Bob Gainey

Dallas re-hires former coach, GM Bob Gainey


The architect of Dallas’ first and only Stanley Cup winner is back in the fold.

Stars CEO Jim Lites confirmed Wednesday that former coach and general manager Bob Gainey has been hired as a consultant, bringing Gainey back to the franchise he made a powerhouse in the late 90s.

“I think the most important thing I can do in my job is hire good people, and Bob is one of the best persons I know,” Lites told the Dallas Morning News. “He was available, he was very interested in what we’ve been able to accomplish, and I just believe having a voice like that will be extremely beneficial in a lot of ways.”

Gainey told the Morning News his role with the Stars will be similar to the one he had with Montreal under then-GM Pierre Gauthier.

“My scope will probably be broader with the Stars, but I see it as observing and familiarizing myself with the players and then hopefully offering some guidance that maybe others haven’t seen,” Gainey said. “I would like to be able to say, ‘I see this in a player,’ or ‘Maybe we could shape this player in this direction.’

“Those are areas where I believe I can help.”

Gainey is the latest in a series of Dallas’ “retro” hires. Others include: GM Joe Nieuwendyk (who won the Conn Smythe for Dallas in 1999) and Hockey Operations Consultant Stu Barnes (who played four years and retired with the Stars.)

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.

Montreal owner Molson on GM search: “It is our preference to have someone that can speak French”


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.

Some highlights:

— 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.)

Not even sending a message works for the Canadiens


P.K. Subban knows what it’s like to be the focus of a message being sent. After all, he was benched during Montreal’s listless 4-0 loss to Winnipeg and just like that, all the problems the Canadiens are having are summed up. Whether it’s benching Subban or Lars Eller, like they were in last night’s game, the problems are a lot bigger in Montreal.

Subban and Eller were both benched to teach them and the rest of the team a lesson in what happens when you screw things up. If that sort of accountability was applied throughout the organization everyone from owner Geoff Molson down to GM Pierre Gauthier and on down to Randy Cunneyworth would have to sit one out for a bit.

As CBC’s Elliotte Friedman says, the problems in Montreal of late with how they’ve handled firing coaches, making big trades, and allowing a language dispute to become the biggest issue all start and end now with Molson.

Montreal isn’t in bad shape in the standings being just four points out of a playoff spot, but things look horrendous on the ice. It’s time for everyone to put the soap opera stuff aside and work on fixing the hockey side of things. Whether that means potentially getting Bob Gainey involved running the team again, as Friedman says is being discussed, so be it.

Seeing things spiral more out of control in Quebec only means bad news for everyone there.