Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Carbo Speaks on Canadiens GM Change

It came as no surprise, to former Montreal Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau, that his long-time friend Bob Gainey would step down as the team's GM.

"The timing was surprising for everybody," Carbonneau said Tuesday morning on TheFan590. "But, it has been something in the back of his head for a couple years now."

"He didn't feel the pressure," he said, referring to the high expectations of the media and fans. "All the events that have happened in his personal life started to wear down on him."

Carbonneau sympathized with Gainey on the lack of personal and family time available while working at the administrative level of pro hockey.

"It's good that he's staying aboard (as an adviser to new GM Pierre Gauthier)," he said. "It gives him time to do other things. Until I got fired last March, I never had time to myself, or for my family."

He then spoke in his firing from the Canadiens by his long-time friend.

"When it happens, you're not happy," he said. "We took the job over the relationship we had. We expected we would stay together to weather the first storm. I was surprised that it happened, but he (Gainey) has the only reason that it did."

Carbonneau hopes that he and Gainey can talk in a few months to rebuild their tarnished friendship.

He also suspects that his former boss was already passing the torch to Gauthier at the time of his firing.

Carbonneau broke down the team's staff, pointing out all the past working ties between Gauthier, coach Jacques Martin, director of player development Trevor Timmins and coaches Perry Pearn and Pierre Groulx.

"It made sense," he said. "At the end of the day, it's the GM who says 'yes' or 'no', but most of the decisions were made in the same room."

When asked on his evaluation of Gainey's successor, Carbonneau said it's hard to say at this time.


kyleroussel said...

Carbo echoed similar sentiments on the Team 990 today.

I wonder if, upon hearing of Gainey's resignation he had a good chuckle to himself. Gainey felt he had no choice but to fire Carbo, but you have to think that Carbo felt at least a little vindicated that Gainey was not able to turn the ship around either, despite his best efforts.

Lyse said...

And he did say just about the same thing on CKAC this morning.

But about the "smile" eluded to by kyleroussel above and Red Fisher in today's column he was quite adamant: "Bob is the man I respect most in this hockey world and I kind of felt sad for him" (my best effort at translating here). He sounded not very happy about Fisher's comment and snapped he would have preferred being called first to get his reaction...