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Francois Allaire leaves the Maple Leafs, but not so quietly

Brian Burke is rarely shy to trumpet his big moves (often saying he’d do them over again), including his staff-related hirings.  I seem to recall (correct me if I’m wrong) that he heralded Francois Allaire as the best in the business when he signed the long-time (and former Anaheim, among other teams) goalie coach to join the Leaf coaching staff a few years ago.

When Allaire (this had been speculated for many months) formally announced his departure this week, he sounded almost biblical, as though he was kicking the proverbial "dust off his feet" on his way out of town.  He essentially said (according to the National Post report on his departure) that the Leafs didn’t need a goalie coach—that they already had a few people who seemed to think they knew what they were doing with the goaltenders.  Those weren’t the exact words, but that seemed to be the implication.

I’m not sure what he meant, but we can assume the parting was not entirely cordial and pleasant, regardless of how management will now couch the announcement. (The Terry Koshan Toronto Sun report indicated that Burke refused commnent on Allaire's exit...)

It’s difficult, from a distance—and being about as far from a goaltending “expert” as one can possibly be—to ascertain whether Allaire brought “value” to the Maple Leaf equation the past few seasons.  Of course James Reimer has spoken highly of him.  What would we expect?  It's worth mentioning that Ben Scrivens will apparently continue to work with Allaire privately.  Many fans and observers (and Burke, of course) have defended Allaire over the years.  Many feel he did what he could with a middlish group of goaltenders to work with.

But it seems to me that someone with the supposed credentials that Allaire had, while not expected to work miracles of course, should surely have been able to leave a bit if a positive imprint, some kind of mini-legacy here.   I have opined here many times that something went horribly wrong with Jonas Gustavsson, for example.  I never knew if Gus was forced into an uncomfortable cookie-cuter style by Allaire, or whether that was all my imagination.  I do know that, based on many reports out of Europe,  Gustavsson was not remotely like the goalie he had been back home.  He looked nervous and uncomfortable too much of the time here.

Further, I was not impressed with how Ron Wilson (or Burke) spoke about and handled The Monster, as I have alluded to many times before.  I just had the feeling that while Gus would never say it himself, I don’t believe he truly felt the organization believed in him.

You may say…well, if he had simply played a lot better, everyone would have believed in him.  But sometimes athletes need support at particular moments, and I can’t help but feel that genuine support—though positive public words were uttered at times—was not in evidence when it would have really mattered most to the fragile (and still fairly young) goaltender.

The goalies before Reimer had their own issues.  That feels like ancient history.  I truly don’t know how much, if anything, can be laid at Allaire’s feet for where we are now with Toronto’s goaltending mediocrity.  Reimer looked good at first, but we all noticed the regression last season, post-injury.  That was probably to be expected, and I am among those hopeful that Reimer can be very good here in the near future, if he is healthy and confident.

People with legitimate experience working with goalies from a technical perspective clearly know a million times better than I, but that said, something was amiss when it came to our goaltending these past few seasons.  Was it all simply that all our goaltenders were not good enough?  Was it lackadaisical team play?  Or could it be the way Wilson dealt with the goalies, ultimately leaving them with shattered confidence?

I certainly don’t have the answers.  But fair or not, I can’t say I’m shedding tears that Allaire has left.

What will be interesting to discover is who Allaire is/was referring to when he said, according to the Traikos/Post piece: “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.”

The full story hints at unspoken issues in Leafland.  Is Carlyle involved?  Was it the now long-departed former coach, Wilson?  Was it someone in upper management that Allaire found troubling?  Was there some kind of meddling or interference?

Maybe Allaire was just frustrated.  He's a proud individual.  He can not exactly point to his years in Toronto as high points in his coaching career, though he is well-known enough and has a reputation such that he can work any number of places if he so chooses.

Yes, it’s easy to blame the now former coaches (Wilson, Allaire) but a number of us pointed to various issues while they were still here, so in fairness, it’s not exactly “Monday morning quarterbacking” to re-hash these things now.  I have zero idea if my concerns were justified when it comes to Allaire’s seeming undue influence (or Wilson’s handling of our goalies over the years), but it’s also a bit simplistic to simply say, “the Leaf goalies just all stunk for the past four seasons…”

I mean, forget the Leafs, a number of NHL teams thought Gustavsson was worth taking a flyer on three summers ago.  He has not exactly had an easy road since coming to North America, with health concerns and less than fully supportive (in my opinion) coaching and management behind him.  Detroit thought enough of him to sign him as a back-up behind Jimmy Howard going forward.  I guess we’ll see how that goes for the former Leaf goalie.

In any event, the Allaire era is over.  As is the Wilson era, the Acton era and the Hunter era.  Four respected coaches, all gone.   Management is running out of people to point fingers at-  even if not quite directly.

Where do you sit?


  1. It's so tough to measure the impact a goaltending coach has on a goalie separate and aside from the goalie's own raw materials.

    What we can say with a fair degree of certainty is that Allaire was a draw for unsigned goaltenders. Owuya, Gustavsson and Scrivens have all suggested that he was a factor when determining where to sign. If nothing else, that's what we've lost.

  2. MIchael,

    The rumour I heard today and will pass along to you and everyone else. Allaires' comment was a swipe at Scott Gordon. Former NHL goalie and current assistant coach. As I have never been an NHL coach or player, I have very little actual idea whether or not these guys have a clue. I am stuck with what I have, the statistical record. For goalies of the Maple Leaf variety, that record is not good. What is also not good is that one of the guys the Leafs acquired to fill that position is no longer in the League. Strictly a performance issue, and nothing else. Toskala.

    This year Gustavsson gets a fresh start in Mowtown, so we will see. Although I suspect any improvement in his play will be seen by some as strictly a team improvement from where he was before. There are lots of opinions in the media about goalie coaches. Many of them do not have much good to say about Mr. Allaire. I frankly don't have much of an opinion on them as a rule. I think that my advice to all of them would be. Give your goalies the best possible chance at success, no matter what style they seem best suited for. I can't imagine Allaire coaching Tim Thomas for example.

    Interesting thought you ended with. There are still many people on the management payroll who could stand in front of a bullet or two, if the need should arise. I would venture a guess that Jonas bounces back in Detroit, puts up more than adequate numbers, and has us lamenting over why we didn't just let him play. He did play very well here for stretches of time.

  3. I like that point, Curt. Beyond that, though, as you suggest, it's so hard to quantify his impact here. Thanks Curt.

  4. Solid post as usual, Jim. Just another baffling situation. Allaire is supposed to be this brilliant goalie coach, but you wouldn't know it from the way the Leaf goalies developed the last few seasons. Again, I acknowledge I am far from the situation and don't have got a clue how to gauge Allaire's impact, as I said to Curt, but Gustavsson never seemed get an opportunity to go on a roll when he did start to play well. It was usually one mistake and back on the bench. You can't build much confidence that way.

    I know a lot of Leaf fans didn't like his play here, but I thought he was handled very poorly.

    Thanks Jim.

  5. Michael,

    I am curious to see what the team does going forward. I know that a lot of what is said by management is spin. It appears to me that once you declare someone or thing, to be the best in the entire world. A fallback position, seems to be out of the question. Baffling is a good word for the situation. Others to be considered, strange, unusual, funny(not ha ha funny), confusing. Please feel free to use any of these the next time management does something that the rest of us cant fathom. I am sure that it won't take long.

    I also heard today, that if Kulemin plays in Russia this season. He is considering playing the full year there, whether or not the NHL returns. It would be a catastrophe for the League if Malkin, Ovechkin, and Datsyuk decide that they are better served by playing in Russia. They would certainly not lose any money doing so.

  6. Jim, I don't know what to make of Kulemin playing in Russia. From a strict hockey perspective, I guess it's good for him to stay in shape and play.

    From an NHLPA optics perspective, I don't see the point. I would think true "solidarity" would suggest that players stick together. Unless all 700 can get contracts elsewhere, I would think this would make for a fractious situation. But I'm not in their shoes.

    Also, it troubles me that the need of some NHL players to make money is costing jobs for players elsewhere who are much needier in terms of a job and income than these millionaires. But again, I realize others look at all this much differently.

    Thanks Jim.

  7. Michael,

    Funny you should mention the bumping thing for NHL jobs. I guess it is true that someone would be out of a job eventually if the worst players were the ones losing their jobs. I am not sure how I feel about this one.

    If newspapers like the Star locked out reporters, the big league so to speak. Would that mean that Damien Cox not be allowed to apply for a lower profile job at the Oakville Beaver? Solely because a less privileged reporter of lower status would lose their job and have to do something else.

    I wish the NHL would play hockey, so that I could discuss games and trades again. I do so love being the Monday morning quarterback.

  8. It seems strange to me that Allaire would leave when he has Reimer, Scrivens and (maybe to a lesser extent) Owuya who respect him 'in the fold.' This would appear to be the 'knock out blow' concerning the potential of a trade for Luongo in my estimation.

    Perhaps there is another goalie 'on the radar' who is not exactly keen on Allaire as a coach. This might also signal the pending departure of one of our two goalies in a trade down the road. Owuya seems more of a hybrid goalie than just an 'Allaire butterfly style.'

    As a semi-related aside: I wonder if some of the recent player signings were contracted in order to set a value for them in pending trades... I specifically wonder if Evander Kane might come to Toronto in return for a package deal that might send Reimer home to Manitoba (this does not necessarily mean that we would be getting a Jet goalie in return).

    I recently spoke with people from Winnipeg who were directly connected to an incident where Kane did not pay for his bill at an establishment where he had gone. There has been much fallout and commentary on this incident in the area.

    I have not had a chance to chat with his uncle (who was my best friend in Grade 12) or his dad (who I know far less well), but I would suspect that this incident may have been more of a cultural misunderstanding.

    The family was not 'well off' and I noticed that they gave of themselves in non-monetary ways and were often appreciated with some 'perks'. I believe it is quite likely that young Evander thought he was 'being taken care of' for his presence at the establishment.

    The family is full of character people and I find it difficult to think Evander deserves the reputation that has attached itself to him. I would love to see him on the Leafs and wonder who would go the other way.

    But to conclude regarding Allaire: I wonder if his apparent inability to adapt to the strengths of Gus may have something to do with his departure. Perhaps Gus was so uncomfortable because of the allusion to conflict (with Scott Gordon) - it is impossible to please two masters (if you try, you usually please neither). Perhaps Gus will settle into his own style in Detroit and he'll be another player we once had in the fold (Bernie Parent comes to mind again).

    I wonder if Tim Thomas might become the stopgap veteran if he decides he's had enough rest if the lockout continues for a few months before resolution, though I wonder if Burke would be comfortable with another large 'voice' on his team (that may not be 'compatible'). It may be another goalie altogether who would not have been comfortable with Allaire (who may just have seen enough to know 'the writing was on the wall' and therefore chose to depart on his own terms as he was rumoured to be considering at the end of the season).

  9. I don't know enough about the Kane situation to comment, but I respect your judgment, InTimeFor62, that he is a character person/player. We could use talent and character anytime with the Leafs.

    With regard to Allaire, I wonder if we will ever know the full story. It's hard to believe an assistant coach had more clout than Burke's personal choice as goalie coach years ago, but who knows? A lot of this sounds like mere speculation to me.

    Thomas' name has been brought up here before. If I had to guess, I'd say he's not coming to Toronto at any point . He'd likely prefer to play with a U.S.-based team if he does return some day. (The lockout may provide the break Thomas was looking for.)

    Thanks InTimeFor62.

  10. We can't deny the mediocrity of the Leaf goalies over the past few years. Not one of them showed sustained improvement over their early showings. That has to be laid at the feet of the goalie coach.
    However, we also had a sloppy and seemingly confused defence, who frequently turned mundane clearing plays into bona fide scoring chances for the other team. Can't blame Allaire for that.
    I'm one of those who felt that instead of grafting a goalie's natural skill to Allaire's system, he preferred to genetically modify their style - and the resultant hybrid just didn't work. It often seemed that the goalies were having to think when they should have just reacted. And I think you see more or less pure reaction in 90% of the best, and often unorthodox, goalies.
    So I hope we see an improvement, because if we don't, it's more wandering in the wilderness for Leaf fans. One thing is becoming clearer and clearer - there's a management problem that's leading to team dysfunction. And appointing a company guy who's never shown he has the ability to run a winning team as the new CEO... hopes ain't high in the O'Malley household.

  11. Michael
    Given Reimers remarks reported by Mirtle that he is very disappointed that he won't be able to work with " arguably the best goalie coach in the game" he has not exactly endeared himself to the next goalie coach to be hired by the Leafs. I am no expert but if the guy we are counting on to be our goalie of the future thinks Allaire not returning is a big loss for him, maybe it is a big loss for the Leafs too. I gather from other reported comments that Scrivens thinks so too and plans to work with him in the off season.
    It sounds like Allaire wasn't the problem, the interference by other unofficial goalie coaches may have been the real culprit.
    Regardless, it sounds like the new goalie coach whoever that might be is going to have some credibility issues with Reimer and Scrivens, at least at the start.

  12. I agree with your comment, Gerund O', about the problem with goalies having to "think" before they react. Surely the position is difficult enough without having to worry about in-game mechanics.

    I'm sure even Hasak had some basic fundamentals that he worked from, but by and large, he just stopped pucks. This modern-day obsession with the Allaire-style is, to me, over the top.

    This "situation" does, as you suggest, point to a much deeper and more troubling issue in Leafland. We'll see where this one goes. Thanks Gerund.

  13. Thanks Ed. It is obviously difficult for those of us on the "outside" to really know and understand what the heck is going on.

    That said, a part of me figures that, of course the Leaf goalies will say good things about the just-departed guy. they are just kids, really, and what else are they going to say?

    But you're right, it does point to a challenge ahead, including for the incoming coach- though those relationships usually get sorted out fairly quickly and positively.

  14. Michael - The most shocking thing for me is that Mr. Burke has no comment. I find that hard to understand - silence, from Mr. Burke. Is he on the way out also?

  15. The Leafs system has unfortunately grown quite the reputation as a graveyard for goalies. The question has come up in my head these past few years too, how could this be, with this supposed King of all Goalie Coaches employed here? I've heard the positive and negative about Allaire, he works well with some, but is shunned by some goalies. I have attributed that to the fact that goalies all have their own style. A developing goalie will likely be open to some teaching, but an established NHLer (if you consider Raycroft and Toskola established) are not about to re-invent their game to appease a goalie coach.

    I have commented before, and I stand wholly by my assertion that the Leafs management has mishandled our goalies. Their confidence and development has been hampered by the organization, culminating in the horror show that was this past January-February where Reimer and Gustavsson were continually handed the starting job after a solid outing and had it taken away again after a poor performance.

    No coach can work under conditions where they are constantly being undermined. Even at my son's level (bantam goalie), where I work with the goalies at practice, I couldn't imagine the head coach or another assistant interfering with my drills, or telling the goalies something opposite of what I just said. Yes that would frustrate the heck out of the goalies and myself.

    For Allaire to speak so bluntly upon his resignation is exceptionally rare. Coaches rarely burn bridges like that, after all they need to secure another job somewhere, and there is such a good-ole-boy network among league GMs that it would be so easy to be blacklisted by doing this. For him to say what he said, he must be at the height of frustration with the organization.

    So my conclusion is that, like or dislike Allaire's coaching style and system, he sees a dysfunctional system and he is tired of it. Which means to me that we are running the risk of adding a few more sad epitaphs to the likes of Raycroft, Pogge, Toskola, and Gustavsson among others.

  16. Do you really think so, 27leafs? It strikes me that Burke is still very secure in his situation. I could certainly be wrong, but this announcement does raise questions, for sure.

    I agree that his reluctance to talk openly is not his customary response. This may have something to do with the lockout, or there may be more to this "story" than has even been reported so far.

    Thanks for posting, 27leafs. Food for thought.

  17. Thanks for an outstanding post, Pete. Some may say bantam hockey is not NHL hockey, but I know exactly what you're talking about. The same principles apply.

    I appreciate your very measured statement that, whether one likes Allaire's style/methodology or not, he clearly left town highly annoyed. One way or another, there was/is an issue. And for Burke not to comment, as 27leafs also pointed out,. leaves us wondering all the more.

    Will more heads roll, once the lockout is (if ever) over?

  18. I sure hope they do, Michael. I may have cut my thought off at the end of my post, but I think you got what I was saying. Allaire quitting does not fix the situation. There is a problem within the coaching/management structure. I don't know if it's Gordon's fault or if he's just caught in the crossfire, but something has to change!

  19. I hear you, Pete. Burke is supposed to "speak" later today....

  20. Reading what Allaire said made me interpret it as though Leafs maybe suffering of coaching by committee. Coaching is, today, very much a team effort, with every coach in the system optimally having specialized, pre-defined areas of responsibility, to which each of them will stick with. If you have a goaltending coach, you'll let him do his thing and that's it. It's certainly not going to benefit anyone if there are people stepping over those abovementioned boundaries of responsibility, making a mess of each others' work.

    Now of course, I can't be in any way certain if that's what has been really going on, but it sure seems to me Allaire didn't feel he was able to work within his strengths. Whatever the actual reason for that is, it's obviously just as well that he leaves. Personally I'm not having a difficult time to appreciate where Allaire is coming from, as it sure has looked like the Leafland of confusion on so many levels of the franchise, and on quite a few occasions, over the past few years.

  21. Allaire's candor was a mild shock, for sure, CGLN. The apparent dysfunction is a concern. (I still can't believe Burke retained Wilson all those years when Burke admitted afterwards that they had a fundamental difference of opinion about the type of team they "liked". Amazing.)

    It's rarely dull in Leafville....

  22. Hi Michael,

    Just a couple of notes.

    Damien Cox would not be taking anyone's job at the Oakville Beaver, even the Beaver has standards.

    Also, I received an email from Sportsnet this morning asking me to go online and sign a petition to bring back NHL hockey. Isn't it their parent company that owns the Leafs and voted to lock out the players?


  23. Was the petition forwarded by Sportsnet officially, I wonder, Brad (cbh747), or started by a fan? It does seem odd (or worse) given the linkage you correctly make reference to.

  24. Hi Michael,

    It was official and struck me as a little bizarre.

    Here is what it links to.


  25. I wrote extensively throughout last season about bizarre goaltending management, laying the blame at the feet of Ron Wilson. Ultimately, I believe that this wacky goaltending management and a weak defensive system ultimately cost Wilson his job. Now, it appears that the goaltending mismanagement problem went beyond Ron Wilson and points to a dysfunctional culture, particularly at the coaching level.

    In my opinion the loss of Allaire is a terrible one. If we are to glean any positives, it would be that the Leafs were able to recruit a promising goaltending stable thanks to Allaire, in the near absence of a prospect pool. In addition, we saw rapid development of Reimer, Scrivens and Owuya in particular. Anthony Petrielli covers the situation well in MLHS (“10 Thoughts on Francois Allaire”).

    I am not sure how goaltender recruiting is going to go now without the Allaire ace up our sleeve. We can probably kiss coups like the Monster, Scrivens and Owuya good bye. The scouting staff will now have to concentrate on draft age goaltenders as the top level free agents will probably follow Allaire to his next employer, should he remain in the NHL. As we have seen, elite veterans are hard to come by. How the coaching goes from here is anyone’s guess. However, it may be time for hands-on management, if the Leaf ship is going to be set right.

  26. I well recall your many well thought-out posts about Wilson, Monster and the overall team play as it impacted Leaf goaltender outcomes last season, Bobby C..

    We perhaps have a different perspective on Allaire's impact here, but I certainly respect your perspective on this.

    Hopefully the goalies in our system will make a seamless adjustment to Rick St. Croix, who also is a respected goalie coach.

  27. Michael,

    Burke has responded in an interview with Mike Wilmer on the official Maple Leafs website. Here is the link

    Months of defending the guy and calling him the best goalie coach in the world. Then after he is gone claim that the style he teaches was outdated 3-5 years ago.

    I wish that I could figure out what the plan in Leafland is.

  28. Soap operas have storylines to capture the imagination, Jim. Leafworld is no different, it seems!

  29. I have never embraced the idea that Allaire was some irreplaceable goaltending guru. Perhaps part of the reason I have been leery of him is because I have always found the "Michelon Man" style of goaltending extremely distasteful.

    I also have the impression that Allaire is pretty rigid with a "my way or the highway" attitude hence the Leafs were limiting themselves solely to butterfly goalies. This was fine for attracting young goalies who grew up using the butterfly style but it has been very noticeable that the Leafs cannot seem to be able to attract one of the many veteran goalies that have been available. Could it be that they were also leery of playing under Allaire?

    I have always felt that a good teacher/coach is one who is flexible and emphasizes his pupil's/player's strengths while addressing their weaknesses. Under Allaire, it seemed, if your strengths were not the butterfly (Gustavsson) then you were forced to adapt; a very counterproductive solution in my estimation.

    I was not sorry to see Allaire go but his departure and the comments he made did point to what could be a very large problem. Allaire's comments could be just sour grapes however they do have a ring of truth.

    I have never understood why Burke has needed so many assistant general managers. Management seems to be very top heavy. Whether this has led to dysfunction is debatable but it is certainly food for thought.

  30. You well highlight the "round peg, square hole" syndrome that may well have befallen Leaf goalies in recent years, Pete Cam.

    I don't doubt Allaire has been a very good goalie coach in certain circumstances and with certain goalkeeper over the years. But you quite properly suggest this little mess signifies underlying organizational questions. And I'm not sure the announcement of a new goalie coach automatically makes this all go away.

    Thanks Pete Cam.

  31. I'm not sure how to fully assess Allaire's contributions to the organization. Nonetheless, here are a few comments/observations.

    1. Allaire teaches the "technical" side of goaltending very well, and can improve a lot of goalies in their fundamentals and proper positioning. That can help a lot of goalies who have subtle flaws to their game.
    2. IF a goaltender has to focus so much attention on the "techniques" to the point that it supercedes their raw reflexes and talent, then it can become a huge problem. I think this happened with Gustavsson.
    3. A goaltender can win some games, but should not be relied upon to win a lot of games. You have to have good team defence otherwise the goalie is left to bail the team out. Prior to Carlyle arriving, the Leafs have never focused enough on team defence.
    4. I'm not a believer in a cookie-cutter approach to coaching goalies. Every goalie has some unique strengths/abilities, and those should be exploited. I never saw any evidence of Allaire tailoring his teachings to a particular goalie and their talents. I doubt Mike Palmateer or Johnny Bower could have had success under Allaire.

    I hope Reimer can prove he can be that #1 guy, because we don't have another strong prospect in the wings. Toronto is not a forgiving place for goalies. You can become loved or hated in a short period of time.

  32. I think the truth might be somewhere in the middle.

    1. Yes, Wilson and Gordon mismanaged the goalies so Allaire's comments have some validity.

    2. Allaire's tenure definitely attracted so great talent.

    3. Allaire helped some goaltenders like Scrivens and Riemer become better

    4. Allaire didn't help Gustavsson and he might do very well in Detroit. I even have this feeling that Gustavsson might become very good for the next 5 or ten years in Detroit.

    5. Burke's comments that Allaire's thoughts on goal tending might be outdated....could be true.

    I have read a few hockey bogs that describe the Allaire blocking style as too predictable. The hybrid style is the current cutting edge because it puts a little doubt in the shooter's mind...and that second of hesitation is all the goalie needs.

  33. All great points, Don (TML__fan). Others may disagree, but I just don't think Monster was ever a fit for Allaire.

    I'm not a cookie-cutter guy, either.

    We don't have a lot in the oven so yes, Reimer needs to be good, if the roster stays as is. Thanks for that, Don.

  34. The game is always evolving and so are goaltending styles, DP. You're right.

    Whether Allaire is suddenly "outdated", I don't know. It may be somewhat accurate, but it also may just be a way of rationalizing the team's lack of success. If he is out of touch, it sure happened fast.

    I guess we'll see in the years ahead. Thanks DP.

  35. Here's a really good point from another article:

    "Hybrid goalies usually stay on their feet longer and use their hands to snare pucks rather than chance rebounds. Jonathan Quick of the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and franchise goalies such as the Rangers Henrik Lundqvist, Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen and Nashville’s Pekka Rinne are considered hybrid goalies."

    Those are some of the the best goalies in the league. We would all be ecstatic with most of those guys....if even just one was a Leaf.

    There's another article that talks about Ryan Miller and other goalies and where they fit in the Alliaire paradigm I will see if I can find it.

  36. Here's one of the articles:

    Allaire’s critics will tell you his so-called blocking style of goaltending is an anachronism that should be confined to the dustbin of history, even if it helped Giguere win a Conn Smythe Trophy backstopping Anaheim in 2003.

    Steve McKichan, Allaire’s predecessor in Toronto and perhaps the most outspoken of his naysayers, said Allaire’s departure will immediately improve the chances that Reimer will prosper in the wake of a 2011-2012 season interrupted by a head injury and plagued by inconsistency.

    “You’ll see a change in James Reimer’s game. . . . If the new goalie coach comes in and is a modern, approachable goalie coach, you’ll get the results,” McKichan said. “(Reimer) will be going back to the goalie who played the style of Carey Price when (Reimer) was successful in junior. If you take the experience he’s gained and get him back to the style that got him to the NHL, you’re going to see James Reimer being an entirely different goalie.”

    “There’s two different ways to play goalie, or maybe three now,” explained Reimer. “There’s butterfly-block, which is kind of what (Allaire) coaches. And then there’s your butterfly-hybrid and then there’s your hybrid goalies. And I think we’re all in the goalies’ union, but I think the butterfly-blocking goalies look down on the hybrid ones and the hybrid ones look down on the butterfly goalies. . . . Everyone, especially the opinionated people, think their way is the best way. That’s the reason why there’s division on it."

  37. Thanks for finding those links, DP. I'm not a goalie expert. I just know what I saw in Toronto in Allaire's time here, and the results were, at best, uneven.

    I guess the quotes you found just demonstrate that there are "schools" within the goalie business, and they don't all respect one another!

    I wonder what school Hasek was part of??

  38. I liked Allaire but have lost respect for a man who resigns and immediately slurs his ex-employers. Should have kept it classy and remained silent. We can only surmise what went on behind closed doors but as always it takes two to tango.

  39. I think you're right on the money, Mark- it usually does take two to tango. Clearly, there were issues here -including some pride, I'm sensing, on Allaire's part.

    It's no doubt best for all concerned that they move on, and that the Leafs move in a new direction....