Well, Guy Boucher's officially gone to Tampa, along with his entire staff in Hamilton. That leaves three jobs open for the people who will mold and develop the Canadiens prospects. In the grand scheme of things, the men who will be hired in those positions will be just as important to the future of the Canadiens as anybody behind the bench in Montreal.
Listening to the continued bemoaning of Boucher's departure is getting a little wearisome, though. Fact is, Boucher's no longer a Hab and the work has to start soon to hire a coach who can take his place. And you know what? It turns out there are actually OTHER young genius coaches out there. One of them has even worked with Habs prospects already, and done a darn fine job of it. Chuck Weber has been head coach of the Cincinnati Cyclones, the ECHL affiliate of both the Habs and the Nashville Predators, for the last four years. In that time, he's led his team to the Kelly Cup championship twice and the third round of the playoffs twice more. He's coached guys like David Desharnais and Cedrick Desjardins, both of whom dominated the ECHL under his guidance and are now doing well in Hamilton.
The guy is just thirty-seven, but he's been coaching in the pros for eleven years. He played some college defence, and realized that, while he wasn't much of a defenceman, he understood the game and was able to teach it to others. That's what he prides himself on now. He's made the decision to be a career coach, and he's got big dreams.
I had a chance to talk with Chuck Weber today, and it turns out he's the kind of guy who makes you realize there's more than Guy Boucher in the ranks of up-and-coming coaches. He says he and Boucher have talked together and shared notes. While Weber is more conservative than Boucher's 1-3-1 system, in terms of letting his defencemen pinch deep, he favours a 2-1-2 with aggression on the forecheck and on the puck...similar to the style the Flyers played in this year's post-season. He believes all kinds of other positive, promising things too. And he'd love to coach in Hamilton. I'd love for him to get the chance.
If you're interested in what Chuck Weber's got to say about coaching, you can check out what sort of inadvertently turned out to sound like a job interview here.