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[REPORT] Francois Allaire Quits Leafs Goalie Coach Position

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Francois Allaire quits Leafs: ‘I didn’t feel like I could do my job’

The guru is gone.

Goaltending consultant Francois Allaire has decided not to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs, citing a conflict with the coaching staff.

"To be honest, I don’t think the Leafs need a goalie coach," Allaire, whose contract expired at the end of the season, said in a phone interview on Monday. "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."

The Leafs finished with the second-worst goals-against average last season. The team was ranked 24th in 2010-11 and 29th in 2009-10. In three years in Toronto, seven different goaltenders have studied under one of the most accomplished coaches in the history of the game, but none have achieved the type of success that many expected.

Still, Allaire said general manager Brian Burke approached him at the end of the season to renew his contract, but he was not interested in returning, even though the coaching staff had changed. He officially announced his decision to the team on Friday.

"I didn’t feel like I could do my job last year," he said. "I wasn’t getting enough ice time. I wasn’t the only guy with [the goalies]. It’s not fair to the kids, not fair to me, not fair to anybody ... I didn’t feel like I could work in this situation."

Goaltender James Reimer agreed that there was some "behind the scenes" issues with the Leafs coaching situation last year that affected Allaire’s role.

"I think there was some confusion last year and a couple of misunderstandings," said Reimer. "I don’t know if everyone clicked last year. There was some trouble in some areas and ... I don’t know if I want to get into it that much or comment on it too much. But I know that there were times when he was frustrated that we didn’t have more time to work on some stuff."

When asked of his relationship with Reimer, Jonas Gustavsson and the other goaltenders, Allaire was complimentary. There were no issues. Everyone listened, he said.

"James Reimer, the past two years that I worked with him, I was really happy with everything. He’s a great kid. He’s going to be a great goalie."

Despite the Leafs’ overall record, Allaire said he was happy with what he was able to accomplish during his three years in Toronto. As a goaltending consultant, Allaire played a role in acquiring undrafted free agents Ben Scrivens, Jussi Rynnas and Mark Owuya, who he believes are all close to challenging for NHL jobs.

"My job was to develop the young kids," he said. "It wasn’t to win the Cup. You’re not going to take a team that didn’t make the playoffs the year before to the Stanley Cup. I feel that I did pretty good, because now they have Reimer and Scrivens and other goalies in the system.

"Maybe the numbers are not there with the Leafs. But it’s difficult to have the numbers when you’re not playing defensively."

Reimer credited that Allaire is the reason why he is in the NHL and said that the goalie coach would be missed.

"It’s disappointing," said Reimer. "Obviously, I don’t hold anything against Frankie and the decision he made. I completely understand it. But from a personal standpoint, I’m disappointed that I can’t work with arguably the best goalie coaches in the game. I hope that I can give him a call or a text some time to let him know how much he meant to me."

Allaire is undecided where he will go from here. A three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Montreal Canadiens (1986, 1993) and the Anaheim Ducks (2007), he said there are options to continue coaching in the NHL.

"There’s a lot of things to do in hockey," said Allaire, adding that his time in Toronto was mostly positive. "I’ve got no problems with my experience."

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I dont blame him.... of course he felt like he couldn't do his job with two young AHLers between the pipes

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Like golatending coach, like goaltender. I guess Allaire couldn't handle the competition just like Luongo. :bigblush:

I wonder if Florida snatches him up now. If that happens I think a deal is pretty likely.

Or should the Canucks hire him? They've wanted this guy for Luongo since he arrived here. We could have one coach for Luongo, and one coach for Schneider. Clearly Melanson's style wasn't jiving with Lu. He's too set in his ways.

He's a way better goalie when he's aggressively challenging the shooters. His lateral movement isn't good enough to work with Melanson's style.

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I dont blame him.... of course he felt like he couldn't do his job with two young AHLers between the pipes

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As tha article notes, it wasn't an issue with the quality of the goalies he had to work with, but rather the amount of time and direction he was allowed to give, and that too many others had their hands in the pot when he should have had more control.

I'd hope against Allaire going to Florida actually. If he did, that'd be more reason for Luongo to limit his choices to them alone, when we'd prefer if Luongo to allow for more options of teams he'd go to.

I don't think we go after him as we'd just brought in Melanson recently, and there's been no reason to think he isn't fit for the job.

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Well it looks like we're keeping Lu for next season, depending how long that is. The deals being offered just aren't good enough.

I don't see why we couldn't have one goalie coach for each goalie and let them challenge each other for ice time. Goaltending is the most important position, why not be stacked in net?

It's not like we don't have the cap space now since weren't able to upgrade our top 6. Now we just have to hope Kassian can step up and be that guy.

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Rumour has it even the kid who fills up the gatorade bottles is rumoured to be leaving :P

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Nobody wants to be able to take heat for what the Leafs have got going on in net.

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Not without control over the outcome he doesn't. He can't fix the defence but if he doesn't get to at least make the decisions on coaching the goalies on the team, then there's not much point in hurting his reputation to stick around.

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Interesting reading those tweets re: 'his replacement' when according to him they already have 3 guys there.

It's interesting that Burke made it work in Anaheim, but cannot do so in TO. TO is a very, very bloated team.

That being said, Allaire is very overrated as a goaltending coach. His 'strategy' was just getting a french canadian goalie to wear really, really big pads. Roy's were the biggest in the league at the time. Giguere's too. So if you insert rules to limit pad size, then there goes Allaire's effectiveness as a goaltending coach.

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On the TO front:

Joe Colborne played from Jan-June with at least 2 torn ligaments and a broken bone in his left wrist. Relied on cortisone #Leafs

— Kyle Cicerella (@KyleTheReporter) September 17, 2012

Colborne had surgery in June to repair wrist and finger (separate injury) and hopes to be ready at start of season if he has no “setbacks”

— Kyle Cicerella (@KyleTheReporter) September 17, 2012

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Interesting reading those tweets re: 'his replacement' when according to him they already have 3 guys there.

It's interesting that Burke made it work in Anaheim, but cannot do so in TO. TO is a very, very bloated team.

That being said, Allaire is very overrated as a goaltending coach. His 'strategy' was just getting a french canadian goalie to wear really, really big pads. Roy's were the biggest in the league at the time. Giguere's too. So if you insert rules to limit pad size, then there goes Allaire's effectiveness as a goaltending coach.

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Finding ways to increase pad size while still following the new rules? Not to mention other equipment.

Of course Allaire does more, but the basis of his strategy has revolved around huge equipment. ie. Cheating. (sortof) But if you ain't tryin' to get away with cheating (sortof), then you ain't tryin' at all.

On that note, while Brodeur's won cups with smaller pads, in later years he's slowed down. He puts on bigger pads mid-last season and... Wow, his numbers get a whole lot better, the Devils get a whole lot better and they march to the finals. Not cheating though. His pads are still regulation.

Anyway, Allaire's approach has obviously been copied by many a goalie.

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It's not a question of why can't we keep both until a better offer materializes, it's a question of why Allaire would want to come somewhere he doesn't have full control after leaving a situation like that in Toronto. That and why he'd do that again for a goalie that could be traded at any point once a new CBA is reached. It hardly screams job security for him to move across the country.

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