Wed Jul 06 02:57pm EDT
There was big news in the QMJHL on Wednesday, as former Montreal Canadiens Coach Guy Carbonneau stepped down as coach of the Chicoutimi Saguenéens, which sounds like an Argentinean wine but is apparently a small-market junior hockey team. He'll remain the club's co-owner.
Interesting timing, according Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record:
"Indications are that the New Jersey Devils will name a head coach by the end of this week or early next week."
And just like that, the light bulb clicks, the pieces fit and you start to wonder if there's some smoke here, because:
Lou Lamoriello has a Habs fetish
He's hired former Habs Jacques Lemaire (twice), Larry Robinson (twice), Pat Burns and Claude Julien as coaches. He's acquired players like Claude Lemieux(notes) and Stephane Richer to bolster playoff runs. He's built from the goalie on out. He's always placed the franchise above the individual. He's never had a third jersey outside of a "throwback." One imagines he has a nightlight in the shape of the Forum in his bedroom.
He's a defense-first coach
This is as much a perquisite for the Lamoriello Devils as having a fake tan is for a "Jersey Shore" cast member.
Lamoriello has hired junior hockey owners before
Please recall that Brent Sutter was still owner and operator of the Red Deer Rebels along with being the Devils head coach.
Sutter never coached in the NHL before the Devils hired him. Guy Carbonneau has, with decided mixed results in three years with the Canadiens: 124-83-23 record, one playoff appearance.
Will he command respect of the players? Does he have the chops for another NHL gig?
Will Guy Carbonneau to the Devils happen? It's all speculation now, and Louie Lams isn't one for information leaks. But the historical evidence tells you it's not outlandish.