Maybe next year...

There is only one person to blame for that loss and he is not wearing stripes. As a long time Als fan it is very disturbing to watch a team with that much talent be destroyed by a head coach that won't fire himself. I hope he will look in the mirror before next season and be accountable for his actions. Hang your heads high boys you played hard all year and with good coaching maybe next year.

No way the Popp Star fires himself. In his eyes, he's done a 'fantastic job' as HC. Either Larry Smith has to do what's necessary here, or else Wetenhall has to come in and fire them both.

Sadly it may be the only option.

For many years, Popp has been THE best GM in the league, when you look at all the talent our team has recruited and developed.

However, can we keep him as just a GM?

Assuming Smith and/or Wettenhaul tell him he's fired as coach but can keep his GM job (and assuming he accepts that), what good head coach candidate would accept being head coach in Montreal in those circumstances? You'd be head coach reporting to a GM who you just know is itching to coach the team himself...

It's a recipe for disaster. Any quality guy would probably refuse to take the head coach job here for that reason....with Popp looking over his shoulder and just itching to pull the trigger and fire him at the first sign of trouble.