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Allaire out in Toronto, doesn’t leave quietly

Sep 17, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

James Reimer

The Toronto Maple Leafs and their embattled goalie coach, Francois Allaire, have parted ways.

And by the sounds of it, the break-up was less than amicable.

“To be honest, I don’t think the Leafs need a goalie coach,” Allaire told the National Post. “I think they have enough of them. They have two or three guys who were making decisions with the goalies. In the NHL, that’s not the way it works.

“If that’s the way they want to operate, then I’m not there.”

He added: “Maybe the numbers are not there with the Leafs. But it’s difficult to have the numbers when you’re not playing defensively.”

Take that, Ron Wilson.

Allaire’s most famous pupil – the one that put him on the map – was Hall of Famer Patrick Roy. Two other notable netminders he’s worked with are Jean-Sébastien Giguère and Ilya Bryzgalov.

But he leaves Toronto with big questions remaining in the Leafs’ net. Whether his “put yourself in the right place and just try to block the puck” philosophy is outdated, the talent he tutored wasn’t talented enough, or no goalie was going to be successful the way the team played defensively is up for debate.

Allaire joined the Leafs in the summer of 2009 and started molding rookie Jonas Gustavsson. The latter is now with the Red Wings after failing to live up to expectations in Toronto.

Allaire’s biggest success was current starter James Reimer, chosen 99th overall in the 2006 draft.

“I wouldn’t be in the NHL without him,” Reimer said Monday after learning of Allaire’s departure.

  1. kicksave1980 - Sep 17, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Hard to argue his effectiveness and longevity, but as a goalie, I always hated his butterfly-or-nothing philosophy. Rather than making every goalie into an indistinguishable robot, why not tailor a ‘style’ around each goalie’s strengths? Toronto is a mess, so I don’t doubt that Allaire brings up some valid points, but his inability to adapt around each individual goalie is, in my opinion, Allaire’s downfall.

  2. id4joey - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Burke! When are you leaving?

  3. sampulls - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Kicksave1980….his biggest downfall is taking the maple leafs job… one will succeed there. For another 10+ years.

    • kicksave1980 - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:12 AM

      Sampulls – I agree that it wasn’t the ideal job to take. I don’t know if it will take quite that long, but it does look like a pretty hopeless situation at the moment. Even still…he had a guy like Gustavsson who he reportedly butted heads with because he wanted Gustavsson to change his style. That’s not to say that Gustavsson would have lived up the hype either way, but it makes you wonder about whether the goalie coach is in it for development purposes, or if he’s in it to bolster his ego. If a kid is good enough to make it to the top league in the world, he may need some refinement, but he probably doesn’t need a complete overhaul.

      • akismet-8306ff7420bed37a7666d6a63546b05c - Sep 18, 2012 at 9:53 AM

        I agree, when did the butterfly save become the only way to play. Every goalie coach out there seems to preach this style when some of the best goalies playing today or somewhat unconventional.

  4. rainyday56 - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    Luongo attends Allaire’s summer camp every year and immediately thereafter has a slow beginning to each new season. Coincidence? I think not.

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