On the 4th episode of the Montreal Hockey Now Podcast, we welcomed RDS journalist François Gagnon on the show to discuss the status of Montreal Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis, goaltender Carey Price and the second half of the season for the Habs.
Gagnon looked back at the horrendous first half of the season for the Montreal Canadiens and how a change was needed behind the bench, with Dominique Ducharme having seemingly lost the room before he was ultimately let go on February 9th.
“It was clear that, for the Canadiens to take something good from this year, as bad as it was, they needed to do something,” said Gagnon on the Canadiens’ struggles in the first half of the season.
Gagnon praised the work of Martin St. Louis and speculated as to what the Hall of Famer’s mindset would be moving forward, as the fan base impatiently waits for his decision to return for next season. He reiterated the interest the club has shown in bringing St. Louis back, but ultimately said St. Louis will be the one to make that in the offseason.
“The interim tag that’s on his shirt right now, he’s the one that put it there,” said Gagnon on the status of St. Louis as head coach. “if it were up to Jeff Gorton or Kent Hughes, it would already be pulled out.”
Gagnon also touched on the big question in the Montreal Canadiens’ immediate future: What do you do with Carey Price? It’s a very complicated question, given Price’s contract, injury history and the players’ own desire to play in Montreal on the long-term. Gagnon believes the timing for the club’s young core and Price’s window to compete simply don’t line up.
“I don’t see the Canadiens being a Cup contender in the next two years, but they will get better. At some point, they’ll need the goaltender that Carey Price was and likely won’t be in three years, to get to the next level,” said Gagnon of Price.