Normally I don’t like conspiracy theories. My theory about conspiracy theories is that most people aren’t smart enough to pull together conspiracies and they don’t usually have time in any case. Usually what looks like a conspiracy turns out to be simply the product of sheer idiocy.

But here’s one I quite like. Francois Gagnon had a brilliant column in La Presse Thursday that asked the question: ‘Who is the real coach of the Habs?’ You might well think it’s Randy ‘Parley-vous’ Cunneyworth. Ah you’re so naive.

Gagnon’s theory is that perhaps it’s actually Pierre ‘Major Major’ Gauthier who’s pulling the strings behind the bench. And if the Ghost is pulling the strings, then it’s really Bob ‘What About Bob’ Gainey who’s pulling the strings since it’s Gainey who pulls the strings that keep the Ghost’s arms moving. (How long is a length of string anyways?) (Eds. note: Wot?)

Gagnon began thinking about this while trying to figure out – like all of us – why Scott ‘Big Bucks Equals Loopy Grin’ Gomez still nabs all kinds of power-play time even though he has scored a grand total of two goals in the last 12 months. No one can figure this out. Why does he go more time than Lars ‘Lego Boy’ Eller, for example, or Andrei ‘Where’s the Party?’ Kostitsyn?

Gagnon’s theory is that Gauthier/Gainey are the ones forcing Cunneyworth to play Gomer in the hopes that he’ll finally produce some points and justify the fact that Gainey picked up Gomez and his insane salary. In other words, it’s a desperate attempt for Bob ‘Elvis Has Not Left the Building’ Gainey to save his job – and his reputation.

The horror show that is the Gomez deal is the defining act of the Gainey era – I’d argue that bringing in Gomez is as responsible as anything else for the destruction of the Canadiens we’re currently witnessing. A huge chuck of the team’s money is tied-up in a guy who is openly laughing in the face of the team and its fans. (The defining act of the Ghost era, in case you’re wondering, was signing Andrei ‘Who dat?’ Markov last summer to a pricey three-year deal even though anyone on the street-corner could’ve told you he wouldn’t be playing this year.)

I could buy into Gagnon’s theory. If it isn’t true, then you explain to me why Cunneyworth – and Jacques ‘Mr. Personality’ Martin before him – keep playing the hopeless Gomez? There’s no rational explanation. And how does that make the other hard-workin’ players on the team feel? You think they like the fact that a guy who hasn’t shown any jump since his days with the Devils is guaranteed power-play time?

Then you start thinking about the fact that Gauthier, when he sent Martin to the woodshed and hired Parley-vous, also sent his assistant general manager Larry ‘Spy in the House of Love’ Carriere, down to become assistant coach. Why’d he do that? Because Carriere can report back to the Boss everything that’s going on behind the bench and in the room.

That’s pretty handy for Ghost and Bob no? Cammie’s grumbling? Heck, ship him out of town before Le Journal hears about it. Carriere can also report back on what Parlez-vous is saying. Again, if that’s not the case, why would Gauthier send someone from his office downstairs?

Take the conspiracy theory one step forward. Maybe this is why Gauthier hired Cunneyworth in the first place. Because he wanted someone who would follow his orders. You know if he’d hired a real, experienced coach like Bruce Boudreau or Ken Hitchcock, you know those guys wouldn’t put up with taking orders from the front office. And once again, if that’s not the reason they hired Cunneyworth, you give me a better one.

That he was the best coach in the world available? Yeah of course that was it.

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