Habs In Serious Discussion With Vigneault As Head Coach

There is no doubt that since jumping ship from RDS to TVA Sports, Renaud Lavoie has lost a lot of contacts and with them, credibility. Once one of the top French Canadian insiders, the things he advances often don’t hold water or are being denied soon after. Last night, after the game against the Carolina Hurricanes, the reporter posted a thread, then deleted it soon after. But not before someone took a snip of one of the tweets.

In a shocking news, Lavoie tweeted the following, in French:

“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…”

In that thread, he said that St-Louis was brought in to get Cole Caufield back to where he should be and that he has done that. Apparently, the Habs now apparently want to put a bigger focus on defense and management feels like Vigneault is a better candidate for.

The 60 year-old was fired by the Philadelphia Flyers back in December 2021 with the team in midst of eight-game losing streak. Vigneault, who was given his first coaching opportunity in the NHL with the Canadiens back in 1997, has 722 wins under his belt as a bench boss, which places him eight all-time in the history of the league.

It is important to note that Vigneault has worked under Jeff Gorton in New York and he has also coached Martin St-Louis. He also coached Alex Burrows in Vancouver as well. There is a certain familiarity here. Also, looking at what Bruce Boudreau has done with the Vancouver Canucks since hired, some old coaches still have plenty of life in them.

Martin St-Louis

While this may be seen as “recycling” and negative from a fans’ point of view, I have personally witnessed the flexibility and adaptability of Vigneault as a coach while he was in Vancouver. With the effectives that he had in hands to start, he was a more defensive-type coach. But when the team got more offensive weapons, then GM Dave Nonis asked him, instead of firing him, if he could coach a more offensive style which he did.

But many Habs’ fans will remember his comments after Brendan Gallagher got his jaw broke in the playoffs two years ago and Vigneault didn’t show much sympathy for the Canadiens’ forward in his post-game comments:

“You don’t like to see any players get injured, there’s no doubt. But at the end of the day, I can only state the facts. And the fact was that Gallagher got up and his mouth didn’t shut up for at least five minutes — to the referees, the linesmen and to our bench for nearly five minutes. So he didn’t look like he was hurt other than obviously it looked like he had a cut. I believe that if the Montreal medical personnel thought that it was something real serious, they would have probably taken him off and brought him inside. I can only state the facts and state what I was watching, and what I was watching was a guy that just kept on talking, so he didn’t seem like he was hurt.” ~ Alain Vigneault

Now the question is… why did Lavoie delete his series of tweets? Was the information that he had erroneous or did someone slap him on the wrists for it? And after the wind of fresh air brought by St-Louis to this team, what kind of impact would bringing an old coach back have on the players, prospects and potential UFAs? But then again, would St-Louis stick around in another role, or would he and Vigneault share the bench as associate-coaches?

Or is this an April Fools joke?…

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