Tag: Pierre Gauthier

Jacques Martin

Add Jacques Martin to list of Canucks coaching candidates

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The list of candidates to be the next head coach of the Vancouver Canucks continues to grow.

Renaud Lavoie of RDS reports former Montreal Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin has interviewed for the job in Vancouver. Martin joins a list featuring John Tortorella, Kings assistant John Stevens, and up until he was hired by Edmonton, Dallas Eakins.

Martin last coached during the 2011-2012 season with the Montreal Canadiens when he was fired mid-season by then Habs GM Pierre Gauthier. Since 1995-1996, Martin has coached three teams: Montreal, Florida for three seasons, and Ottawa for eight-plus seasons.

Aside from Eakins, it appears Canucks GM Mike Gillis is gunning for someone with NHL experience to replace Alain Vigneault. Perhaps the talk of the Canucks’ Stanley Cup window closing has everything to do with that.

Blame Pierre: Was Gauthier the reason McDonagh got traded to New York?


In light of what Ryan McDonagh’s done for the New York Rangers this postseason, many are revisiting the 2007 trade that saw Montreal flip the promising young blueliner in exchange for Scott Gomez (and his albatross of a contract.)

There’s been no shortage of blame for dealing McDonagh — Montreal’s scouting department (for not recognizing how talented he was), then-GM Bob Gainey (for pulling the trigger) — but the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson has a new one:

Pierre Gauthier.

Gauthier was Gainey’s assistant at the time and eventually ascended to the GM gig.

Here’s the skinny.

The trade of McDonagh to the Rangers to get Scott Gomez came on Bob Gainey’s watch when he was the GM. This should tarnish Gainey’s reputation for knowing who can play in the NHL and who can’t, but several sources say Gauthier’s fingerprints were really all over this one.

“Bob’s daughter had died (swept overboard at sea while working on a training ship) before this and he was letting Pierre do a lot of the work. Pierre didn’t like McDonagh, for some reason. Saw him play in the world juniors and didn’t like him. The scouts loved McDonagh, though. When he was traded, they couldn’t believe it,” said a source close to the scene.

“At least make up your mind on McDonagh after he’s played a few seasons.”

Instead, McDonagh was dealt on June 30, 2009 while he was still attending the University of Wisconsin, after he had finished his junior year there. He had just turned 20.

“The scouts didn’t think he was going to put up a lot of points, but he was big (213 pounds) and he competed,” said the source.

What Canadiens fans (and new GM Marc Bergevin) have to be irate about is that, had Gainey/Gauthier merely stayed the course, they could’ve reaped the benefits of Montreal’s outstanding scouting at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

The Habs took McDonagh 12th overall, Max Pacioretty 22nd, P.K. Subban 43rd and Yannick Weber 73rd.

Jim Nill won’t be the next Canadiens GM

Jim Nill

While the Montreal Canadiens’ search for a new GM to replace Pierre Gauthier rages on, one hot name on their list is taking himself out of the running.

Detroit Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill tells Ansar Khan of mlive.com that while he had discussions with Montreal, he won’t be the guy to take over the Canadiens.

“I had two great talks with Montreal; I was interested, they were interested,” Nill said. “But it’s not the right time.”

Nill says an illness in his family made it so now wasn’t the right time to make such a bold move. Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch gave the Canadiens permission to speak with Nill and given Nill’s track record over his 18 years in Detroit, he would make an outstanding candidate.

Now the Habs will turn their attention elsewhere with an unknown list of candidates for owner Geoff Molson and special assistant Serge Savard to work from. By now you’ve heard about Patrick Roy’s interest in working in the NHL and how his “cellphone is always on” in case someone wants to call.

Mike Cammalleri’s game-worn Habs jersey will run you $600…unless you’re Mike Cammalleri

Mike Cammalleri

From the “Maybe this is why he got fired” file, check out this anecdote from the Montreal Gazette’s Pat Hickey about Mike Cammalleri’s acrimonious departure from the Canadiens:

Let’s go back to the night on Jan. 12 when the Canadiens were playing the Boston Bruins. Between the second and third periods, general manager Pierre Gauthier told Michael Cammalleri to take off his uniform and return to the team hotel because he had been traded. Gauthier said he couldn’t tell Cammalleri where he was going because the trade – to Calgary for Rene Bourque – had yet to be completed.

A stunned Cammalleri asked if he could keep his game jersey as a souvenir of the good times in Montreal. No problem, said Gauthier, as long as he was willing to pay for it.

This week, the Calgary Herald’s Vicki Hall asked Cammalleri about this incident, with the veteran sniper neither confirming nor denying it. Hickey then went on to write that if Cammalleri had confirmed it, he would’ve revealed he was asked to pay $1,250 for the jersey — more than double the retail price of $600 (based on figures from the Canadiens boutique and online store.)

If Cammy really wants to remember his last season in Montreal but doesn’t want to shell out those kind of bucks, he could get a Jaroslav Spacek game-worn for the low, low price of $300. Just saying.

Benoit Pouliot totally saw the Canadiens’ collapse coming

Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Caron

The fall of the Montreal Canadiens this season was both startling and disappointing for fans in Quebec. One thing they won’t like hearing is that some saw it coming. What they’ll like even less is the person who saw disaster on the horizon the clearest was none other than former Hab Benoit Pouliot.

Pouliot tells D.J. Bean of WEEI’s Big Bad Blog that he knew the Canadiens’ fall from grace was coming because he saw what a mess it was first hand.

“For a guy that’s been there two years, I had seen it coming,” Pouliot said. “I think some of the other guys there would say the same thing. Just the way everything unfolded, and the way things were not only around the city but the team and everything, it was tough. It wasn’t good. Now they’re cleaning up, which is good for them. Honestly, they needed to, and we’ll see what they do.”

Nothing like kicking an ex-team when they’re down, eh?

The Habs dumped Perry Pearn, Jacques Martin, and now GM Pierre Gauthier all in the span of a season and it was Martin who coached Pouliot in Montreal. Martin is the same guy who said he lost faith in Pouliot thus leading to him finding his way out of town and on rival Boston’s roster.

Pouliot dumping on Montreal like this after they dumped out on him, perhaps legitimately so, makes for sweet revenge for the Bruins forward. Of course, Pouliot has to tread lightly as he’s had his ups and downs in Boston this year and I don’t know that many people will hammer Claude Julien for it. Leaving bridges not burned down might be in Pouliot’s best interest.