|Bob Hartley reportedly will be hired to coach the Canadiens. (Getty Images)|
There aren't many head-coaching positions in the NHL that command as much interest -- and are as scrutinized -- as the boss of the Montreal Canadiens. In addition to the demands of being a coach of such a prestigious franchise is the added pressure requirement of being a Francophone.
So in short, hiring a coach in Montreal isn't easy. But new GM Marc Bergevin reportedly has his man picked out to take over.
According to a source, it is expected that the Montreal Canadiens will name Robert “Bob” Hartley the team's next head coach. It is also expected that Eric Veilleux, the head coach of the [QMJHL's Shawinigan] Cataractes, will follow him to Montreal to become his assistant coach.
The report goes on to say that an announcement is likely to be made some time in the next week.
Hartley has been one of the top names in the search for the Habs from the onset. He's from Ontario, but French is his first language. He spent time as a hockey analyst for RDS, the French sports network in Canada. Point is, he covers the French-speaking requirement despite a name that doesn't sound French.
Just as important, Hartley has had success coaching in the NHL. He was the bench boss for the Avalanche from 1998-2002, winning a Stanley Cup with the team in 2001 and never finishing out of first place. He also was the only coach to ever find some level of success as coach of the Thrashers, taking them to their only playoff berth in team history as Southeast Division champs in 2006-07.
There's a reason why his name has been mentioned in this search since it began. It's because he makes sense.