Whenever we get a new writer here at the Nations, I warn them about the software. I have lost countless posts to the bowels of the Internet and most of the formatting is done manually through HTML, so the “post-production” phase of a post usually takes a while.
But at least I have software, and at least we have a platform. François Allaire, goaltending coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, well, formerly, apparently, was basically a blogger without any software, or a computer for that matter. So news of him quitting out of frustration would be acceptable. He was pretty much Batman:
He’s the goalie coach Toronto deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll blame last year’s .900 on him, because he can take it.
— Ryan Etics (@ryantologist) September 17, 2012
Of course, Batman had a utility belt. Allaire had Vesa Toskala and Jonas Gustavsson.
This TVA Sports article, though in French, was the first news outlet to publish anything. If you don’t French, it’s basically “yadda yadda, Patrick Roy butterfly, yadda yadda, he juggled a pair of goalies that had less than 90 games experience heading into last season”.
This Hockey Buzz commenter describes differences in philosophy with Gustavsson that were apparently irreconcilable, even as the Leafs traded Goose away for as close to as little as you can get at the NHL Draft, a conditional seventh-round pick. Gustavsson never signed with Winnipeg and instead chose to go to Detroit, where we were told by an expert that he will easily post a .905 save percentage next season.
So unless this is about whether the team took down the Gustavsson posters fast enough, it’s probably just the case that there’s no point in being a goaltending coach for a team that isn’t allowed to work out its players for goalies that aren’t real good. There are a bunch of other goalies in this country, young guys who all want to be the next Patrick Roy, who have desparate parents with dollar signs and visions of their kid playing in the NHL. There’s probably just more for him outside the organization.
Who steps in for the ever-important job of carrying the broom? The Marlies don’t have a goalie coach listed, but there’s probably a part-timer who will come in and work with the goalies from time to time, and we’re working on a name to get you ASAP. But for the moment, neither Ben Scrivens nor James Reimer are playing with the Marlies so it’s sort of a moot point.
UPDATE – According to Scrivens, Allaire worked with both the Leafs and Marlies, as well as a part-time trainer who worked with the Marlies, Reading Royals and in the OHL. As far as he knows, neither are back, but Scrivens will continue to work out independently with Allaire. Scrivens previously worked with Allaire when he was with Cornell.
Anyway, what we learned is that François Allaire is not Batman. Like the Nations’ blog software, he offers no autosave feature.
The second bit of housekeeping is something we already knew. As reported by Andrey Osadchenko a couple weeks back here on TLN, Nikolay Kulemin is off to Magnitogorsk to play with Mettallurg of the KHL. He’ll be joining Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar and for the sake of the Leafs, I hope they come back.
And when I say “for the sake of the Leafs” I don’t just mean Kulemin. I mean Gonchar as well.