Dreger: Nothing imminent on Hartley, Habs' coaching search Staff

5/29/2012 1:26:49 PM

While rumours and speculation are rampant on Bob Hartley becoming the next head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, there doesn't appear to be anything imminent regarding a decision or announcement from the team.

Reports on online blogs and Twitter on Monday referenced a report from saying Hartley will be named head coach and that Memorial Cup champion Shawinigan Cataractes coach Eric Veilleux would join him as an assistant.

"The rumours are untrue," TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger told TSN Radio 990 in Montreal on Tuesday.

"That's not to say that Bob Hartley won't be the top candidate and end up with the top job as head coach, but I don't get the sense that it's imminent and I don't think it's going to happen this week."

Dreger adds that there are at least two others - candidates Michel Therrien and Marc Crawford - still in the process, while Hartley's contract with with the ZSC Lions in Zurich could also be a sticking point.

"It's my understanding that there's some complications with his contract over there," Dreger told TSN Radio 990. "It's a multi-year contract and the people in Zurich aren't about to rip it up and say good luck in Montreal. So Bob Hartley may end up being the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, but it doesn't appear to be imminent at this stage."

Hartley, who coached the Colorado Avalanche to a Stanley Cup in 2001, was at the Memorial Cup as an advisor to Veilleux. Canadiens owner Geoff Molson - a member of the Memorial Cup organizing committee - and GM Marc Bergevin - scouting prospects Nathan Beaulieu, Jarred Tinordi, Morgan Ellis and Michael Bournival - were also in attendance, fuelling speculation that conversations regarding Montreal's coaching vacancy had taken place.

Hartley also coached the Atlanta Thrashers for four seasons and was an panelist on RDS before taking the coaching job in Zurich.

The Canadiens, who finished last in the Eastern Conference this season with a 31-35-16 record, also announced the additions of assistant GM Rick Dudley and director of player personnel Scott Mellanby over the last few days.

Editor's Note: Late Tuesday, RDS hockey analyst Vincent Damphousse reported Hartley had a second interview with Flames management for the vacant coaching job in Calgary.