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Hartley will be named coach: report

The Sports Xchange

Bob Hartley, who won a Stanley Cup as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche in 2001, will be named the next head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, The Hockey Writers' website reported Monday.

The Hockey Writers based the report on a source, and said that Eric Veilleux would become Hartley's assistant coach.

According to the report, the announcement of Hartley's hiring will come later this week.

Hartley's most recent NHL coaching job came with Atlanta, where he was fired six games into his fourth season when the team started 0-6 in 2007-2008.

Hartley has worked for the past few years as a hockey analyst on the French-language RDS television station.

Hartley would replace interim head coach Randy Cunneyworth, whose hiring was criticized because he didn't speak French.

--Earlier, general manager Marc Bergevin said the search for a head coach was moving ahead, but he still had no timetable for hiring interim coach Randy Cunneyworth's replacement.

"I've been talking to people and I'm putting a list together, but it's confidential," Bergevin said during a break in the 2012 Memorial Cup tournament.

But Bergevin did make an important addition to the team's front office when he hired Rick Dudley, who will have the title of assistant general manager.

Dudley, who has been the GM with four NHL teams, most recently served as director of player personnel for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Canadiens received the go-ahead to hire Dudley after Bergevin and Toronto GM Brian Burke reached a gentlemen's agreement that Dudley would have no involvement in the June draft. That was because Dudley did most of the spade work on Toronto's scouting for the draft.

Dudley will be one of two assistant GMs. In introducing Dudley on May 25, Bergevin also announced that the team has given assistant GM Larry Carriere a contract extension.

Bergevin refused to comment on rumors that Bob Hartley and Patrick Roy are among the leading candidates for the head coaching job. Bergevin said the final decision might come quickly or it might take a while, but he emphasized that his search will be thorough.

One person who isn't on Bergevin's list is Alain Vigneault, who coached the team from 1997-2000. Vigneault has signed an extension with the Vancouver Canucks.

Bergevin has been huddling with his chief scout, Trevor Timmins, about the draft. While Bergevin said anything was possible, he didn't seem enthusiastic about trying to move up from the Canadiens' current No. 3 spot. He said he was confident that there would be a quality player available at that position.

Bergevin said there have been no surprises on the job thus far and that he is on schedule in his preparations for next season. He said he would normally have gone to Europe to watch the world championships but that he passed because of the work at home.

After picking up only one win in their first eight games, the Canadiens went on a 6-2-0 run from Oct. 26 to Nov. 12. The run was impressive because the six wins were against teams that wound up in the playoffs. They beat Boston twice, Philadelphia, Ottawa, Nashville and Phoenix. Their losses were to the New York Rangers and Edmonton.

The Canadiens reached the high point in their season on Dec. 13 when they beat the New York Islanders and improved to 13-11-7. Four days later, general manager Pierre Gauthier fired coach Jacques Martin hours before a home game against New Jersey. Randy Cunneyworth lost in his head coaching debut and then went 1-5 on a six-game road trip around the Christmas holiday.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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