Carbonneau open to coming back to Canadiens
CBC News, May 4, 2009


When asked Sunday night whether he would return to the Montreal Canadiens under certain conditions, former head coach Guy Carbonneau told a Radio-Canada television host he would.

Carbonneau, who was abruptly fired in March, said during an appearance on the popular Quebec talk show Tout le monde en parle he'd be ready to reclaim his position as the Habs' coach, in theory.

Host Guy A. Lepage asked him the hypothetical question: If General Manager Bob Gainey wasn't there, if Habs owner George Gillett sold the hockey club and if certain "rotten apples" were cleared from the team, would he come back? Carbonneau answered "Yes."

He was calm and thoughtful during his 15-minute interview and didn't reveal any frustration or bitterness about his sudden departure from the team.

"As a player, I was traded to St. Louis, then Dallas," said the former Stanley Cup winner in the French-language interview. "It's hard, but you learn to adapt. I'm good where I am at the moment, but I would have preferred being behind the Canadiens bench, even if the team lost in four games against the Bruins."

Carbonneau went on to say that Habs goalie Carey Price had a great career ahead despite his difficulties this season.

When asked if he would have turned to goalie Jarosalv Halak during the recent first round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Boston Bruins, Carbonneau said he didn't want to answer the question.

"I've always trusted both goalies," he said simply.

He acknowledged the off-ice drama that bogged down some of the younger Habs players this season, saying it's sometimes hard to rein in a professional hockey team.

"It's difficult, sometimes impossible, to control the comings and goings of players," Carbonneau said. "Possibly, some of the escapades outside hockey created distractions and affected performance, but these things often happen. It's just that the last year was exceptionally fertile."

Carbonneau admitted his days are long since he left the team. He's been spending time in the Laurentian mountains, Florida and Dallas rather than following the Habs' deflated end-of-season run.

"No team has approached me yet," he said. "I expect to start getting offers at the end of the month, or in early June."

He said he has yet to sit down with Gainey to discuss what happened.

"I still don't know who decided I should be fired," Carbonneau said. "There's been talk of a lack of communication, but it's a classic excuse in these kinds of circumstances.

"Regardless, after a couple of days, I was already on to something else."