Updates on the Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Oilers and Flames – June 7, 2012.

Leafs GM Brian Burke denies rumors he’ll be replaced, Canadiens make more coaching changes, Oilers re-sign GM Tambellini, and Jarome Iginla’s opinion of Flames new coach Bob Hartley.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke dismissed recent rumors he was about to lose his job.

Habs fired Cunneyworth.

TSN.CA: The Montreal Canadiens fired assistant coaches Randy Cunneyworth and Randy Ladouceur, and are reportedly close to hiring Martin Lapointe as an assistant coach.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cunneyworth was treated shabbily by former Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier and the Montreal media this season because of his inability to speak French. Here’s hoping he gets another NHL coaching gig soon, where he’ll be judged on his coaching ability.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: The Oilers yesterday announced they’ve re-signed GM Steve Tambellini to a contract extension. The heat is now on to find a new head coach to replace the fired Tom Renney.

CALGARY SUN: Flames captain Jarome Iginla is said to have a positive opinion of new bench boss Bob Hartley.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but with Iginla giving Hartley his stamp of approval, perhaps that suggests he won’t be leaving the club via trade this summer?


  1. If the Leafs miss the post season again I think the Burke experiment is over in TO, but they’ll let him save face and he’ll say he’s stepping down to take a break from hockey and concentrate on his personal life.

  2. Montreal should be ashamed of their treatment of Randy Cunneyworth. He could be the poster boy for shabby treatment and shows how far a man will go to fulfill his dream of coaching in the NHL. He was victimized by everyone from the Canadiens front office right through to the wonderful Quebec media.
    I totally agree that the new head coach should be allowed to bring in his own assistants and not have to inherit people he is not familiar with and I do not blame Therrien one bit, but I do blame everyone else that had anything to do with his tenure in Montreal. He should have been cut loose at the end of the season once they knew they were going after a new coach. Keeping him around and rearranging his title was like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Cruel and dispickable treatment of a man who did everything he was asked to do…and more.

    Luongo to Florida is the new trade favour of the day. So far I have heard him going to Tampa, Toronto and now Florida. I trust LeBrun but until the deal is done it is just rumormongering, which of course gives people like me more things to write about.

    • While I agree with you that the Habs have treated Cunneyworth shabbily, I have to say that Al MacNeil is still the poster boy. He was made head coach of the Habs as a mid-season replacement in 1970–71, won the Stanley Cup, and got fired anyway. (And for the same reason as Cunneyworth: not speaking French.)

      It would be hard even for the Habs to do anything shabbier than that.

  3. I have to say I think that if the Flames are not in the playoff race by at least christmas I think you may see some people being moved …..including Iginla. Not that the team wants to move him but I think he is realizing that his time is getting short to win a cup and it may not be in Calgary that he gets that opportunity. As much as he loves Calgary he knowst that they may be facing a rebuild soon and he already stated that he would not want to be a part of a full rebuild.

  4. The Habs, if they truly want to get back to the glory days, should have hired the best coach available.

    But since the media/government insists they have to speak French it really limits the choices.

    All they needed to do was to hire the best coach with an interpretor…

    And agreed…. Cunneyworth was treated like crap.

  5. Coaching or managing (or even playing on) an NHL team in Canada’s two largest cities would likely qualify as the most difficult jobs in pro hockey. I’m sure this makes it difficult to find suitable candidates for either team.

  6. As far a Cunneworth goes, if you get a new coach, you know the new guy is going to pick his own assistants. The guy resposible was Gauthier and he is gone. Bergevin did the best he could keeping him on (and getting a cheque) for as long as possible. I feel bad for the guy but I do not think the Habs experience will be held against him.
    I asked yesterday about who was out there regardless of language. Crawford was already vetted as was Hartley. Hartley took the job in Calgary so he is off the books. I personally think Crawford is better than Therrien but looking at the records, you can not say crawford is hands down no question better than Theirrien, at least in his last years of coaching. Paul Maurice? No way in terms of pedigree does he match with Therrien. Terry Murray is na interesting possibility. Being from qc maybe he knows some French. I guess Brent Sutter though is the one that really lost out regarding the French but again, look at the end of his coaching life. At the end of the day, I am eally not sure who should be coach but not all together happy with Therrien.

  7. Oh and I think Lapoint is to be director of palyer developemnt, although was offered Assistant Coach and turned it down.

  8. Was Cunneyworth treated shabbily? For sure. Is it because he didn’t speak French? No, it’s because the GM never thought that not speaking French as a Montréal coach was a problem. He should never have been named to that position by anyone with even an micron of his finger on the pulse.

    That said, I’d like for anyone to get a coach in Toronto that spoke only Russian… I don’t think it’d work. It is one of the realities of that market.

    I think he never got a fair chance because he was essentially hobbled from day one by Gauthier saying he was an interim coach. I think he showed a lot of class the way he handled that crapfest, and I’m sure other GM’s have taken notice.