Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier fired

By John-Eric Iannicello

Photo: Former Montreal Canadiens goaltender and current Quebec Remparts co-owner, head coach and GM Patrick Roy is a name rumored to be in the mix to be the next Candiens’ GM (courtesy of

Leon T. Switzer/ Icon SMI)

The Montreal Canadiens announced on Thursday that general manager Pierre Gauthier has been fired by the club. The Canadiens were officially eliminated from the playoffs last weekend and have a 29-34-14 record this season.

"It goes without saying that we’re all disappointed in our performance this season," owner Geoff Molson said at the team’s news conference. "Everyone in this organization, including our players, expected better."

Gauthier took over the GM role in February, 2010, replacing Bob Gainey. Under Gauthier, the club finished sixth in the Eastern Conference in the 2010-11 season and were one goal away from knocking the Boston Bruins out of the playoffs in Game Seven of their series in the 2011 NHL Playoffs.

Names already linked to the vacant position include Pierre McGuire, John Ferguson Jr., Claude Loiselle, and Patrick Roy. Roy has a historic connection to the Canadiens, as well as a connection to the 2012 NHL Draft. Roy is the current co-owner, head coach and general manager of the Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) who are led by top prospect for the 2012 draft, Mikhail Griogrenko. The Canadiens are currently in striking distance to land the Russian if they so choose.

In other management moves, Larry Carriere is stepping into the assistant general manager’s position, while Pierre Groulx will replace Carriere behind the bench. Bob Gainey has also been relieved from his position as Special Advisor. Former general manager Serge Savard has been brought in to assist owner Molson in an advisory role in the search for the next Canadiens general manager.

"We have a lot of work to do," Molson said. "We’re going to go through a rigorous process to select the best possible GM for this market. We now have 10 more days to get that done."