Talking General Managers

Since Pierre Gauthier was fired by Geoff Molson and Bob Gainey stepped down, talk in Montreal has been dominated by speculation from fans about who will be the next GM and PR campaigns from certain media members for their friends to get the job. Molson will be hiring the next GM of the Montreal Canadiens with the help of former Habs legend and general manager Serge Savard.

It's unclear how big of a role Savard will have to play, but considering he was contradicting Molson's hiring process mere hours after the press conference announcing Gauthier's dismissal, I have a hunch that it will not be a decision making role.

Luckily for us, Gauthier's dismissal has been rumoured all season so we already have a large list of names to speculate about, and others have already done a lot of work in researching them. We're going to feature some research work here, but before that I'd like to do a preemptive knock on one 'candidate' in Pierre McGuire.

As many know, I wrote about how poor I felt McGuire would be for the job in February, and I also wrote about how set the next GM was to be universally praised. This is a unique situation in which the Canadiens should be attracting the best possible candidates. There's no reason to be settling. Anyone worth their salt can see the potential in Montreal, and we don't need a situation like this arising.

Harkening back to that point, frequent commenter at EOTP, 'Roke (@p_guay on twitter)' did some research last night and found the jobs that were held by every current NHL GM before they held their current job:

Can’t sleep so I’m taking a look at the last (non-media) job GMs had before becoming General Managers. I’ve only gone through the current guys (and Gauthier) but…

  • 17 guys were Assistants in some capacity – Counting Yzerman as an assistant to Holland even though his title had "Vice President" in it.
  • 7 guys were GMs elsewhere.
  • 1 guy (Rutherford) was an OHL exec- though he was part of the ownership group that bought the Whalers and he stepped right in as GM.
  • 1 guy (Lamoriello) came over from the NCAA (Commissioner of Hockey East, Athletic Director at Providence).
  • 1 guy (Gillis) was a Player Agent.
  • 1 guy stepped downstairs (Bob Murray).
  • 1 guy stepped upstairs from Coaching (Bryan Murray).
  • 1 guy was an NHL/AHL goaltender.

Going by this list, only one NHL GM held a job less related to managing an NHL team than McGuire potentially would, and that person is Garth Snow. That's hardly the kind of direction I'm sure fans want this franchise to go. The Canadiens have their pick of the litter here, and the cream of the crop will be taken.

After the jump we'll look at the available candidates as broken down by the venerable Jonathan WIllis of the Edmonton Journal ESPN, Hockey Prospectus, and the Nation Network.

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So Habs fans, who's profile do you like?

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