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Report: Canadiens considering Alain Vigneault as head coach next season

It seems Martin St. Louis is not long for the Canadiens bench.

New York Rangers v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

In an extremely disappointing bit of news, it seems that Martin St. Louis may not be long for the Montreal Canadiens bench. Renaud Lavoie reported late last night in a since-deleted Twitter thread that the Canadiens are in discussions with Alain Vigneault to replace St. Louis at the end of this season.

Translation: “I’m told the Canadiens are in very serious discussions with Alain Vigneault to take over the Canadiens next year. Not sure what this means for Martin St. Louis, but he would no longer be in his current role. More to follow...”

Lavoie went on in the thread to mention that St. Louis’s primary task was getting Cole Caufield back on track, on which front they’re content to say mission accomplished. Now, the Canadiens want to pivot towards a greater focus on defense, a front on which they believe Vigneault to be a better fit.

Why Lavoie deleted his thread is anyone’s guess, but since it came shortly after the end of media availabilities following Thursday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes, it could be that he was asked to keep things under wraps.

Vigneault has a history with Jeff Gorton and St. Louis, having coached the latter and worked under the former during his time with the New York Rangers. It is of course possible that he’d ask his former player in St. Louis to stick around as an assistant, but this seems incredibly unlikely. St. Louis has not sounded like he’s prepared to hand over his role, and most of the talk around Montreal has been about whether he’ll get an extension or have his interim tag removed. This feels like a blindside move that he doesn’t deserve.

Beyond that, I think this is a horrendous idea for the Canadiens, as we’re yet again going to rehash an old coach that didn’t work out. Vigneault of course coached the Habs from 1997-2000, missing the playoffs twice in three seasons before being shown the door early in the 2000-01 campaign. It is the Michel Therrien and Claude Julien saga all over again, and when this inevitably turns into a disaster, I don’t even know who they have left to bring back other than Mario Tremblay.

This might be the most idiotic idea that the new management group could come up with, which makes a lot of sense since I am the one who actually made it up. If you made it this far, happy April Fools’ Day!

Click the play button below to listen to your full Bottom Six Minutes, discussing Thursday’s very real game against the Carolina Hurricanes. It is also available on your podcast platform of choice. Next up is the Tampa Bay Lightning this Saturday in Florida.

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