Francois Allaire is Probably Right

Why didn’t Francois Allaire do interviews all the time?

Very often in sports reporting, people give vague answers to questions. The quotes are nice to have because of the name attached to them, and they’re great for filling up pages, but that doesn’t mean they always add actual value or substance to the story. For that very reason, Francois Allaire’s quotes from Michael Trakos’ peice in the National Post are a bit jarring.

"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."

That cool breeze you just felt was the breath of fresh air that, that quote was. There’s just something about being blunt and up front that I love. They don’t even need a goalie coach?

As poorly as the Leafs goaltending, team defence, and flat out luck has been over the past few seasons, maybe Allaire is right.

Now, maybe the Leafs needed a goalie coach. Past tense. And maybe now, that goalie coach, Francois Allaire, has served his purpose and it’s time to move on. He helped delevop James Reimer. He helped develop Ben Scrivens. He feels his job is done there, and that they will flourish, so it was just time for him to go.

Who needs a goalie coach?

Allaire’s departure also requires some context. He is still involved with the Leafs in a way. Allaire has worked with Ben Scrivens, who was recently re-signed by the Leafs for two more years, since his days at Cornell University. He worked with Scrivens while with the Leafs organization, and even though Allaire is gone, Scrivens says the plan is to continue working with Allaire in the summers.

Some online have suggested their theories that maybe Allaire is leaving the Leafs for other reasons. Unless some brand new information comes out later, that does not appear to be the case.

There’s also the theory that he didn’t like all of the negative attention. I’m willing to believe that. He has a legacy of success with Patrick Roy and J.S. Giguere, so he probably isn’t too interested with being told he’s a chump. Secondly, is there a goalie coach in the NHL who attracted more attention than Allaire. Actually, scratch that! How many goalie coaches can you name off the top of your head? Possibly Sean Burke because A) He’s Sean Burke and B) The hockey community let out a collective "When the hell did Mike Smith get this good? last season. 

So many players are criticised for not being able to take the heat of playing under such a microscope in Toronto. Phil Kessel immediately comes to mind in those kid of converations. A goalie coach leaving for those reasons, especially one with a good track record,  would not surprise me.

This could lead to a very interesting season in net for the Leafs, even moreso than usual. Now all we have to do is sit back, relax, and watch them play so hoc—Aw damn it I forgot. Lockout. This sucks.

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  • Danny Gray

    I can think of Mitch Korn as well, works with the Preds, but yeah that’s about it. Interesting perspective. I also think it’s interesting that many people seem to be siding with Allaire and blaming the coaching staff for the goaltending’s struggles.

  • Danny Gray

    Not sure why you say Kessel can’t play in the spotlight of Toronto?
    He may suck with the media but as far as his play goes since joining the Buds I’d say he’s one of the few bright stars this organization has. Not too many guys in the league can score the way Kessel does.

  • RexLibris

    It feels like there’s a tinge of frustration and exasperation in that quote as well. A sort of “if this is way things are going, then I’m gone” kind of sentiment.

    Maybe I’m wrong.

    I don’t imagine he’ll be out of work for long. Maybe Scott Howson gives him a call?