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Canadiens Fire Goalie Coach Stéphane Waite, Hire Sean Burke

The Montreal Canadiens fired goaltending coach Stéphane Waite and promoted Sean Burke as director of goaltending.

In a bit of a surprising move, the Montreal Canadiens have fired goaltending coach Stéphane Waite and promoted Sean Burke, who will take on the role of the director of goaltending. The announcement took place late Tuesday night and shortly after a 3-1 Canadiens win over the Ottawa Senators.

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Waite had been with the Canadiens for over seven years. He is widely considered one of the best goaltending coaches in the world and it would be hard to imagine he’ll be unemployed for long. The move also comes after Dominque Ducharme picked up his first win as the Canadiens head coach and on the heels of a strong showing by Canadiens’ starting netminder Carey Price.

Burke, 54, was a goaltending consultant for the Canadiens after joining the team as a scout in 2016. He spent years with the Arizona Coyotes organization and is a former Canadian Olympic team GM from 2018. Word is he was focused on becoming an NHL GM and it will be intriguing to see if he’s not far down the line for the Canadiens as GM option depending on the status and future of current manager Marc Bergevin.

It is interesting that Burke has not been named goaltending coach, but rather director of goaltending.

Carey Price Montreal Canadiens
Carey Price Montreal Canadiens

Can This Help Price?

Outside of Tuesday’s win, Price has struggled. He entered tonight’s game with a 5-4-3 record to go along with an .888 save percentage and 3.13 goals-against average this season. Those are not good numbers for a goaltender of his caliber and considering the pressure he’s under.

Backup Jake Allen had clearly been outplaying Price, boasting a 4-2-2 record with a .929 save percentage and 2.12 GAA this season.

Some will ask what led to this decision. Was this Bergevin looking for another change and finding a scapegoat? Was this upon the request of Price?

Burke will have to observe a 14-day quarantine before joining the team.

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