Here are a few thoughts on different topics surrounding the Habs’ over the past few weeks. As a complement to my article on bilingual coaches, we will touch on the next Habs’ head coach, the prospects at the Memorial Cup, and the team’s third overall pick. Feel free to post your comments as they are always welcomed.
1- When rumours were rampant in Montreal that Alain Vigneault might become available and automatically become a top candidate for the job in Montreal, he signed a contract extension with the Canucks. While this seem to take some people in Montreal by surprise, including some reporters who were going as far as mentioning that Vigneault had met with the Habs, Canucks’ GM Mike Gillis has always been adamant that Vigneault was his man.
2- There you have it. Bob Hartley chose to accept the Calgary Flames’ offer to become their new head coach. Hartley confirmed having met with the Canadiens and it has been reported that he was scheduled for a second interview. Close friend to Jay Feaster, he chose security over another interview with no guaranty of getting the job. This is a significant blow to the Canadiens, who insist on having a bilingual coach.
3- With Vigneault and Hartley out of the running, the pool of bilingual candidates for the position of head coach in Montreal is getting dangerously shallow. Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger both tweeted that Michel Therrien and Marc Crawford were the top two candidates, perhaps the last two, but other sources claim that Patrick Roy is still in the running. Let’s not forget the names of Guy Carbonneau and Denis Savard being mentioned here and there.
4- Reporter Bertrand Raymond has always had a way of generating controversy back when he wrote for Le Journal de Montréal and he stirred a lot of reactions, especially amongst the English speaking fan base, with his comments on l’Antichambre this week. Raymond was putting down Marc Crawford’s candidature because “he’s an Anglophone trying to speak French”. He went as far as saying that it was Geoff Molson’s responsibility to be the language guard dog. I’m all for trying to get local people in place, but I’m totally against bigotry.
5- It was finally made official: Rick Dudley signed with the Canadiens as the new Assistant General Manager. The holdup came from Maple Leafs’ GM Brian Burke who was concerned that Dudley could divulge the Leafs’ plans at the upcoming Draft on June 22nd in Pittsburgh. Considering the Leafs’ track record at the Draft, Marc Bergevin and Trevor Timmins should ask who the Leafs want to pick and ensure they don’t pick those guys!
6- Marc Bergevin also added another piece to the front office when announcing the appointment of Montreal native Scott Mellanby to the position of Director of Player Personnel. This will allow more time to Trevor Timmins to oversee Amateur Scouting as Bergevin wants to add a few scouts to the team, including at least one more for the QMJHL.
7- It is important to note that Larry Carrière also signed a contract extension with the Canadiens to remain as an Assistant General Manager. According to Bergevin, he and Timmins are still important pieces in the organization.
8- Speaking of Timmins, this is a very important time for him and the Canadiens with the team scheduled to pick third overall at the upcoming Draft. Timmins has spoken very highly of prospect Filip Forsberg in recent days. While it is doubtful that the Canadiens’ Director of Procurement and Player Development would lie about Forsberg, the trained eye can’t help but wonder if he’s doing so not to tip his hand by talking up his true candidate, perhaps Alex Galchenyuk?
9- The Canadiens have announced that they signed defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to a three-year contract. Beaulieu was quoted saying that his goal is to play in Montreal next year. It’s good to have high goals, but watching him play in the Memorial Cup, he has some work to do on the defensive side before hoping to make the jump to the NHL. While nothing is impossible, a year or two in Hamilton is likely what the doctor orders.
10- The Memorial Cup has allowed Habs’ fans to see the progression of a few of the team’s top prospects. While Beaulieu had a great tournament, Jarred Tinordi was named on the first all-star team and that’s no surprise. He looked like a stronger and more mobile Hal Gill back there. Michael Bournival certainly opened my eyes with his quickness and his creativity. He was a threat on almost every shift. But the biggest surprise in my opinion came from Morgan Ellis, a rock on the blue line and outstanding play at both ends of the ice. If you add Brendan Gallagher to the mix, there’s a good core moving pro next season!
11- Will the Canadiens actually speak when the third overall selection is announced on June 22nd or will Bergevin make a splash? Time will tell but one thing is for sure, the Habs can’t afford to miss the boat, especially not after cleaning house like they just did. This summer could very well make or break Marc Bergevin.
12- PK Subban was on the George Stroumboulopoulos’ show on CBC. It was a great interview and PK being PK, he didn’t shy away from the spotlight, answering questions with flying colours. In case you missed it, here it is:
The next few weeks promise to be exciting around the Canadiens with the coaching hunt, the 2012 Draft and the opening of the free agency on July first. No matter what happens, Carey Price and PK Subban are waiting for their new contract and so are the fans.
Category: All Habs news