Canadiens fire six scouts

PATRICK CAISSE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:02 PM ET

MONTREAL -- Pierre Gauthier didn't waste any time since the Montreal Canadiens were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs seven days ago.

After bringing young defenceman Kyle Klubertanz on board last week, the Habs' GM sacked six of the team's scouts on Monday.

Those who were let go include amateur scouts Denis Morel (Quebec), Dave Mayville (U.S.), Antonin Routa, (Europe) Pelle Eklund (Sweden) and Nikolai Vakourov (Russia), as well as professional scout Gordie Roberts.

The news was confirmed by the Habs' vice-president for communications, Donald Beauchamp. He noted that the contracts in question were up at the end of June.

Denis Morel, who is also a former NHL referee, confirmed the dismissals in a phone interview with QMI Agency.

"I have to admit I wasn't expecting this at all," Morel said. "I loved my work and I was ready to continue for a few more years.

"The organization didn't give me a real reason, only that it's changing course with its recruitment team."

With reduced personnel out in the field, the Habs only have one scout, Michel Boucher, currently active in Quebec.

The team has no recruitment presence in Sweden or Russia and is down to a single scout anywhere on the entire European continent, Hannu Laine in Finland.

The Habs have often turned to drafting American players in recent years and so it's no surprise that their two U.S. scouts, William A. Berglund and Pat Westrum, kept their jobs.

There's still no word on whether the team will bring in new scouts to replace the six let go this week.


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