The Allaire name in hockey is one of the biggest in terms of coaching, particularly among goaltenders.
Francois Allaire, the elder of the two brothers, has been in the game for over 32 years.
He’s been behind the bench in the NHL since 1985, winning three Stanley Cups - twice with the Montreal Canadiens and once with the Anaheim Ducks - and helping shape countless netminders during his tenure. That, of course, comes with the Calder Cup he won in 1985 just prior to making the jump to the NHL, helping lead the Sherbrooke Canadiens to a championship in his first year behind the pro bench.
Now, though, he’s officially hanging it up.
It was announced on Tuesday morning, via Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports, that Allaire has retired as a coach, bringing an end to one half of the iconic Allaire brothers duo around the league.
Most recently, Allaire coached with the Colorado Avalanche, working with Semyon Varlamov and Calvin Pickard during the last two seasons along with Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Reto Berra.
Although Allaire is known for being an excellent voice in the goaltending community, though, his departure this summer was a bit unsurprising, even before his formal retirement was announced. Varlamov had a disastrous season cut short by injury, Pickard struggled to pick up the slack as the team’s new starter, and the Avalanche as a whole were an unmitigated disaster that saw nearly everyone on the coaching staff take flight during the offseason. Even if Allaire himself wasn’t contributing to the woes last season, a fresh start with new faces was hardly something unexpected.
The Avalanche will look for a fresh start with Varlamov’s long-time coach from overseas, Jussi Parkkila, when he takes over this coming season.
As Allaire wraps up his career, though, he deserves a huge thank-you from the dozens of goaltenders he helped guide over the years.
From Allaire’s personal Facebook page:
It is with great pride and gratitude that, after 32 seasons in professional hockey, I announce my retirement as a goaltending coach.
I would like to salute all the goaltenders I have had the chance to work with, either as a coach or as a teacher at different hockey schools all over the world. I tried, as best I could, to make a difference.
I would also like to thank everyone I have worked with throughout my career, especially my family and friends. Without you, I would not have been able to realize my childhood dream. I am also pleased to see that the goaltending coach profession is now recognized and respected on both professional and amateur levels.
Thank you again; it was an incredible adventure from beginning to end.