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Taxi! GM Pierre Gauthier out in Montreal

Mar 29, 2012, 10:35 AM EDT

Pierre Gauthier

The Montreal Canadiens have parted ways with general manager Pierre Gauthier.

Gauthier, who had been with the club since 2003 and was named GM in 2010, sent out a farewell tweet en francais shortly after the news was announced. The English version read, “Thank you to Mr. Molson and the entire Canadiens organization. Farewell and good luck.”

It’s not surprising that Montreal — 29-34-14 this season, last in the Eastern Conference — fired Gauthier, though the timing of the move is. Gauthier was the trigger man on a number of bold personnel decisions this season and was at the forefront of the acrimonious Randy Cunneyworth hire, yet managed to retain his GM gig through 77 regular season games. (Why turf a guy with five games left? We’ll find out soon…)

Canadiens owner Geoff Molson will hold a news conference at 11:45am ET to discuss the move. At the time of writing, no replacement GM had been named.

PHT Related

Timeline: Pierre Gauthier’s GM tenure in Montreal

  1. govtminion - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Pity, I was hoping they’d stay the course with him for next year.

    +B’s fan+ ;)

  2. lostpuppysyndrome - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Ummmm…few months late there, Habs. The ol’ “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic” line comes to mind.

    • govtminion - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      “Women, children, and comically inept and overpaid forwards first!”

    • davebabychreturns - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      Rearranging the deck chairs is what Gauthier has been up to this season.

      Firing Gauthier is a great move, and while it could have come sooner I guess when you are charging the third highest price in the league it’s poor optics to throw in the towel on the season in January.

  3. bergeronforselke - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    MON DIEU!!!!

  4. solador78 - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    It’s unfortunate that Mtl can’t fire their owner Geoff Molson. All of the team’s recent success can be attributed to George Gillet. If he was still at the helm last year, the Chairman of the NHL board would have conceded a token suspension to Chara, the Canadiens’ ownership wouldn’t have called out the league in public and the inner clique of ruling owners and Bell-owned media wouldn’t have been out to destroy the team out of revenge this season. The Canadiens really need an owner who knows how to play ball with the NHL Board. If Habs fans think they’re going to get a top lottery pick, they’re dreaming… it hasn’t worked out for the Blue Jackets the past two seasons and like Oilers, the Islanders need a new publicly-funded arena.

    • amerika1313 - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      Interesting take. Mind if I ask where you picked up that magnificent foil hat you’ve got on there?

    • stoneegratz - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      You are pretty brutal

      • solador78 - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:31 AM

        And you have no idea that you’re living in a fascist state, watching pro sports leagues that are run more like WWE Wrestling. We all have our faults. Get over it.

      • amerika1313 - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:59 AM

        If you’re convinced that everything in the game is rigged, why do you keep watching? “Fascist state” is a bit much, don’t you think? Have you ever spent time in an African dictatorship or under Sharia law in a Muslim nation? If not, talk to a few folks that have and then come tell us how bad Canada, the United States, and the NHL are. That’s just crazy talk.

      • govtminion - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        And yet here you are on a blog about those ‘fixed’ pro sports, instead of… I don’t know, hiding in a bunker or something. Go figure.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:04 PM

        I would argue that the US has some fascist tendencies and policies but it’s not a full-fledged fascist dictatorship yet. But I say ‘I would argue’ because this site is for hockey and I’d rather keep it that way.

  5. solador78 - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Check out ESPN’s 30 for 30 feature called Winning Time, which quickly laid out a case that the NBA invented the draft lottery in order give Patrick Ewing to the NY Knicks. I seem to remember a similar situation in the NHL, where David Stern’s best buddy helped Mario get Crosby in order to save the Penguins.

    • govtminion - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      …yeah, because it had nothing to do with the Penguins sucking the previous year and getting a good draft pick. Sure. Is there an adult keeping track of you?

      • solador78 - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:34 AM

        You seem to be forgetting that there was no hockey the previous year due to the lockout.

      • govtminion - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM

        Sure, I remember. I also remember the previous year, where the Pens were rotten to the tune of an 18-game winless streak on their way to a last-place finish. The lockout might have been merciful for Pens fans, in retrospect.

        So yeah, they got a pretty good draft pick after the lockout. CONSPIRACY! Has to be, right? No other explanation?

      • solador78 - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:49 AM

        Check your “facts” again:

        The 2005 draft order was based on the previous 3 seasons where the Sabres, Blue Jackets and Rangers were all worse than the Penguins.

    • davebabychreturns - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      The problem is that you are simply leaping to the conclusion that every draft lottery is a scam because somewhere someone made the argument that another league did a similar thing once.

      Sure it’s a possibility, but that doesn’t mean you can take it at face value as a true statement about the way things operate (and from there start making claims that this owner will never get a lottery pick, that owner would have, etc).

      The fact is four teams had a 1/16 shot at winning that lottery, ten more had a 1/24 shot. One of the teams with the highest odds won the lottery.

      Hardly grounds for a conspiracy theory, although I guess you could take the slightly-more-reasonable position that the league engineered the criteria for lottery positioning to help the Penguins..

      • solador78 - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        Everyone here probably already agrees that there was a conspiracy involving the NHL Board where the Canadiens received exclusive rights to all Quebec-born players, which is a big reason why they have so many Stanley Cups. Shoe other foot.

      • davebabychreturns - Mar 29, 2012 at 4:12 PM

        Neglecting the huge logical fallacy in the assertion that just because one conspiracy theory is (allegedly) true then all others are as well..

        It would seem there are lots of people who disagree with the notion of collusion to give Montreal the rights to all Quebec born players (and they can point to players like Marcel Pronovost who played for the Red Wings and Leafs without ever being associated to the Canadiens organization as proof), as usual there is a simpler and more realistic explanation – the team based in that province with perhaps the most resources in the league simply found and signed more players there than anyone else.

      • solador78 - Mar 29, 2012 at 5:07 PM

        Marcel Pronovost played in the OHL for the Windsor Spitfires and so I would consider him a player from Ontario.

        And for the record, it’s not a logical fallacy when I’m just giving more examples of the *same* conspiracy (a subset of NHL owners manipulating the league for their benefit).

        And since we love fallacies so much, your argument that a conspiracy must extend to all occurrences in order for it to be valid, is itself a fallacy (hasty generalization):

        If it happened:
        -once
        -twice
        -three times

        It doesn’t mean that you can say, “That can’t be true because it’s obvious that it doesn’t happen every time!”

        You’re right, it doesn’t happen *every* time, but it still happens.

      • frozengolf - Mar 31, 2012 at 2:19 PM

        To solador78: Just for your information, back in the 1950′s Montreal wanted a young forward by the name of Jean Beliveau. However he wasn’t sure if he wanted to play for them, so he stayed with his junior team the Quebec Citadelles. The Habs wanted him badly, so they bought the entire Qubec Major Junior League just so they would “own” Beliveau’s rights. Since they owned the league, however, they also owned the rights of all the players in the league. This arangement lasted for many years, right up the the expansion in 1967. There was no conspiracy, just a good business decision.

    • drewsylvania - Mar 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

      Then. Boycott.

  6. canuckinamerica - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Brian Burke might soon be available. He does not speak Francais but he excels in “bluster”. And his promises!………

    • habsman - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      I’d rather have Delta Burke running the Habs.

      • homelanddefense - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        doesnt she play for them?

      • govtminion - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:21 PM

        Nah, that was Toronto.

        Admit it, you never have seen a picture of Delta Burke and Tie Domi in the same place at the same time… have you?

  7. warpstonebc - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    If his grip on the job was so tenuous, why on earth was Gauthier allowed to handle the team during the trade deadline?

    It was a lost opportunity to hold a fire sale in order to rebuild like the Senators or Panthers just did.

  8. habsman - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    Poor Bastd inherited Gomez from Gainey. But at the end of the day, this is what’s supposed to happen when your team misses the playoffs. Brisebois or McGuire?

    • solador78 - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      Gauthier was Gainey’s #2 man when they both acquired Gomez.

      • habsman - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        I’d say that was all Gainey.

      • solador78 - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:56 AM

        Then you’re wrong because Gauthier could have demoted or bought out Gomez at any point.

      • habsman - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM

        You’re not making any sense. What does this have to do with the initial signing of Gomez? When Gainey had the final say?

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 29, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        I like that even other Habs fans don’t agree with Habsman.

  9. back2backbees - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    too bad, this guy sucker punched the Habs more times then Horty

  10. ragingyinzer - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    Hope they hire a guy who speaks only broken English and Esperanto.

    • davebabychreturns - Mar 29, 2012 at 12:06 PM

      Or go in the complete opposite direction and hire a Quebecois GM who will only negotiate trades, contracts, etc in French.

  11. crazemastercraze - Mar 29, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    maybe i’m too young to know my history, but he’s got to be one of the worst GM’s ever in sports, right?

    • frozengolf - Mar 31, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      He’s not ever the worst in Montreal’s history. That “honour” goes to Rejean Houle, who went from beer salesman to pro hockey G.M. in one bound, and then traded a legend and one of the great goalies in history in Patrick Roy for a bag of pucks and a firm handshake. Horrible is too kind to describe the job he did. Montreal floundered for years after, while Colorado (where Roy was traded) won 2 Stanley Cups.

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