Tag:Marc Crawford
Posted on: December 19, 2011 9:14 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2011 9:29 pm
 

Habs owner: Bilingual coach 'important factor'

By Brian Stubits

Ah yes, the best way to get a message through is to go after the wallet. As we all know, money talks.

As you already know, a nationalistic group in Quebec wasn't happy with the Montreal Canadiens' decision to fire Jacques Martin and replace him with interim coach Randy Cunneyworth. Their anger has nothing to do with the Habs' poor play and everything to do with Cunneyworth's lack of ability to speak French.

Apparently they don't understand the concept of an "interim" coach, as in a fill-in, a guy keeping the seat warm. Either way, the threat was put out there of a boycott on all Molson products. Of course, Geoff Molson (pictured) is the majority owner of the Habs and his Molson company makes some pretty popular beverages.

The chatter caught his attention (well, I'm sure Molson was already aware of the issue to begin with). Molson released a statement expressing the priorities and concerns for the organization when they hire a full-time coach. Here is a snippet.

"Although our main priority remains to win hockey games and to keep improving as a team, it is obvious that the ability for the head coach to express himself in both French and English will be a very important factor in the selection of the permanent head coach.

"Like all our fans we hope for the Montreal Canadiens to be among the top teams in the NHL and we are doing everything we possibly can to win."

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Everything except hiring a coach that doesn't speak French, of course. That's what I'm led to conclude.

It would seem to exclude Cunneyworth from getting the job full-time if he proves worthy as a coach this season. That's unless he takes some classes in French and shows an effort to speak the local language. It would really be a shame if he didn't get the job primarily for this reason, but that's a long way away.

But with statements like this, it gives the feeling that Cunneyworth is a lame duck. You have to figure that the candidate pool is very limited and you can certainly expect to hear the name Patrick Roy come up a lot, as well as one-time Quebec Nordiques coach Marc Crawford. Funny enough, Crawford didn't speak French when he was hired in Quebec, but he learned. Of course it wasn't much help when the 'Diques moved to Colorado the next season.

But man it would be so delicious to see Roy come back to the Canadiens bench. Could he really complain if a player took exception to his managing and demanded a trade?

Photo: Getty Images

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Posted on: April 12, 2011 3:58 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2011 6:00 pm
 

Dallas Stars fire coach Marc Crawford

Marc Crawford was fired two days after the Dallas Stars faltered in a must-win game that left them out of the playoffs.

"I would like to thank Marc for the hard work he provided to the Dallas Stars over the last two seasons," Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk said in a statement that announced the firing on Tuesday. "We wish him the best in the future."

The Stars recovered from a six-game skid that began in the middle of March and won four games in a row to get back in the hunt for the eighth and final playoff spot. Dallas needed a regulation or overtime victory over the Minnesota Wild to overtake the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, but the Wild -- a team that had long been eliminated from postseason contention -- earned a 5-3 victory.

This was Crawford’s second season behind the Stars bench and he missed the playoffs both years.

Nieuwendyk must have been convincing in persuading his bosses to dump Crawford with a year left on his contract. The significance is that the team is run by creditors who are trying to sell the club. By agreeing to this, they approved paying for a new coach, as well as picking up the remaining tab for Crawford unless he gets hired elsewhere.

Nieuwendyk indicated he's in no hurry to find a replacement, saying he will need to figure out the profile of the kind of coach the team needs, both on and off the ice. Other factors could include whether star Brad Richards is re-signed, and whether there's a new owner.

The Stars finished with 95 points, matching the 2006-07 Colorado Avalanche for the most of any non-playoff team.

Crawford won the Stanley Cup with Colorado in 1996, but he's missed the postseason in his last five seasons - two in Dallas, two in Los Angeles and one in Vancouver. His teams have won a single playoff series in his last 11 years in charge. Over 15 seasons as a head coach, he is 549-421-103 with 78 overtime losses.

-- A.J. Perez (The Associated Press contributed to this report)

Category: NHL
 
 
 
 
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