The Montreal Canadiens have said "Au revoir" to general manager Pierre Gauthier.
The club announced Monday morning that it has relieved Gauthier of his duties, and the search to find his replacement is underway. The Habs will make a formal announcement in the form of a news conference on Thursday morning at 11:45.
A year after making the playoffs and pushing the eventual Stanley Cup champion Bruins to seven games in the first round, the Canadiens have been a disaster this season. They find themselves dead last in the Eastern Conference with five games to play and only Edmonton and Columbus have fewer points than Montreal.
Gauthier, who took over as GM in 2010, was the subject of constant criticism this season. His decision to fire assistant coach Perry Pearn just hours before a game started was criticized, but it was nothing compared to the backlash that came with hiring Randy Cunneyworth after firing Jacques Martin. Cunneyworth's inability to speak French was criticized, mocked and ridiculed in Montreal, and his 16-22-7 record since taking over isn't doing anything to help those tensions.
His on-ice personnel moves have been just as head-scratching, like overpaying for an Andrei Markov contract extension, only to see Markov play in just 15 games since the beginning of last season.