People have been calling for his head to roll for months and Geoff Molson has chosen now as the time to make this inevitable move, relieving Pierre Gauthier of his duties early Thursday morning. This will now be the 4th oddly timed move by the Canadiens organization this season. First with the game day firing of assistant coach Perry Pearn followed by the firing of Jacques Martin and the mid game trade of Mike Cammalleri.
Earlier this year when Mr. Gauthier fired Jacques Martin and name Randy Cunneyworth his temporary replacement, he caused a stir in Montreal and Quebec with the loud few whom believe the language of the coach is more important than the success of the team. Both Mr. Gauthier and Mr. Molson both weakly bent their proverbial knees to this group and ensured them that the next coach will be bilingual which from the view of many outsides made he Canadiens the laughing stock of the league.
It will be quite interesting to see if the “search” for a new GM includes any “under qualified” anglophones.
Gauthier originally joined the Canadiens organization as Director of Professional Scouting in 2003. In February 2010 after Bob Gainey stepped down, Gauthier was promoted to the role of executive vice president and GM.
In his press conference, Mr. Molson announced that Serge Savard will rejoin the Canadiens in an advisory role to aid in the GM search. The team’s current advisor, Gainey, was also relieved of his duties but will remain with the club in a lesser capacity to be determined.
In the interim, Larry Carriere will assume the role of acting General Manager. To allow him to do so, he will no longer be an assistant coach with the club. No replacement has been named; goaltending coach Pierre Groulx will move behind the bench for the remaining five games this season.