MONTREAL - The reeling Montreal Canadiens have fired assistant coach Perry Pearn.
The move was announced prior to Wednesday night's 5-1 home victory against the Philadelphia Flyers.
“We don’t like the results right now and that brings us to evaluate a lot of things inside the organization,”general manager Pierre Gauthier said.
“It’s not about an individual person. (It’s) more the result of a change from a global perspective, from a big picture perspective where we need to be better. We need to be more efficient and in order to do that, that’s one of the changes that we decided to make.”
Montreal sits second last in the Eastern Conference with a 2-5-2 record. Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin remains with the club.
Pearn was offered the opportunity to remain with the organization in a different role.
The Canadiens are 1-3-2 at home and were booed loudly in Monday's 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers at the Bell Centre. The defeat marked the first time in the club’s 102-year history that it went five games without a victory on home ice.
Many have been clamouring for Martin to take the fall for the team’s poor start, and in recent days fans have added Gauthier’s name to the list. But while Pearn is the first major change the Canadiens have made in the hopes of turning things around, the Habs GM knows it’s not the answer to everything.
“This is just one move that starts right away and the big picture of trying to function differently," he said. "Like I told the players earlier, this is not a reflection on Mr. Pearn’s job and it’s not this action that’s going to change anything. But over time, we’re going to function more efficiently. We’re going to function out of the box a little bit more than we have. This is one thing that’s part of that change.”
It's a change that Gauthier is taking full responsibility for.
“This is entirely my decision. Of course I talk to Geoff Molson every day–Mr. Molson is the president of the club–but in good times and bad times I talk to him. He’s very supportive of what we do.”
The Canadiens had one more assistant coach than last season after promoting Randy Cunneyworth and Randy Ladouceur from their American Hockey League affiliate in Hamilton.
Former Habs assistant coach Kirk Muller left the team to take the head coaching job with the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals.
Pearn was in his third season with the Canadiens organization after joining the club in July 2009. He reportedly turned down an offer to become head coach of the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings in 2010.
The Stettler, Alta., native has also been an assistant coach in the NHL with Winnipeg, Ottawa and the New York Rangers.