretty safe to say the Habs’ players are smelling what Martin is cooking. You don’t fire a long-time serving the head coach (16 NHL seasons, four Division Championships, 12 playoff appearances) eight games into a new season.
My question to you: Should the Canadiens’ fall back to their normal ways starting tonight when they face the Boston Bruins, who next gets the proverbial axe for Les Bleu-Blanc-Rouge? John Bartlett, play-by-play man for TSN990? Assistant Coaches Randy Ladouceur or Randy Cunneyworth? The Bell Centre hotdog vendor?
On the brighter side, Canadiens’ defenseman Andrei Markov will be back in Montreal by the weekend and will resume skating next week. Ole, Ole, Ole!!!
Until next time, play every game like as if it is your last one…