Jan 19, 2012, 9:00 AM EST
With a rocky first half of the season behind them and their playoff chances fading away, the Montreal Canadiens may be looking to the future.
But will that future include current General Manager Pierre Gauthier?
That’s the question TSN’s Darren Dreger is asking as the Habs face the prospect of no playoffs for the first time in five years. Gauthier has been under fire throughout the season because of his contentious moves — firing assistant coach Perry Pearn, acquiring Tomas Kaberle and Rene Bourque, replacing Jacques Martin with Randy Cunneyworth — and is in danger of losing Montreal’s coveted GM job, one he’s held since Feb. 2010.
So, the question: If Gauthier was gassed, who would replace him?
Dreger says there are plenty of candidates.
Julien BriseBois: The 33-year-old currently serves as Steve Yzerman’s assistant GM in Tampa Bay, but used to be the Canadiens Director of Hockey Ops and GM of their AHL affiliate in Hamilton. He’s also a graduate of the Montreal University Faculty of Law.
Doug Risebrough: The former GM in Calgary and Minnesota won four Stanley Cups with the Canadiens in the late 70s.
Claude Loiselle: The current assistant to Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, Loiselle also served in the same assistant GM capacity with Tampa Bay and as Associate Director of Hockey Operations for the NHL.
Other names Dreger included in the mix include former Toronto GM John Ferguson Jr., current NBC NHL analyst Pierre McGuire and Marc Bergevin, Chicago’s 46-year-old assistant GM that retired from playing just prior to the lockout.
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