Blog Entry

Jacques Martin fired by Canadiens

Posted on: December 17, 2011 10:04 am
Edited on: December 17, 2011 5:03 pm
By: Adam Gretz

It had been a couple of days since the NHL went through a coaching change, so it was probably time for another one. On Saturday morning the Montreal Canadiens announced that head coach Jacques Martin has been relieved of his duties and will be replaced on an interim basis by Randy Cunneyworth for the remainder of the season.

The Canadiens will be in action on Saturday night at home against the New Jersey Devils. They enter the weekend with a disappointing 13-12-7 record which puts them in last place in the Northeast Division and 11th in the Eastern Conference, two points out of the No. 8 seed. Crushed by injuries all season, especially along its blue line where the team has been without one of its best players, Andrei Markov, from the start, as well as several other key players at various teams, Montreal struggled out of the gate losing seven of its first eight games.

That slow start made assistant coach Perry Pearn the early-season sacrificial lamb, which really did nothing more than buy some additional time for Martin behind the bench.

This was Martin's third season as Montreal's coach, and during his tenure with the team compiled a 96-75-25 record. During his watch the Canadiens qualified for the postseason in each of his full seasons with the team, with the high point being the 2009-10 season when the team made an improbable run to the Eastern Conference Finals behind the stellar goaltending of Jaroslav Halak, eliminating the No. 1 seed Washington Capitals and defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins, both in seven games.

Last season Montreal exited in the first round, losing a game seven to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins.

Replacing him behind the bench for the remainder of this season will be the 50-year-old Cunneyworth. A former player in the NHL for nearly two decades, Cunneyworth was hired as the coach of Montreal's AHL team, the Hamilton Bulldogs, prior to the 2010-11 season.

This is already the sixth coaching change to take place since the start of the regular season, as Martin joins Davis Payne (St. Louis), Bruce Boudreau (Washington), Paul Maurice (Carolina), Randy Carlyle (Anaheim) and Terry Murray (Los Angeles) as coaches to take the fall for their teams early season struggles.

More on the NHL's coaching carousel here

Photo: Getty Images

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Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: December 19, 2011 9:29 pm

Jacques Martin fired by Canadiens

and that'll be 2 apiece on the season ,Randy Cunneyworth what a great name

Since: Nov 14, 2009
Posted on: December 18, 2011 11:02 am

Jacques Martin fired by Canadiens


Since: Oct 9, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 8:33 am

Jacques Martin fired by Canadiens

Unfortunatly I think we're stuck for the rest of the season with Gauthier, he bought himself some time by getting rid of Martin. I expect owner Molson to clean house at the end or near the end of the season. Gauthier is not "his" guy. He inherited him from Gillette. Gauthier G.M's like a guy who knows he's going and wants to screw it up as much as possible for the next guy. His arrogance would be fine if he made good moves but w all know the answer to that!!!!
I think this is why the Habs didn't hire an outside coach...they'll let Cunneyworth handle the rest of the way, get a new GM in place and let him hire his guy.

Since: Dec 14, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 1:49 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: December 18, 2011 1:38 am

Jacques Martin fired by Canadiens

Martin had to be let go. The team just would not respond to him. The guy had no ability to motivate his team. The goalposts have more personality than him. His brand of hockey is terrible to watch. The guy would have his team play for 2-1 wins. He held players like PK Subban back with his ultra conservative style of coaching. If he had coached Bobby Orr, no one would have heard of Bobby Orr.

The bigger problem on this team is the GM, Pierre Gauthier. He's put this organization in a real pickle, with some horrible contracts. He had the most influence on Gainey when they traded for Gomez. He also never speaks to the media, unless it's to fire the coach. Who does he think he is? I truly hope they replace "Mr." Gauthier before he further buries the team.

Since: Dec 17, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 7:39 pm

Patrick Roy

Not a susprise actually. I think Patrick Roy will be the next to come in Montreal.

Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: December 17, 2011 7:28 pm

Jacques Martin fired by Canadiens

Okay losing to a beat up Philadelphia Flyers team did not help at all, but what could the coach do when Markov got a big contract and his knees just won't cooperate with him, and E. Cole is more down than up these days.  I just thought that with a Price standing on his head that Martin would have lasted the season.  Maybe we should have gussed what was going to happen next when Pearn was let go, I guess all this is suppose to help the team perform better, but I doubt it.  Coaches don't get 1M of ice time, maybe the GM should try firing a player or two to help energize this bunch, see who wants to stay and play and who wants to go. 

Since: Dec 16, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 5:31 pm

Jacques Martin fired by Canadiens

Too bad, Jacques is a real good coach and a decent guy. The problem with the Canadiens is they are skilled but way too small and soft. Gauthier should get the axe next and then bring in a real GM who will stop signing and drafting dwarfs.

No cup in Montreal since 1993, kind of sad isn't it?

Since: Oct 18, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 5:20 pm

Jacques Martin fired by Canadiens

Congratulations to Cunney...he was here in Rochester for several years as the head coach of the Amerks.  He did a great job and really connected with the palyers.  Then the Sabres moved their affiliate to Portland and he didn't go.  I hope he gets a real shot to shed the interim title!

Since: Jun 19, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 4:48 pm

Jacques Martin fired by Canadiens

Jacques Martin is like an old Subaru that just wont die and is being passed around the NHL by the owners.  The Canadiens though... gosh do i feel bad for their fans. Great franchise great city, bad product.  Honestly i think the best thing for the Canadiens to do would be to blow up this entire squad save for Carey Price during a strong draft year and try to secure a game changer. A dynamic player is really what this team has been lacking for about 25 years. Yes i know Roy, and Chelios, but they were not apparently worth the trouble to keep. Go and get yourself someone thats going to help you hoist a cup boys i would love nothing more than to see you add another and bring back a little more steam to the original six debate. Hawks, B's, Wings, Rangers all have it going come on guys get it done!!! Its not the coach its the talent level.

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