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Former Habs coach Carbonneau joins Hockey Night in Canada

Wednesday, 09.16.2009 / 7:08 PM / News

The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - The NHL job offers never materialized for Guy Carbonneau this off-season, so the former Habs coach figured he'd spruce up his hockey resume.

Carbonneau is headed for the broadcast booth this upcoming season on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, a gig he hopes will land him what he truly wants - another crack behind an NHL bench.

"That's always been my No. 1 priority," Carbonneau told The Canadian Press on Wednesday.

"I really didn't want to sit at home all year and do nothing.

"Hockey Night in Canada has always been a good stepping stone for some of the guys to go back into the NHL - for that reason I think it's a great thing for me."

CBC also announced Wednesday that former NHL goaltenders Glenn Healy and Kevin Weekes will join the Hockey Night in Canada lineup for the upcoming campaign.

The program's executive producer, Sherali Najak, expects Carbonneau to bring some of the fire he's been known for as a player and a coach.

"He's going to stay a hockey guy," Najak said in an interview from Toronto.

"He'll bring across what he thinks about the play and he's a pretty edgy guy anyway, so I'm sure he'll bring that across in the booth."

The Montreal Canadiens fired Carbonneau last season after the team failed to meet high expectations during the club's centennial season.

Carbonneau was a finalist for the Jack Adams Trophy as coach of the year in 2008, when he led the Canadiens to a first-place finish atop the Eastern Conference.

The 49-year-old played 13 seasons for the Canadiens, including five as captain, before moving on to St. Louis and Dallas for another six years.

He won two Stanley Cups in Montreal and another in Dallas.

Carbonneau, who will be an analyst during Habs games this season, said his wealth of NHL experience makes him a good fit for the job.

Still, on Wednesday, he shied away from a question that's up for debate in hockey-mad Montreal - who's going to be the team's next captain?

"I don't want to name names - that's their decision," he said of the Canadiens, who have overhauled their roster this summer.

"With all those different guys coming in, I'm sure they want to take their time and see what they have."

Healy, who played 14 NHL seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and Los Angeles Kings, rejoins Hockey Night in Canada as an analyst.

Earlier this month, Healy stepped down as director of player affairs for the NHL Players' Association days after executive director Paul Kelly's dismissal.

Weekes, 34, played 16 games with the New Jersey Devils last season.

In an NHL career that spanned 11 seasons, the netminder also suited up for the Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks, the Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes and the Rangers.

Weekes also worked as an analyst for the NHL Network during the playoffs last spring.

Najak said Weekes will work on broadcasts out West, while Healy is slated to take part in the program's Hot Stove segment and deliver colour for Maple Leaf broadcasts.

Another former NHL player and coach is heading to the TV studio.

On Tuesday, TSN announced that Craig MacTavish would be a guest hockey analyst this season.

As a player, MacTavish won three Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers and one with the Rangers.

He coached the Oilers for eight seasons before being fired last spring.

After several coaching positions opened around the league, Carbonneau said he expected his phone to ring over the summer.

Instead, it was quiet.

"I was hoping to get a phone call or some interviews, but nothing really came up," he said.

"Most of the teams decided to go with a coach that was in their minor system, so there's not much I can do, I've just got to be ready for the next call."

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