Earlier today, Chicoutimi Sagueneens head coach and president Guy Carbonneau resigned. Immediately after, many had tied Carbonneau's resignation to the currently vacant New Jersey Devils head coaching position- even Tom Gullitti of Fire and Ice brought it up. However, Carbonneau immediately denied the rumors about if the Devils had asked him to become the new head coach. Of course, while I have been on the pro-Carbonneau bandwagon for a while, I am somewhat happy that he might be in consideration for the job. Considering the Florida Panthers hired Craig Ramsay, another favourite for the job, Carbonneau's stock is likely rising in the Devils camp. Here are a few points about why Carbonneau should coach the Devils
Former Montreal Canadiens Coach- History Repeats Itself?
Greg Wyshynski pointed this out in his article- the Devils have been known to go to the Montreal Canadiens for head coaches. Guys like Jacques Lemaire, Larry Robinson, Pat Burns and Claude Julien have been part of the Montreal Canadiens. Considering Lou didn't buck the recent trend of drafting Swedes in the first round by drafting Adam Larsson, maybe Lou goes back to the Habs for their next head coach.
He Can Run A Power Play
During his time in Montreal, one stat sticks out- his team's power play percentage. Of Course, the Habs did have Power Play Specialist Andrei Markov healthy and functional during the time. They also benefitted from massive seasons from Sheldon Souray, Michael Ryder and Mark Streit. However, after guys like them and Saku Koivu, he didn't have much help. Alex Kovalev was Alex Kovalev- either a dominant scoring forward or a below average offensive forward. Most of his forwards outside of Kovalev (when he did play) were either above average or just average. While the Devils don't have a legit PP specialist like Markov, they do have two top tier forwards- Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise (if and when he re-signs). Another factor to consider is Matt Taormina- considering Carbonneau found Streit's niche as a PP specialist, Taormina could potentially thrive in that role given by Carbonneau, seeing as he was effective in limited time that role.
Offense from the Blueline
With Carbonneau's teams in Montreal, they featured prominent offensive defensemen. Souray, Streit and Markov had great seasons with Montreal- all leading to each of them getting paid: Souray with Edmonton, Markov with Montreal and Streit with the Isles. Even an average offensive defenseman like Roman Hamrlik was able to put up over 30 points on the blue line. Current Free Agent Bust and terrible puck mover Mike Komisarek averaged 18 points during the two full seasons during Carbonneau's reign (he was injured during Carbonneau's last season). Considering Andy Greene is the only defenseman under contract that has put up more than 30 points, it would be nice to see some offense from the blue line.
A better Situation for Carbonneau
Montreal is a crazy hockey town. They riot after massive upsets. They bring the police in when the league is unable to enforce any justice on a player. New Jersey isn't Montreal. When you look at Montreal's implosion that lead to Carbonneau's firing, a lot of it had to do with the Players and the team's lack of discipline. Alex Kovalev's mind wandered. Guys like Carey Price, Chris Higgins and Mike Komisarek spent more time getting drunk at clubs. Of course, Carbonneau was more or less the sacrificial goat. In New Jersey, the team doesn't have the same kind of problems- the Devils do not have a player as confused as Alex Kovalev, and they don't have any partying problems. The Devils give him a more favourable situation than the one he had in Montreal- especially considering the team's biggest locker room problem, Jamie Langenbrunner, is no longer a Devil. Additionally, most of the focus will still be on Ilya Kovalchuk, who still has to shut some haters up about his $100 Million contract.
What Do You Think
While Carbonneau isn't the only coach, he might be one of the favourites right now. While he has denied talking with the Devils, maybe he will get a call from them some time soon. With all that being said, would you like Carbonneau to be the head coach of the Devils? Would he benefit from not being in the craziness that is Montreal? Would you rather have Therrien, Hitchock or Eaves as the head coach? What do you think?