The Montreal Canadiens have fired GM Pierre Gauthier

Canadiens’ owner Geoff Molson will make the official announcement during a press conference at the Brossard Sports Complex at 11h45. The Canadiens are last in the Eastern Conference with a 29-34-14 record and were eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday.

According to Darren Dreger of TSN, no replacement will be named on Thursday. Gauthier, who also worked for the Ottawa Senators, had been promoted to the role of executive vice-president and GM in February 2010 after former general manager Bob Gainey stepped down.

After a rough start, the team stumbled out of the gate and lost its first three home games for the first time since 1938. The Habs continued to struggle through December and head coach Jacques Martin was eventually fired in mid-December.

Former Hamilton Bulldogs head coach Randy Cunneyworth was appointed as interim head coach by Gauthier in a decision that didn’t sit well with the Montreal media and the fans due to Cunneyworth’s inability to speak French. The coaching change also failed to reinvigorate the team on the ice as the Canadiens continued to struggle under Cunneyworth and Randy Ladouceur, his assistant. The Habs are currently 28th in the NHL with only 72 points in 77 games.

Gauthier made a few questioned moves in the past 12 months:

Last summer, Gauthier gave defenseman Andrei Markov a three-year contract extension with a large $5.75 million cap hit despite Markov’s injury concerns. The 33-year-old has played in only eight games this season. Gauthier could have re-signed offensive defenseman James Wisniewski with that money.

He then traded for defenseman Tomas Kaberle from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Jaroslav Spacek in what can be considered a panic move. While Spacek is slated to become an UFA at season’s end, Kaberle is signed for two more years at $4.25MM/year.

Finally, in January, Gauthier traded disgruntled forward Michael Cammalleri to the Calgary Flames during a game in Boston, in exchange for Rene Bourque, a second round draft pick and prospect Patrick Holland. In 27 games with the Flames, Cammalleri has eight goals and five assists for 13 points. Meanwhile, Rene Bourque has been as bad as he was advertised. The left winger has only four goals and seven points in 33 games with Montreal, along with a miserable -18 plus/minus rating.

The possible candidates include Vincent Damphousse, Julien Brisebois, Marc Bergevin, Jim Nill and former Habs goalie Patrick Roy.

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3 thoughts on “The Montreal Canadiens have fired GM Pierre Gauthier”

  1. >The possible candidates include Vincent Damphousse, Julien Brisebois,
    Marc Bergevin, Jim Nill >and former Habs goalie Patrick Roy.

    What a crappy list.

    Damphousse? Why? What has he done lately in hockey?
    A few TV appearances to offset his nasty court case with his ex about spousal abuse?
     0% chance.

    Bergevin maybe in 4-5 years. He just became ass-GM this year.

    Roy is a loose cannon who is ideally suited to lord over 17yr olds where he holds all the cards.
    The man doenst do conflict well or sane decisions. His career was all about acting without thinking, his personal life shows that control-violence issues exist there too (and carries over inhis children) and he is a ‘junior coach’ in mentality. He might become NHL coach one day but Dale Hunter would NEVER be offered a GM job just because he;s run a junior franchise.
    Coach: 50% chance.   GM: 15% chance.

    I have no idea who Nill is. Saw his wiki page and he seems to have experience but it seems from left field. But since the odds are pretty good, he doenst speak french, its at 0%.
    The next GM will speak french or at least be a Marc Crawford type who did an amazing job learning to talk to the media when he was with Nordiques. Gainey, Bobby Smith and those kinds of people will always do what is necessary so its not a french thing only, just a player like those mentioned that arent stubborn.

    The media will pimp their own, the blowhard McGuire who hasnt been involved in hockey since he was in the ECHL about 16-17yrs ago. If you want to be a coach or GM, I think that almost two decades of not taking an assistant coach or GM job at the NHL or AHL shows your interest.
    He’s like Carbonneau who wont got the Kirk Muller route to being a head coach (a job he got stricly through a friend since he had no experience).
    You dont get to sit on the sidelines for two decades and then get handed a plum job.

    One name you forgot is Claude Loiselle, who I believe is assistant GM in Toronto. Not sure if he is any good, how people perceive him or if he has what it takes but its a better name than Damphousse or Roy.

    Brisebois HAS the perfect CV.
    Lawyer for biggest firm in Montreal, then headed Legal Affairs for Montreal, then was VP of Hockey Operatiosn for Canadiens for 5-6 years and in the meantime was GM in Hamilton the year they won it all. He then move to Tampa where he was assistant-GM and also GMed the farm team for a year.
    I have no idea if he can do the job. He gets rave reviews from people in the field for what that is worth but he is been at the heart of a pro teams organizational structure for quite a number of years so he KNOWS what the job is all about.
    I dont think anyone comes close to his CV.

    Brisebois is the guy.

    • Nice breakdown of the candidates. Good point about Claude Loiselle, he is also a good candidate for the job. Brisebois makes a lot of sense (and not Patrice)!

      • Good break down my ass, the fact that you know nothing about Jim Nill shows your lack of hockey knowledge.  Nill has been the right hand man to Ken Holland and the mighty winged wheel for all of the wings past four cup wins. I would give you some slack because he’s an Asst. GM for a Non Canadian hockey club, but he was the GM of Team Canada in the ’04 Mens World Championships…where they won gold. Brisebois sucks, but you might have to take him as sloppy seconds because the Wings aren’t letting Nill go anytime soon, he’s got at least two years on his contract and already makes a GM’s salary.

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