The Montreal Canadiens GM search might just rank as more exciting than anything that happened during their 2011-12 season, but it might just end in the way many of us assumed. TSN reports that Habs adviser/legend Serge Savard admitted he reached out to potential GM/legend Patrick Roy last week.
“It was not a formal interview,” Savard told Renaud Lavoie of RDS. “I just wanted to know his intentions.”
Well, we know Roy is keeping his “cell phone on,” so it sounds like he’ll at least listen to what Savard has to say. Even with candidates dropping in and out of the picture, it seems like the Canadiens have plenty of names to sort through. Savard told reporters that a general manager will be hired before a coach and while there isn’t a hard deadline, it appears that the team hopes to give the next GM time to prepare for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
“It should be settled in the coming weeks to allow at least three to four weeks for the next GM to prepare before the draft,” Savard said.
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.
You can’t really say Patrick Roy has been campaigning for a job with the Montreal Canadiens. You can’t also say he’s been hush-hush about the rumors that the Habs might look in his direction to be either the next coach or general manager of the team either.
Roy tells Marianne White of Postmedia News that while he hasn’t spoken to Canadiens owner Geoff Molson, he’s not exactly avoiding him either.
“I have had no discussions whatsoever with (Habs owner) Mr. (Geoff) Molson,” Roy told reporters in Quebec City Friday during an end-of-season newser for the Quebec Remparts.
“But my cellphone is always turned on.”
Roy has made it clear that he’s more than happy to return to his job with the QMJHL Remparts, but if a NHL team wants to talk to him about a job opening there, he’s all ears. That is if his ears aren’t being plugged up by the Stanley Cup rings he’s won after all.
Whether Roy would be sought out to take Pierre Gauthier’s job as the team GM or replace Randy Cunneyworth as the coach is unclear, but with Serge Savard leading the search for new candidates for both jobs guys with a touch of old school Habs history to their style will be welcome.
Shortly after the announcement that GM Pierre Gauthier had been relieved of his duties, Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson conducted a press conference to reveal plans for the future.
— Molson was praised for his delivery, poise…and for starting the presser speaking French (gotta love Montreal.) John Bartlett of TSN Radio 990 said Molson “was prepared, confident and looked like someone in full control today,” while Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette said the Canadiens owner “sparkled in this news conference.”
— As the posts title suggests, the general manager search will (at least partially) involve finding a dual-language speaker. Molson did stress, though, that the top criteria is finding the best possible GM.
— On the subject of hiring Patrick Roy, Molson said he hasn’t spoken with Roy since his jersey retirement celebration. Which is weird, because Roy’s jersey was retired in 2008.
— Former Habs GM Serge Savard has been retained as advisor in the search for a new general manager. Also, Larry Carriere returns to his duties as assistant general manager and will take on hockey operations responsibilities until the appointment of a new GM.
— Molson added that special advisor Bob Gainey has left the organization.
— On the subject of interim head coach Randy Cunneyworth, Molson said he would leave it up to the next GM to determine if he’s retained.
Finally, here’s the entire press conference for your viewing pleasure. (Note: his en francais introduction isn’t included but, as many have noted, Molson opened speaking French.)