Legendary goalie coach, butterfly pioneer Francois Allaire retires

AAron Ontiveroz / Denver Post / Getty

One of the most influential and revolutionary contributors to the goaltending position, Francois Allaire, retired from his craft Tuesday, he announced on his Facebook page.

The 57-year-old Allaire spent the last 32 years as a goalie coach with the Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and most recently, the Colorado Avalanche.

Allaire was the first-ever goalie coach of the Canadiens, where he took a young protege by the name of Patrick Roy under his wing and helped him become arguably the best goaltender of all time.

Though netminders such as Glenn Hall, Tony Esposito, and Vladislav Tretiak experimented with falling to both knees to make a save, Roy made it the most popular style under Allaire's tutelage. Any goalie who doesn't use the butterfly nowadays is considered a dinosaur.

Allaire joined the expansion Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 1996, where he turned an unheralded Guy Hebert into one of the league's best goalies. Yet, his best work in Orange County came with Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who won the Conn Smythe Award in 2003 and later the Stanley Cup in 2007.

Allaire finished his career with stints in Toronto and Colorado, but his everlasting legacy will live on. Without Allaire, goalie coaches might not exist today, while goaltenders might still be standing up to make saves, and the NHL would be a much higher-scoring game.

In addition to Roy, Hebert, and Giguere, other notable goalies to work under the instruction of Allaire included Jocelyn Thibault, Roberto Luongo, Martin Biron, Ilya Bryzgalov, Jonas Hiller, James Reimer, Semyon Varlamov, and Calvin Pickard.

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Legendary goalie coach, butterfly pioneer Francois Allaire retires
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