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Montreal Columnist: Fire Pierre Gauthier

Dec 26, 2011, 2:15 PM EDT

Pierre Gauthier Getty Images

The Montreal Gazette’s plucky columnist, Jack Todd, wrote another doozy today. In an open letter to Canadiens president Geoff Molson, Todd candidly called for the firing of the team’s general manager, Pierre Gauthier.

Todd’s reasoning had little to do with the Habs’ win-loss record; it was chiefly related to Gauthier’s handling of the coaching change that saw unilingual Randy Cunneyworth replace bilingual Jacques Martin on an interim basis.

Let’s get the most obvious part of this out of the way now: the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens has to speak French. There simply is no other way. Imagine the Toronto Maple Leafs with a unilingual francophone behind the bench: it would never happen.

True, the Canadiens had unilingual anglo coaches in the past, but that was the past – before the 24-hour news cycle, before live video streaming of the coach’s press conference, before every word was parsed in the Twitterverse almost before they could be uttered.

Pierre Gauthier should have known this. He’s a francophone and a Montrealer. Understanding this market should be atop his list of job qualifications: That he plainly does not understand this market is one more indication, if any were needed, that he is simply not up to the job.

Todd goes on to suggest the new coach should be former coach Guy Carbonneau, who Todd suggests was “unjustly fired” in 2009 by former general manager Bob Gainey.

Agree or disagree, it’s a strong opinion that’s sure to sway some Habs fans. And he didn’t even have to mention the Tomas Kaberle trade.

  1. polegojim - Dec 26, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Patrick Roy…

    The only language I care about our coach speaking is H-O-C-K-E-Y! After that, I don’t care if it’s English, Russian or Martian… whatever.

    I get the ‘market’ thing…. but anyone who puts the emphasis on language rather than winning is an idiot. So Todd – if Randy started speaking French, would they start winning??? Really???

    I’m pretty sure these guys should be able to play the game properly in any language. It doesn’t change in French or English or Russian or Czech or Polish or Swedish… these Habs are still ‘Dernière’

  2. danphipps01 - Dec 26, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    When I read the article title, I was hopeful the columnist might have a decent head on his shoulders, raising such fine points as “He traded for Kaberle,” “He signed Markov despite his future in the NHL becoming less certain every day” or “FOR GOD’S SAKE WHY IS SCOTT GOMEZ STILL A ROSTER PLAYER.”

    Then I read it, and it was just another racist lunatic spreading verbal rabies because he, like apparently almost every Quebecois hockey journalist (note: no hate for the fans, but HOLY FUCK the media in Montreal is almost as dumbassed as that of Toronto), is delusional and convinced that speaking/being French is the most important thing in the entire hockey universe as it relates to the Canadiens. Instead of, you know, being good at your job or anything like that.

    Not that Cunneyworth is, really, but what the fuck does he have to work with?

  3. charlutes - Dec 26, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Get over the sound of your own voice already, you remind me of Glen Beck.

  4. charlutes - Dec 26, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    that was directed at Jack Todd.

  5. ribs108 - Dec 27, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    G’day, As I wrote before, Jack Todd is employed to stir things up. His knowledge of hockey, sports and Canada/Quebec relations would not fill a thimble. It’s not up to the media who to hire to coach the team. This is not a media relations or communications officer position we’re talking about. It’s coaching hockey. He mentions earlier in his article that Toronto would never stand for a unilingual french coach. That is a ridiculous statement since a coach HAS to know english to coach in the NHL – otherwise the PLAYERS couldn’t be coached. In any case, his only good point is that Gauthier is a moron for deflecting his deficiencies to a fairly recently hired employee who is now in an awkward position. Perhaps the once-classy organization will force Cunneyworth to resign – since Gauthier and Gainey never take responsibility for their boneheaded decisions. As for Todd, I urge PHT to ignore his assinine columns, as they are designed for entertainment. He is the WWE of hockey.

  6. blackhawkslove - Dec 27, 2011 at 5:33 AM

    Its people like these that really ruin the modern sport of hockey. The French Canadian portion of Canada should really drop their “traditions” for the more modern style. The Habs are an awful team, backstopped by a failing Price. They are a small undersized team who are very fast. They are missing good pieces of the puzzle, don’t have the depth and won’t make the post season.

    Really they should be more worried about not making the post season than if their coach speaks French or not. At the rate they are going (as I watched them lose to Chicago last wednesday) they won’t be getting any stanley cups anytime soon.
    *Especially with the current curse on all Canadian teams for stealing the cup from L.A.

  7. cowboyscanada - Dec 27, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    Im a Canadiens fan but this is ridiculous. Im tired of this language issue with my team. A lot if the Canadiens fans in Quebec are classless!

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