Francois Allaire the goaltending coach who helped develop the “Butterfly” style of netminding called it quits with the Toronto Maple Leafs today. Amid the turmoil of a NHL lockout and the players being unable to communicate with coaches, Francois Allaire let the media know what he thought of leaving the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The three-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Montreal Canadiens (1986, 1993) and the Anaheim Ducks (2007) had this to say.
(Quotes from National Post)
“To be honest, I don’t think the Leafs need a goalie coach,”
“I think they have enough of them. They have two or three guys who were making decisions with the goalies. In the NHL, that’s not the way it works.
“If that’s the way they want to operate, then I’m not there.”
With reports surfacing among the media last year that Francois Allaire was going to be the scapegoat when the season ended for the lack of goaltending success it was easy to see something was going to surface. There seems to be a sense of dysfunction as the way the goalie side of the game was being managed in Toronto. Someone with such vast experience and talent as Allaire had shouldn’t be broadcasting this kind of displeasure when heading out the door. Frustration must have been a huge factor in his turning down a contract extension from General Manager Brian Burke at the end of last season. This boiled over to him finally giving his resignation among a deluge of “Thanks but No Thanks” type remarks.
What does this mean for James Reimer who looks to take on the starting job in Toronto? I think the uncertainty of coming back to a new goalie coach could be a good thing for the youngster, who will likely start with an emotional clean slate once the puck drops again. Reimer has always struck me as the type of goalie that has a positive attitude towards change, his summer was spent being the target of some heavy shots from Nashville’s Shea Weber in Kelowna, B.C. Just hearing this kind of training was being done by the young goalie is positive news. With Reimer getting a boost of confidence in his ability from the front office finally solidifying him as a number one will only allow for a complete fresh start.
Francois Allaire was a great consultant to the game of goaltending and will have no problem finding another place to lend his expertise. Big equipment and the butterfly helped many young goalies become the “Allaire” style and find success. Leafs fans will be thanking him years down the road as Ben Scrivens and James Reimer come into their own.
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