A lot of people are going to want to draw comparisons between Guy Carbonneau and the three men who preceded him as coach of the Habs, but the only thing they all have in common is that they were fired in-season.
With Carbonneau's departure, there is a risk that he turns up elsewhere in the NHL and continues his development as a coach. But the big difference between Carbonneau and Claude Julien, Michel Therrien and Alain Vigneault is that the Canadiens were the first team Carbonneau ever coached at any level.
Vigneault was a successful junior coach before coming to Montreal, while Therrien and Julien both proved themselves at the junior and AHL level. You could see based on their track records that they were good hockey coaches, especially in Julien's case.
Carbonneau? There's nothing other than last year's success to suggest that he will one day become a great coach, and he may very well become just that, but the comparison is not justified.
Another opinion that will be spouted off over and over until a new head coach is hired is that the new man should come armed with an NHL track record, something no incoming Canadiens coach has had since Jacques Demers. I personally think that would be ideal, but it's not absolutely necessary.
What is necessary, and it's a reality that many people won't want to confront, is that the next Canadiens coach will have to be able to speak French. That's just the way it is, so there's no point complaining about it. While there are relatively few Francophones in Montreal who don't at least understand English, the same cannot be said of the rest of Quebec and it's important to the organization that the head coach be able to speak directly to those fans.
Anglophones, and even some Francophones may not like it, but that's the reality of the situation. So anyone who thinks Don Lever is being brought on board to be groomed for the head coaching job should probably think again, unless he's willing to take French lessons.