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Martin fired, Cunneyworth interim coach for the rest of the year


dlbalr
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Buy out Gomez? How many cheques do we expect Molson to cut? I believe Martin is guaranteed another 3.5 million. Add to that Cunneyworth get's a big raise. 10 million for Gomez, and 10 million for Kaberle. Not happening. These are ball park figures, and someone can correct me if they like, but these players are owed guaranteed mega bucks.

The actual buyout cost in dollar value would be the following:

Gomez: $6,666,667 over 4 years

Kaberle: $5,833,333 over 4 years

To walk away from that money, Martin would have to get a lucrative head coaching job. Is that as obvious as you suggest Colin?

He wouldn't be walking away from the money if he got another coaching job. The new team would hire him within the parameters of the NHL's established FMV for coaches (that we've seen used a couple times already this year in Hitchcock and Boudreau) with the firing team picking up any of the difference. And no, another team can't offer Martin say $250,000 per year and make the Habs pick up the rest, the new team has to pay that FMV which would be in the 7 figure range for sure given his experience. Martin could take over as head coach of, say Columbus, and collect the exact money he's getting to not coach.

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Martin is a good coach and probably will be hired again. He is universally respected (except among Habs fans, natch) for getting excellent playoff results from a team widely regarded as mediocre. The only thing working against him is that current wisdom favours bringing up cheap 'new' coaches from within the AHL.

I liked Colin's long post above. The whole idea that this team just plain sucks is simply wrong. It's the same team as last year with more size and talent. The difference is twofold: with Wiz gone and Markov hurt, they were forced to endure a half-season without a single decent defenceman to run the PP; and they quit on the coach.

Since the vets are the guys who decided to quit on Martin rather than commit to a system that yielded proven results in the crunch, the onus is 100% on them to deliver now that they got what they wanted. If Cammy in particular continues to struggle, I for one would not sit around waiting for the 2009 disaster to repeat itself: I ship him and any other unproductive recalcitrant (e.g., Gio) right the f*ck out of town. The inmates ran the ship in 2009 and they'd better not be running it now.

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Martin is a good coach and probably will be hired again. He is universally respected (except among Habs fans, natch) for getting excellent playoff results from a team widely regarded as mediocre. The only thing working against him is that current wisdom favours bringing up cheap 'new' coaches from within the AHL.

I liked Colin's long post above. The whole idea that this team just plain sucks is simply wrong. It's the same team as last year with more size and talent. The difference is twofold: with Wiz gone and Markov hurt, they were forced to endure a half-season without a single decent defenceman to run the PP; and they quit on the coach.

Since the vets are the guys who decided to quit on Martin rather than commit to a system that yielded proven results in the crunch, the onus is 100% on them to deliver now that they got what they wanted. If Cammy in particular continues to struggle, I for one would not sit around waiting for the 2009 disaster to repeat itself: I ship him and any other unproductive recalcitrant (e.g., Gio) right the f*ck out of town. The inmates ran the ship in 2009 and they'd better not be running it now.

From what I understand it's Plex and Cammi who'll be run out of town. Gio has apparently been playing with an injury all season. Cammi has the sliced knee excuse, but that's healed now. There are a lot of questions about the commitment of Plex and Cammi and the fact they weren't giving their all with Martin anymore.

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As far as Cammy goes, I think everyone can see that he has been dogging it. However I have a hard time buying that Plex hasn't been giving it his all. I think he has been over used and then put into positions where he was doomed to fail. The prolonged 20 game experiment with him on the point was idiotic for how long it lasted. I also think that he has absolutely zero chemistry with Gionta (this may just be because gionta was injured) and have him playing with Gionta as long as he has was also idiotic.

For the most part, given the number if completely asinine penalties this team takes (which plex is also guilty of), and the number of minutes he has to play on the PK, combined with the fact that his regular linemate, Cammy has been useless, certInly doesn't help Plex. Lastly, he has not played a whole lot with AK46 until recently, so I have a hard time blaming Plex.

I do think that yeaterday and in the philly game both Martin and Cunneyworth were both dumb going with the Plex-Cammy combo on the PP, when the maxpac-DD-Cole combo has been so good. Yes Cole scored yesterday playing with Cammy and Plex, but it was in spite of the way Cammy was playing.

I also think that until Gionta comes back, or Cammy gives a damn, the second PP unit should be Eller-Plex-ak46.

From what I understand it's Plex and Cammi who'll be run out of town. Gio has apparently been playing with an injury all season. Cammi has the sliced knee excuse, but that's healed now. There are a lot of questions about the commitment of Plex and Cammi and the fact they weren't giving their all with Martin anymore.

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Regarding the penalties thing, I think taking PIMs was a direct result of the style of play Martin implemented. Defence first, allow no space. Drawing penalties means moving with the puck with pace.

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I don't get this Pleks isn't trying business.... he''s one of our best forwards at the defensive end.

He's in a bad stretch right now, but unless we are talking about Crosby, the Sedins, or guys putting up 100 pts, every other offensive player in the NHL goes through bad stretches. Thats why guys the other guys win scoring titles and Pleks puts up 65-70 pts.

But the great thing about Plekanec is that even when he's not scoring he still contributes to the team in other ways... PKing, defensively responsible 5v5, etc.... so I can't blame him for that.

As for the comment on "plekanec has been used stupidly, like being on the point of the PP"... i think we all agree that wasn't the right spot for him, and the PP wasn't working with him there. The funny thing about it though is... Pleks had 21 pts in 25 games before we went on the West Coast trip. The game in Anaheim was the first game we took him off the point... he has 4 pts in 8 games since then. I'm not sure the two are related; but its an interesting stat to look at

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This team is not very good. Yes, this is a similar team to last year, but they were not that good then either. Many of our peer teams really sucked last year and several have gotten better. Cole is an upgrade, but losing Wiz is a down grade. We have a few guys underperforming, but few were really lights out last year either, they were just better then this. Price was very good last year and has mostly been the same this year. That alone masks many issues as he gives them a chance most nights. The problem is that this team plays a fine line. Last year, they were marginally better and got some more points. This year, marginally worse, and they struggle. The contending teams dominate when they are hot, not sneak out one goal wins.

This is not the worse team in the league, nor does it need a complete makeover. It is not however, a good to great team. The person who needs to do much more work is PG and we will have to see if he is up to the task. I want to see him make a real decision this year and if we are not that good, dump everything not in the long term plans and get some picks, prospects, cap room so he can build around the young core of this team.

Boston was not a great team a few years ago. They have turned around to be a top team, not just a better team. Toronto may well be on their way too. If you gave them a goalie even close to Price they would be a playoff lock. Fortunately for our egos, that goalie seems to elude them, as it did Philly and Washington.

Price is money in the bank, lets not waste these years. I would rather we lose more for a year or two and build a winning team.

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I don't think there is any correlation at all between PLeks being taken off the point on the PP and a drop on his production. I think that this is a perfect example of how useless stats can be in some cases and how they can be used to support an arguement, despite their meaninglessness.

It's not like Pleks was putting up a ton of points on the PP - hell we weren't even scoring most games when he was on the point on the PP.

I think it has more to do by him getting more worn down with the amount of penalty killing he has to do as the season progresses. The last two years, he went through the same stretches around the same time of the year - our usual crappy december funk.

I totally agree that he tends to be one of the defensively responsible forwards and hardest working forwards. it doesn't help his numbers when the guys he has been playing with (Gionta and Cammy) have sucked big time (whether from injury or disinterest/laziness).

I wouldn't be worried about Pleks - I'm more concerned about Cammy. Who cares about the great numbers he puts up in the playoffs if we don't get there. I also am concerned about the habs PP when Pleks is not playing with COle. When Pleks, Cammy, and Ak46 were on the ice together, no one really was staying in front of the net the way Cole does. I really think the coaching staff has to tell Cammy or AK46 that at least one of them needs to be in front of the net at all times and Cammy in particular needs to show more willingess to get dirty.

I really would be open to moving Cammy though for a big centre. The habs production at centre is a big issue. Longer term, if we could have a true top line centre that can put up 75-85 points, Pleks and Eller we would really be set. Longer term, i'd rather see DD as a winger anyways. Tanguay moved from centre to the wing and was quite successful as a playmaking winger and I think DD can do the same and given his size, I'd rather have him on the wing.

If we can pick up a big center, and Eller continues to progress and get more confidence, we have the potential to having three pretty damn good offensive lines. Can you imagine how great it would be if Eller does move up the depth chart and Pleks is actually the #3 centre on our team???

I don't get this Pleks isn't trying business.... he''s one of our best forwards at the defensive end.

He's in a bad stretch right now, but unless we are talking about Crosby, the Sedins, or guys putting up 100 pts, every other offensive player in the NHL goes through bad stretches. Thats why guys the other guys win scoring titles and Pleks puts up 65-70 pts.

But the great thing about Plekanec is that even when he's not scoring he still contributes to the team in other ways... PKing, defensively responsible 5v5, etc.... so I can't blame him for that.

As for the comment on "plekanec has been used stupidly, like being on the point of the PP"... i think we all agree that wasn't the right spot for him, and the PP wasn't working with him there. The funny thing about it though is... Pleks had 21 pts in 25 games before we went on the West Coast trip. The game in Anaheim was the first game we took him off the point... he has 4 pts in 8 games since then. I'm not sure the two are related; but its an interesting stat to look at

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I think this team is not as good as is should be.

We have some very good offensive wingers - Cole, MaxPac, AK46, Gionta and Cammy (who I'd be willing to move for a big centre), with more on the way (Leblanc), I'd also like to see DD on the wing, if we can pick up a big center.

I do think we are weak at centre - I really want a big center, as i've said repeatedly for years. But I do think we are better at centre then last year. We also Pleks, DD and Eller at center and I think that once Eller gets more confidence, i think we we will be in much better shape then last year with Gomez (I already think we are better, but not by a whole lot, since the production isn't there).

We do need Markov back at the point and I think he should be okay once he finally gets back. I like Subban, Gorges and Emelin. That's a pretty good top 4.

The main issue has been that the coaching style hasn't suited the guys we have. Looking ahead at next year, ideally, the guys I want to hang on to and resign are the following (unless we get a deal that blows us away):

Wingers: Cole, MaxPac, AK46, DD, White

Centers: Plex, Eller

Defensemen: Markov, Subban, Gorges, Emelin, Diaz

Goalie: Price

The guys I'd move, depending where we are in the standings at the trade deadline are the following:

Trading Chips: Gionta (only if we are out), Cammy (move for centre), Weber or Diaz, Campoli, Gill (only if we are out), Moen (only if we are out)

Dump in the summer regardless: Gomez, Kaberle, Gionta (I like him, but we need to get bigger - DD is already small and we have other small guys like Gullaher in the pipline), Gill, Campoli, Moen, Darche

Having said that a lot of my choices above rests on my confidence in Markov coming back healthy and confidence that Eller can start producing given the chance and getting more confidence in himself.

This team is not very good. Yes, this is a similar team to last year, but they were not that good then either. Many of our peer teams really sucked last year and several have gotten better. Cole is an upgrade, but losing Wiz is a down grade. We have a few guys underperforming, but few were really lights out last year either, they were just better then this. Price was very good last year and has mostly been the same this year. That alone masks many issues as he gives them a chance most nights. The problem is that this team plays a fine line. Last year, they were marginally better and got some more points. This year, marginally worse, and they struggle. The contending teams dominate when they are hot, not sneak out one goal wins.

This is not the worse team in the league, nor does it need a complete makeover. It is not however, a good to great team. The person who needs to do much more work is PG and we will have to see if he is up to the task. I want to see him make a real decision this year and if we are not that good, dump everything not in the long term plans and get some picks, prospects, cap room so he can build around the young core of this team.

Boston was not a great team a few years ago. They have turned around to be a top team, not just a better team. Toronto may well be on their way too. If you gave them a goalie even close to Price they would be a playoff lock. Fortunately for our egos, that goalie seems to elude them, as it did Philly and Washington.

Price is money in the bank, lets not waste these years. I would rather we lose more for a year or two and build a winning team.

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This team is not very good. Yes, this is a similar team to last year, but they were not that good then either. Many of our peer teams really sucked last year and several have gotten better. Cole is an upgrade, but losing Wiz is a down grade. We have a few guys underperforming, but few were really lights out last year either, they were just better then this. Price was very good last year and has mostly been the same this year. That alone masks many issues as he gives them a chance most nights. The problem is that this team plays a fine line. Last year, they were marginally better and got some more points. This year, marginally worse, and they struggle. The contending teams dominate when they are hot, not sneak out one goal wins.

This is not the worse team in the league, nor does it need a complete makeover. It is not however, a good to great team. The person who needs to do much more work is PG and we will have to see if he is up to the task. I want to see him make a real decision this year and if we are not that good, dump everything not in the long term plans and get some picks, prospects, cap room so he can build around the young core of this team.

Boston was not a great team a few years ago. They have turned around to be a top team, not just a better team. Toronto may well be on their way too. If you gave them a goalie even close to Price they would be a playoff lock. Fortunately for our egos, that goalie seems to elude them, as it did Philly and Washington.

Price is money in the bank, lets not waste these years. I would rather we lose more for a year or two and build a winning team.

This

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Perhaps I didn't explain well enough.

I agree... Plekanec at the point didn't work. Plekanec's points by and large were not being produced on the PP. However the fact remains he had 21 points in 25 games. So he was able to get past the fact that he wasn't being used properly on the PP and still produce.

I also agree that Plekanec and Gionta just don't work as a duo. They don't have any chemistry. However when Gionta was on his line Plekanec was still producing points. (Gionta was the one not scoring). So once again he was a guy who was able to overcome that adversity and continue to score. Remember his latest slump has also come as Gio has been hurt in the last 4 games.

So I don't think we can look at Plekanec's struggles lately and say that they are being caused by bad coaching. He's struggling at the same time that the moves we agree were bad decisions for him, are no longer being implemented.

I think he's much the same as any Very good but not elite player in the NHL... they all seem to have an 8-12 game slump at one point. Lets hope he gets out of it soon though.

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What has me worried is that I believe this is about the same time of the year he went into a slump each of the last two years. I think kart of it has do do with fatigue because the hard PK minutes he plays. I really wish we had retained a guy like Moore to be the 4th line guy and help out on PK duty. Of course it would also help if the team didn't take so many damn penalties!

Perhaps I didn't explain well enough.

I agree... Plekanec at the point didn't work. Plekanec's points by and large were not being produced on the PP. However the fact remains he had 21 points in 25 games. So he was able to get past the fact that he wasn't being used properly on the PP and still produce.

I also agree that Plekanec and Gionta just don't work as a duo. They don't have any chemistry. However when Gionta was on his line Plekanec was still producing points. (Gionta was the one not scoring). So once again he was a guy who was able to overcome that adversity and continue to score. Remember his latest slump has also come as Gio has been hurt in the last 4 games.

So I don't think we can look at Plekanec's struggles lately and say that they are being caused by bad coaching. He's struggling at the same time that the moves we agree were bad decisions for him, are no longer being implemented.

I think he's much the same as any Very good but not elite player in the NHL... they all seem to have an 8-12 game slump at one point. Lets hope he gets out of it soon though.

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Read Hickey's article on the firing. I completely support his theory and believe it 100%. This melt down is more Gauthier and Gainey's doing than Martin's. The team is average. That's it. Martin helped them become slightly better than average.

Mark my words. Price will be thrown under the bus this season. This defense is not good enough to play an agressive forecheck game. Our little forwards will get boxed out and the D will be exposed. Price will face more high quality scoring chances and an average amount of them will go in. Fans and media will jump on his back.

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Read Hickey's article on the firing. I completely support his theiry and believe ot 100%. This melt down is more Gauthier and Gainey's doing than Martin's. The team is average. That's it. Martin helped them become slightly. Etter than average.

Mark my words. Price will be thrown under the bus this season. This defense is not good enough to play an agressive forecheck game. Our little forwards will get boxed out and the D will be exposed. Price will face more high quality scoring chances and an average amount of them will go in. Fans and media will jump on his back.

That is scary what you're suggesting. But is Cunneyworth all that much different in style and approach? I thought I read somewhere that our shots against totals were low. If he opens it up slightly, whatever that means, hopefully we'll be ok.
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Read Hickey's article on the firing. I completely support his theiry and believe ot 100%. This melt down is more Gauthier and Gainey's doing than Martin's. The team is average. That's it. Martin helped them become slightly. Etter than average.

Mark my words. Price will be thrown under the bus this season. This defense is not good enough to play an agressive forecheck game. Our little forwards will get boxed out and the D will be exposed. Price will face more high quality scoring chances and an average amount of them will go in. Fans and media will jump on his back.

You assume Cunneyworth will drastically change the team's defensive schemes. I don't know about that. He might modify it slightly, be a bit more aggresive but I don't see him turning them loose into an all out offensive system that some may want. Let's remember that this is a guy who was JM's disciple, his captain in Ottawa, and a guy hired for Hamilton to have the farm club playing the same way as the big club. While its true he'll put his own stamp on things, this isn't gonna be a firewagon team.

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You assume Cunneyworth will drastically change the team's defensive schemes. I don't know about that. He might modify it slightly, be a bit more aggresive but I don't see him turning them loose into an all out offensive system that some may want. Let's remember that this is a guy who was JM's disciple, his captain in Ottawa, and a guy hired for Hamilton to have the farm club playing the same way as the big club. While its true he'll put his own stamp on things, this isn't gonna be a firewagon team.

I sure hope you are right. I just don't believe that this team is good enough to play a Less defensive game. I remember about a year ago, the Canadiens and Red Wings were playing and the whole broadcast was duscussing how these teams were both so structured and disciplined in playing their system. It made me think of how far the Habs had come. I really hope they can stay somewhat structured and stay in the hunt until they have a hot streak.

I really want to see Cunnyworth succeed. Not just for the team, but for the future. If this can open the door for a non French speaking coach, there will be so many more options in the future.

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I second that about cunnyworth succeeding. I really don't think we are that bad of a team. A cup team? probably not but 86 93 i bet the same was about this team as well and we did push the champs very hard in their cup run. If we keep some of what martin taught us and tweak it like Commandant said. We have some guy's underachieving and some good players hurt at the moment it would be great to see this team healthy for ten game to see what we really do have. What do you guy's think about swapping DD and pleks? DD with A.K and cammy? cole patches and pleks. And keep cammy off the pp yes i said off pp for the entire game and let him work his way back on it.

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I second that about cunnyworth succeeding. I really don't think we are that bad of a team. A cup team? probably not but 86 93 i bet the same was about this team as well and we did push the champs very hard in their cup run. If we keep some of what martin taught us and tweak it like Commandant said. We have some guy's underachieving and some good players hurt at the moment it would be great to see this team healthy for ten game to see what we really do have. What do you guy's think about swapping DD and pleks? DD with A.K and cammy? cole patches and pleks. And keep cammy off the pp yes i said off pp for the entire game and let him work his way back on it.

I wouldn't want to break up the DD line - that was one of the issues with Martin. We'd have one line going and he would mess that line up, trying to get others going. I'd much rather have him try AK46 and Leblanc with Pleks and perhaps Eller with Cammy and Weber.

What I would like to see from Cunneyworth, is to start using his top guys more then grunts like Darche. At this point we need some points and that should mean double shifting some our top guys to pick up points while some of our injured guys are out.

I'd also like to see Eller get some PP time and cut down on Cammy's time until he at least is willing to get dirty, battle and stop being the cream puff he has been this year.

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I wouldn't want to break up the DD line - that was one of the issues with Martin. We'd have one line going and he would mess that line up, trying to get others going. I'd much rather have him try AK46 and Leblanc with Pleks and perhaps Eller with Cammy and Weber.

What I would like to see from Cunneyworth, is to start using his top guys more then grunts like Darche. At this point we need some points and that should mean double shifting some our top guys to pick up points while some of our injured guys are out.

I'd also like to see Eller get some PP time and cut down on Cammy's time until he at least is willing to get dirty, battle and stop being the cream puff he has been this year.

I like the outside the box thinking. not bad ideas i just think with the puck DD and Pleks are pretty close so to jump start a line i would try that.
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If this is a mediocre team, as so many 'experts' and fans are now opining, then Jacques Martin was a coaching wizard for getting us handily in the playoffs last season, being so competitive against the almighty Bruins, and reaching the semi-finals the year before. And if Martin was a coaching wizard, then firing him was a massive mistake.

That is the logical conclusion of the premise. So if you're of the Pat Hickey school you should be defending Martin to the end. You can't have it both ways.

My own position is this. This is a pretty good team on paper, and JM was (or is) a good, strong NHL coach. When this team played Martin's system with 100% commitment it usually was very effective and with the acquisition of Kaberle would almost certainly have been very effective again. Unfortunately some veterans chose to opt out dof The System despite these proven facts. In such a case, you either have to ship out the disgruntled vets or the coach. This is the only argument for firing JM in my opinion, and it is a reasonable argument, although as days go by I personally incline more and more to think we should have moved the disgruntled players instead. But bottom line: good team, good coach, bad chemistry.

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My take, just as Pearn was the shot over the bow for Martin, Martin's firing is a similar warning to Gauthier. Whether this was his doing to save his own hide, or whether it was strongly hinted at by ownership is nearly irrelevant. The fact that Gauthier tabbed Cunneyworth and has him labeled as interim is also a warning.

The short story is, Gauthier, you're next.

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I think on paper this is a good team, but a soft team.

I also thing we had a square peg being put into a round circle. Either a team has to be built to support a style of play, or a coach needs to adapt his style given the players he has. Long term you can't be successful trying to play a style that doesn't suit the personnel you have assembled. Gainey built a small speedy team that needs to be a puck possession team that has to be aggressive in using it's speed to attack. Martin was trying to use a sit back defensive shell system that long term plays against the strengths of the core players like pleks, Cammy, Gionta, Gomez (not sure if he actually has any strengths left), Ak46, Subban and Markov. These are all speedy, creative guys that were being stifled by Martin's system. Two years in a row we squeaked into the playoffs. Last year we added DD, maxpac and Eller to the core and this year Cole. Again these are all fast, creative players that have to go against their natural instincts under Martin's system. The guys who Martin's system suits are gill, gorges, darche and Moen.

Tell me, which group of players should the system be built around, the former or the latter???

I'll also add that Sutter wanted a similar team and system as martin's. He had one successful playoff run, a couple of first round exits and didn't make the playoffs and eventually got fired. We were headed in the same direction.

If this is a mediocre team, as so many 'experts' and fans are now opining, then Jacques Martin was a coaching wizard for getting us handily in the playoffs last season, being so competitive against the almighty Bruins, and reaching the semi-finals the year before. And if Martin was a coaching wizard, then firing him was a massive mistake.

That is the logical conclusion of the premise. So if you're of the Pat Hickey school you should be defending Martin to the end. You can't have it both ways.

My own position is this. This is a pretty good team on paper, and JM was (or is) a good, strong NHL coach. When this team played Martin's system with 100% commitment it usually was very effective and with the acquisition of Kaberle would almost certainly have been very effective again. Unfortunately some veterans chose to opt out dof The System despite these proven facts. In such a case, you either have to ship out the disgruntled vets or the coach. This is the only argument for firing JM in my opinion, and it is a reasonable argument, although as days go by I personally incline more and more to think we should have moved the disgruntled players instead. But bottom line: good team, good coach, bad chemistry.

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