When the Toronto Maple Leafs and François Allaire recently parted ways, the Leafs former goalie coach was less than subtle about his feelings towards the situation.
“To be honest, I don’t think the Leafs need a goalie coach. I think they have enough of them. They have two or three guys who were making decisions with the goalies. In the NHL, that’s not the way it works. “If that’s the way they want to operate, then I’m not there.”
The tone of his message made it seem like he was leaving the Leafs, and I’m thinking that rubbed GM Brian Burke the wrong way.
Burke came out with a rare public rebuttal – I say rare, because he’s generally opposed to criticizing current or former Leafs employees – he makes public rebuttals to others a-plenty.
In his statement, Burke implies that Allaire’s methods are out-dated and that, to be clear, you didn’t leave us we left you.
From the Leafs blog, first the justification:
“I regret that I have to deal with this matter publicly but I feel the need to respond. Was there interference from the staff as he said there was? Yes. But it was done reluctantly and it was done to change elements of our goaltending that was sub-par.”
Followed by the implication:
“The position has evolved in the last three to five years. Nobody plays the classic stand-up any more either. Everything advances.”
As in, “but Francois wasn’t.”
I’m actually with Burke here. I think goaltending has changed more than any position in the past decade, and you do have to evolve. When you have success using one method you come to believe it’s the only way to do things. I’m not saying Allaire got complacent – who really knows if he was teaching the same thing as he was back when he was with JS Giguere in Anaheim – but a fresh start will likely be good for the Leafs.
When you’ve missed playoffs as many years in a row as they have, it’s always good to get some fresh blood around.