Former Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Perry Pearn spoke with Sportsnet Magazine today about the circumstances which led to his controversial firing.
Clearly, he’s still a little perturbed with how the situation unfolded:
I’m a proud person, I think I’m good at what I do, so I can’t help but be disappointed that what’s happened has happened.
Do I think it’s my fault the Montreal Canadiens had a bad start? I’ll take my share of the responsibility. Our power play wasn’t as good as it should be; our penalty-killing wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be. But to say I’m the only reason we had a bad start, no, I don’t accept that.
And I’m sure that’s not the point of me being let go, is that it was all my fault. It was a way of sending a wake-up call to everybody that things had to change.
The ‘sacrificial lamb’ angle has been played up by numerous media types, with most contending the move smacked of Habs GM Pierre Gauthier buying himself some time. Time for what, exactly?
Possibly for the likes of Andrei Markov, Chris Campoli, Scott Gomez and Ryan White to return from injury. Maybe to orchestrate a more meaningful deal than the Petteri Nokelainen trade. Perhaps to get his ducks in a row for a head coaching change, should it ever come to that (remember, the coaching heir apparent was supposed to be Kirk Muller, but he left to take Nashville’s AHL gig.)
Pearn also added that “if you’re sitting today from the general manager’s standpoint, he would have an argument it worked,” alluding to the fact that Montreal has gone 2-0 since his dismissal. This, of course, ties into the old “you can’t fire the players” adage. GMs can’t fire players, but they can make players feel incredibly guilty for getting a guy that had no business losing his job fired.
After that, I guess the hope is that pangs of guilt will motivate players to better on-ice performances. (Motivational Guilt: 3 out of 10 NHL GMs approve!)
It might sound like an awful way to run a hockey team but hey, the Habs are rolling.