Toronto Maple Leafs goalie coach Francois Allaire has decided not to return to the team after saying he didn’t feel like he could do his job last year.
Allaire, whose contract expired at the end of the 2011-12 season, has won three Stanley Cups and worked with such goalies as Patrick Roy and Jean-Sebastien Giguere over the years, but could not help the Leafs make the playoffs in the three seasons he was with the team.
“To be honest, I don’t think the Leafs need a goalie coach,” Allaire told the National Post in a candid interview on Monday. “I think they have enough of them. They have two or three guys who were making decisions with the goalies. In the NHL, that’s not the way it works.
“If that’s the way they want to operate, then I’m not there.”
Allaire added he felt he wasn’t able to do his job because there were too many other people involved.
“I didn’t feel like I could do my job last year,” he said. “I wasn’t getting enough ice time. I wasn’t the only guy with [the goalies]. It’s not fair to the kids, not fair to me, not fair to anybody … I didn’t feel like I could work in this situation.”
Despite the difference in philosophy concerning how things were run, Allaire said he didn’t have a problem with the athletes he worked with.
“James Reimer, the past two years that I worked with him, I was really happy with everything. He’s a great kid. He’s going to be a great goalie.”
Only the Tampa Bay Lightning allowed more goals against than the Maple Leafs last season, but Allaire added that he felt he had success because the goalies he worked with and the team’s defensive play didn’t help the situation.
“My job was to develop the young kids. It wasn’t to win the Cup. You’re not going to take a team that didn’t make the playoffs the year before to the Stanley Cup. I feel that I did pretty good because now they have Reimer and (Ben) Scrivens and other goalies in the system.
“Maybe the numbers are not there with the Leafs. But it’s difficult to have the numbers when you’re not playing defensively.”
The Maple Leafs recently re-signed Scrivens and if there is an NHL season Reimer is expected to be the team’s starting goalie.