Canadiens' Bergevin fired goalie coach midgame Tuesday
Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin revamped his coaching staff last week, firing head coach Claude Julien and associate Kirk Muller while promoting assistant Dominique Ducharme to interim bench boss. Goalie coach Stephane Waite initially appeared to be safe, but Bergevin wasn't done tinkering.
Waite was informed during the second intermission of Tuesday's game against the Ottawa Senators that he was being let go, Bergevin said Wednesday, according to The Athletic's Arpon Basu.
"This decision was not based only on this season," Bergevin said. "I had seen a bit of a pattern."
Starting netminder Carey Price has struggled this season. Even after stopping 26 of 27 shots Tuesday night, his .893 save percentage and 2.96 goals-against average are both worse than the league average. Price's $10.5-million cap hit makes him the NHL's highest-paid goalie, and there's still an additional five years left on his contract.
Bergevin insisted the 33-year-old remains elite and might just need a different voice in the form of new director of goaltending Sean Burke.
"Carey is still an excellent goalie, one of the best in the league, but he needs help," Bergevin said.
The Canadiens hired Burke as a scout in 2016, but he'll need to quarantine for 14 days before he can join the team. Bergevin believes Burke's experience going through the "ups and downs" through his 18 years as an NHL goaltender will help Price.
Bergevin added he did not consult Price before making the change.
"The day I decide to do that, it will mean I'm not the right guy for the job," he said.
Bergevin didn't dive into what Burke's role will entail or whether there will be a goaltending department in the future similar to the Florida Panthers' recent innovative approach. Burke's contract still expires at the end of the season.
Waite had been Montreal's goalie coach since 2013-14, meaning he oversaw Price's career year in 2014-15 when he won the Vezina and Hart trophies.