A week ago, the Montreal Canadiens surprised many when they (finally) fired two of their coaches. Head coach Claude Julien was let go and so was Associate coach Kirk Muller. They were replaced, as everyone knows, by the Habs’ former Assistant coach Dominique Ducharme and the team promoted the Laval Rocket’s Assistant Alex Burrows to do the same job in Montreal. A week later, it’s Goaltenders’ coach Stephane Waite‘s turn to lose his job and he will be replaced by the teams’ Western scout Sean Burke. The former NHL goaltender takes on the title of Director of Goaltending, a new position within the team.
In yesterday’s press conference, Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin explained that his decision was made before the game against the Ottawa Senators. He explained the reason why he didn’t tell anyone prior to the game, stating that he didn’t want to cause a distraction so players could focus on their game, including struggling starter Carey Price. He told the media that he informed Waite of his decision at the second intermission of the game “because he was not in contact or influence with anyone in the game from then on”. Bergevin also explained that doing it then instead of after the game allowed Waite to pack his personal belongings before the players and other coaches got off the ice.
Both the Canadiens’ GM and Price himself met the media and both we adamant in saying that the goaltender wasn’t consulted prior to making his decision. “The day that I have to consult with my players before making a decision, I won’t be doing my job”, said Bergevin. Price, on the other hand, said that he was sad to see Waite go but that he welcomes a fresh voice to help him out.
A new position
In order to lure Burke back into coaching the goaltenders, simply giving him the role of goaltending coach likely would not have done it at this point in his career. We have to give it to Bergevin and team President Geoff Molson to agree to create a new position within the organisation: Director of Goaltending.
What? But what is a Director of Goaltending and what does it oversee? Here’s a perfect transition to the next topic, poor reporting and journalism. While sensationalism journalists were looking for controversy, none of them asked Bergevin the question. NONE. Pathetic, isn’t it? Basically, we don’t know. But here’s my best somewhat educated opinion, or theory, is.
There will eventually be a goaltending coach in Montreal. Waite worked mostly with the Habs’ goalies at the NHL level. Then they have Marco Marciano who is goaltending and video coach in Laval. He’s the one who will be on the ice with the NHL goalies while Burke goes through his quarantine period. Burke will be overseeing it all, including Canadiens’ goaltenders in junior and NCAA. I wouldn’t be shocked if he also scouted goalies in North America eventually.
Now don’t take this to the bank folks, your guess is as good as mine. What we do know is Directors aren’t paid for just coaching two goaltenders. This seems to be a temporary situation to finish the season.
Some of the media in Montreal is getting more and more pathetic. In the past, if a GM had a press conference, fans relied on newspapers or TV/Radio news to find out what was said. “Live” wasn’t prominent back then. But since press conferences are now being broadcasted live, fans can watch and listen to those speaking to the media. Further, they can listen to the reporters’ questions as well.
Because of it, we can now clearly see which media members are good reporters and which ones rely on sensationalism as a lame attempt to be relevant, or read, or listened to. We had a few prime examples yesterday. I will post a few tweets in a bit but I want to address one in particular.
Those who listen to the press conference heard the same. Price doesn’t care about the PERCEPTION OF SOME. The perception. How many players have stated in the past couple of years that all that mattered was what their GM, coaches and teammates thought? I’ve counted a hand at least. We guess what? Good reporters like John Lu of TSN, reported what Price said verbatim. Those who rely on sensation turned that around, claiming that Price doesn’t care about what fans and media think. Am I missing something? Can’t they see the difference? That it’s clearly not what Price said? Of course they do. They play on those who didn’t see or hear the interview and twist it to create controversy. Thankfully, with social media, more and more fans see right through them. But some don’t.
Let’s finish with a few other thoughts and observations in regards to the firing of Waite, the interviews with Bergevin and Price, and the childish journalism. In the meantime, those of us who know who to believe and who to take with a grain of salt (or a full salt shaker) will keep on supporting our team. They seem like they’re starting to turn things around and the Jets are a big test. Go Habs Go!