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Gauthier’s Return to Ducks Is Still Not Clear

TIMES STAFF WRITER

In the end, he said, family matters, rather than a possible new job with the Mighty Ducks, prompted Pierre Gauthier to quit Monday as the Ottawa Senators’ general manager.

“The demands of the position and family life became incompatible,” Gauthier said in announcing his resignation at an Ottawa news conference.

“In this case, family came in front of the job. The post of a general manager in the National Hockey League is very demanding. Unless you give it 100%, you better not do it.”

Gauthier, 45, said he plans to return to Orange County, where he has maintained a residence since the Ducks hired him as their first assistant general manager in 1993.

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Ottawa President Roy Mlakar gave Gauthier his blessing Monday to pursue other jobs, although Gauthier said he intended to take some time off from hockey. It’s believed there is an illness in the family.

Gauthier has denied persistent rumors that he will replace Jack Ferreira, a longtime friend, as Duck general manager.

Word around the league recently also had Duck President Tony Tavares promoting Ferreira to a new executive position with Gauthier replacing Ferreira as general manager.

“You’ll have to ask Tony about that,” Ferreira said when asked about the latter scenario.

Tavares was not immediately available for comment. He is known to be an admirer of Gauthier’s organizational skills and patient management style.

Gauthier turned the Senators from a league-wide joke to a playoff qualifier the last two seasons. The Senators made their playoff debut in 1997, only 17 months after he was hired.

This season, they defeated the top-seeded New Jersey Devils in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs before falling to the Washington Capitals in the next round.


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