PENTICTON, BC. — Here are a few thoughts on different topics surrounding the Habs’ for the past couple of weeks. As a complement to my recent article on bilingual candidates, we look at an update on the next Habs’ GM, the next head coach and the team’s third overall pick. Feel free to post your comments as they are always welcomed.
1- Detroit Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill stated that the timing is not right for him to explore the option of becoming the GM in Montreal. Many were disappointed to hear that news.
2- It was confirmed that Blair Mackasey of the Minnesota Wild has been interviewed for the GM position with the Habs. He’s as good a candidate as any, at least deserving of an interview.
3- Renaud Lavoie of RDS said that Doug Risebrough has also been contacted by the Canadiens. As we know, the former Habs’ center was GM in Calgary and Minnesota and he’s currently a pro scout for the New York Rangers.
4- Reading a bit everywhere that Blackhawks assistant GM Marc Bergevin is a strong candidate to become the next GM in Montreal. I encourage you to watch this interview from RDS (in French) from January 26th.
5- Pierre McGuire has apparently been interviewed by the Canadiens and many feel that it’s for the position of GM. As a matter of fact, Rick Moffat of CJAD has reported that McGuire and BriseBois “are believed to be two of the four or five GM candidates granted second interviews.”
6- Either way, Darren Dregger of TSN reported that progress in the search for a GM is being made and a final decision and subsequent announcement may be only days away. Stay tuned.
7- I loved how Patrick Roy handled the questions in his press conference after the Remparts got eliminated. He was well prepared for the questions about the job option in Montreal and said that if someone takes the time to call him, he will take the time to listen.
8- Speaking of Roy, he was saying that he had not spoken to Geoff Molson. I guess he was telling the truth, but I was surprised that no reporter asked him if he had spoken to Serge Savard. As it turns out, he did, over the phone, as Savard stated himself.
9- There are conflicting stories when it comes to the Habs speaking to Alain Vigneault of the Vancouver Canucks. Some say that the Habs received permission to talk to him, others state that he will stay put in Vancouver. If he does become available, he would be a great candidate for the head coaching job in Montreal.
10- After seeing him coach the ZSC Lions Zurich to the Swiss championship, one would think that the Canadiens will consider giving a call to former NHL coach and RDS analyst Bob Hartley to at least, offer him an interview. While head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, Hartley led his team to three Conference Finals and won one Stanley Cup in four years.
11- We now know that the Canadiens will be selecting third at the next NHL Entry Draft on June 22nd in Pittsburgh. While the consensus seems to be that Nail Yakupov should be selected first overall, there are no clear cut picks for the next five to eight picks. I could be wrong, but something tells me that the Habs will not select at that position as the new GM will want to have an immediate impact. Time will tell.
12- P.K. Subban was injured during the first period in an exhibition game against Switzerland in preparation for the IIHF World Championships. Coach Sutter said that it was a lower body injury, but not serious. Here’s hoping that’s accurate as the Habs have enough players in need of patching up!
The next couple of weeks promises to be exciting around the Canadiens as once the General Manager is announced, the organization will turn their attention to the head coaching job… unless they come out with a bang and announce both at the same time. Either way, Carey Price is waiting for a new contract and the draft is coming up soon.