Montreal Canadiens fans hoping to wake up to news that a change was in order at head coach as the team is in the midst of their biggest slump of the season instead got a rude awakening.
Lead coaching candidate to replace Michel Therrien, Guy Boucher, has signed a contract with SC Bern a team in the top-tier of the Swiss Hockey League system through the 2015-16 season. Boucher has not coached since he was fired by the Tampa Bay Lightning last year.
It’s impossible to know whether Boucher was actually a candidate to replace Therrien, but him agreeing to this contract now shows that either he was never interested in the Canadiens job or that he didn’t feel that a deal would be imminent.
While this raises more questions than answers for the Canadiens, we can assume that Therrien is safe in the short term. Boucher will not leave a contract he signed days after he signed it even if there would be an NHL out clause in it.
Firing Michel Therrien, even though I have advocated for it several times, is not done in a vacuum. If March Bergevin is to pull the trigger, he has to have a replacement in mind. Otherwise, it ends up like a Randy Cunneyworth situation and I don’t see anything like that happening.
There are other Francophone coaches out there, which is obviously a requirement here in Montreal. However, Boucher was the one many people (including me) thought would be the right candidate at the right time.
I still think that Therrien’s time is coming to an end, but it seems like Bergevin is being more patient than I would like him to be. However, if this trend continues and the team’s poor play doesn’t improve, he will be left with no choice – and one less coaching candidate freely available.