With the news Monday that Habs GM Bob Gainey dismissed Hamilton Bulldogs coaches Don Lever and Ron Wilson by telephone last week, the first thought that crosses my mind is the possibility that Drummondville Voltigeurs head coach Guy Boucher could be on his way to Steeltown.
Rumours have been flying about the Canadiens interest in Boucher, and with the average shelf of a Montreal head coach sitting at about two and half seasons these days, it would be a good idea to have someone waiting in the wings to take the helm of the big club whenever Jacques Martin is fired.
I'm not saying Martin is a bad hire, it's just that every coach has an expiry date. If Martin doesn't deliver over the next couple of seasons, or if Gainey himself is fired in that span (which is perhaps a more likely scenario should the Canadiens struggle next season), then there will definitely be a new head man in Montreal.
Boucher appears to be someone that could eventually fill that role, and the AHL would be a necessary step for him in making that transition.
Lever's reaction to the news is expected, considering he thought he had a shot at the head job in Montreal, or at least an assistant's role. With the number of players Lever has developped who will be suiting up for the Habs this season, I would have thought he would be a valuable assistant for Martin. But he evidently thought otherwise.
Speaking of Martin, we got an idea over the weekend of just how little we are going to learn about the new head coach of the Canadiens. Jean-François Bégin of La Presse - who should really be commended for leading the pack on the Habs sale story - had an extensive interview with Martin that was published Saturday.
Esentially, other than a bit of professional background, the article taught us nothing about the man. I'm sure it wasn't for a lack of trying on Bégin's part - I know him to be a very thorough journalist - so what the big, two-page feature taught us is that we already know everything we're going to know about Jacques Martin.
Except, that is, how he handles extinguishing the inevitable fires that will burn in and around the Canadiens this season.