Carbonneau looks to Land Back in NHL
Nothing circulates quite like a hockey rumor.
The latest being former Montreal Canadiens Head Coach Guy Carbonneau who is the current coach of Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the QMJHL. It goes without saying Carbonneau is eager to get back into the NHL after being fired 66 games into the 2008-2009 season. Carbonneau has told me he was never given a real reason for being let go.
Considering Carbonneau’s link to Blues GM Doug Armstrong it’s perfectly understandable why some would speculate he’ll one day wind up landing in the Blues organization. The two had a good working relationship is Dallas when Carbonneau worked as Armstrong’s Assistant GM. He left Dallas to work for Bob Gainey in Montreal where he coached for several seasons.
Listen, It’s hard to know what Armstrong plans on doing after the season. Does he keep in regular contact with Carbonneau? Sure he does, in fact sources confirm they last spoke about a month and a half ago.
I want to be careful here as Davis Payne is the Head Coach of the St. Louis Blues. Have there been some ups and downs in his first full year behind the bench? Sure, but for the most part Payne has done a decent job. This story isn’t intended to suggest the Blues need to make a coaching change.
Would he truly be given a fair shot to be successful if they were to make a change after one season on the job? Considering the Blues injuries to go along with the current roster he’s working with these aren’t exactly ideal circumstances for any head coach.
Can Davis Payne or Guy Carbonneau be a good coach? Depends what the roster looks like.
If the Blues had stronger ownership in place and were able to put together a more competitive roster it would a little easier to judge his performance.
The bottom line is, Payne is still learning the league. You may think you know the NHL but until you actually go through it for a full year or two you really don’t. The league is so fluid nowadays it takes time to really understand the NHL as a Head Coach.
It’s no shock to learn Armstrong and Carbonneau have stayed in regular contact. Why wouldn’t they? The NHL is stocked with retreads and this is how the NHL works. You’d have to be naïve to think the topic of the Blues is never brought up. Whether it be as a coach or in another capacity these two are friends and I'm told they've discussed a number of different ideas.
Carbonneau deserves another shot at coaching in the NHL and many believe going back and coaching junior is the best thing for him. He really struggled coaching Canada at the U-18 worlds last summer and one thing you better be able to do if you want to coach in today’s NHL is know how to handle young kids. This is especially the case in St. Louis.
I don’t expect Armstrong to comment on the Carbonneau rumors. If I’m Payne I certainly hope he doesn’t as there’s nothing worse than a vote of confidence.
As for Carbonneau, his contract with Montreal expires on June 30th and he has not committed to coaching Chicoutimi next season. He was disappointed he wasn’t given an opportunity to get the job in Dallas before Marc Crawford was hired. Many, including Carbonneau, believe the his relationship with Stars Captain Brendan Morrow played a major role is him being overlooked. Morrow is married to Carbonneau’s daughter.
Chicoutimi begins their playoff series with Drummondville tonight.
More to come,