There were multiple reports online today that the Montreal Canadiens were on the verge of hiring Bob Hartley to be their next head coach. Unfortunately for all of you who had designs on Bob Hartley desktop wallpapers in Montreal Canadiens colors, the deal isn’t done and may not happen at all, per Darren Dreger who relayed the info in a radio interview.
Now, to be clear, this isn’t to say that Hartley won’t be the Habs coach in the future — it’s entirely possible that he’ll be on the podium come draft day. But, according to Dreger, it’s not imminent and likely won’t come within the week. On top of actually being hired by Montreal’s newly constructed front office, the Habs will have to more than likely sort out an arrangement with his current employer, the ZSC Lions in Switzerland.
There are two other qualified candidates who have been in discussions to take over the job. Michel Therrien, most recently the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Marc Crawford, most recently the head coach of the Dallas Stars, have both been linked to the head coaching job in Montreal. Both meet the unofficial criteria of being bilingual with prior employment history in the province of Quebec.
Many will remember that Therrien coached the Canadiens after Alain Vigneault was let go and that, as a prospective hire, doesn’t sit well with me. I’ve never been a fan of teams recycling coaches (See: Maurice, Paul) and I don’t plan on changing my mind for Michel Therrien.
As I see it, this decision is between Hartley and Crawford and I’ll give the edge to Hartley, simply because he’s currently in the coaching business and not in a press room. Analyzing games in a newsroom (cue writer jokes) is a far cry from coaching on a bench and I think Hartley is more equipped to lead the Habs going forward, even if it doesn’t happen this week.
Who do you think should be their next bench boss?