Former NHL goaltender Patrick Roy is an up-and-coming coaching candidate, thanks to his work at the major junior level.
Veteran coach Bob Hartley added to his extensive resume by taking Zurich Lions in a deep playoff run in Switzerland. His earlier success the Avalanche and Thrashers make him a prime candidate to the NHL this summer.
These two appear to be frontrunners for the Montreal opening -- although with former Canadiens Guy Carbonneau -- although new GM Marc Bergevin isn’t tipping his hand.
“I’ve been talking to people and I’m putting a list together, but it’s confidential,” Bergevin told the Montreal Gazette.
Roy is beloved in Montreal, but his lofty standing with fans and his mercurial personality could make him a difficult fit for this job. The Canadiens face a major overhaul that could take years to complete.
Hiring Roy would create quite a buzz, but this franchise doesn’t need a celebrity coach. It isn't a fledgling team in a backwater market. The Habs need a strong leader with proven vision for building competitive teams.
Carbonneau would be a great candidate . . . except for the fact he has been fired once from this job. Otherwise his playing and coaching credentials make him a solid fit.
This makes Hartley the more logical choice. He is a defensive-minded tactician, so he could get the most out of cornerstone goaltender Carey Price while the team retools.