Was it letting Rejean Houle and Mario Tremblay run the show ? Perhaps it was exchanging their captain and future hall of famer Chris Chelios to Chicago for Denis Savard …? No – wait a second … The biggest error was letting Patrick Roy go to Colorado for Martin Rucinsky, an overweight Russian and a scrawny netminder. If you answered yes to any of these choices – it proves you sane yet also very wrong.
The biggest mistake the Montreal team has made is competing each and every year .
What is that you say ? Is that not what they are supposed to be doing …?
Yes and no.
By staying near or above the play-off line – the team has consistently drafted in the middle of the pack. Players with names such as Macmillan , Fortier and Nattinen will come , not conquer and skate on to other leagues or teams.Names like Steve Quailer , Avtsin and Terry French will be known only to their mothers as special people with special qualities. Who is Peter Sullivan …? No clue …? Exactly ! If the Montreal Canadiens want to return to respectability – they must finish dead last in the conference. The way things are going and the uncertainty surrounding the team in 2011-12 , why not this year …?
Le club is mired in 12th place with a coach whose future is as shaky as a boy on a first date . The players on the team will not commit to anything. Why should they ? Cunneyworth , by way of Gauthier and Molson , has already been let go of a job that he has just begun. Any skater on the Habs will look at the situation and decide ‘ what is the point ‘ ? ” If I skate this way or buy into this system – the new coach will change things once again.” The player will tell two friends and so on … and so on … Randy Cunneyworth may have polite players saying yes sir – no sir to his face yet behind their helmets , they are treating the situation as it is. A big joke.
Gauthier should be relieved of his duties as soon as possible. The new guy , hopefully someone like Serge Savard ( who not only knows the game yet the business side of things) - can clean up Gauthier’s mess and commence ruining the team as competitors for one season.
The new GM should …;
- Trade Kostisyn right away while he has good trade value.
- Demote Gomez to Hamilton and free up cap space.
- Trade the extra baggage such as Weber and Campoli – two players who are a dime a dozen in this league and the minors.
- Hire a coach who has the best credentials. Throw away the French B.S and ensure this team is coached with passion and integrity. If Fozzie Bear is the best muppet for the job … so be it !
- Rid the team of its nostalgia. Forget the torch at the beginning of games. That card has been played and it did not have the proper effect. It makes older fans sad and newer ones content to cheer on has – beens. The mentality among younger fans is growing sadder by the game.
- Retire the long overdue numbers of Lemaire ( 25) and Lapointe ( 5). How can an organization be taken serious when it retires the number of a player ( 33 ) who made the team look bad before it honors two of its cornerstones of Stanley Cup glory.
- Pass some sort of law that limits the French press to team access and coverage. The francophone media would be arrested as stalkers in real life. There is no way players such as Giroux, Stamkos or Crosby will ever come and aid our team to stardom. Any person in their right mind , wants to work hard and go home – leaving their problems at the office.
The season would commence with a first round number one or two pick under the team’s jock strap. Unless the scouts pull a Wickenheiser - the player will be a young foundation to a team that is littered with a balance of young and old. The Habs of next year would ideally have P.K Subban, Josh Gorges and Carey Price locked into long-term deals. The cancer formerly known as Gomez will be skating elsewhere and nowhere near the Bell center. A trade with Calgary involving Kostistyn and Iginla would be ideal for both clubs. Andrei would mark 40 goals in the wild west while Iginla would be an ideal candidate to play with Erik Cole. Two veterans on a team filled with youth.
The opening day roster could be ;
Subban , Diaz , Emelin , Gorges , Kaberle, Tinordi and hopefully Markov on defence.
The forwards would be ;
Cole , Iginla, Gionta , Plekanec, Pacioretty, Cammalleri , Desharnais, Eller, Moen , Leblanc and two gritty guys we received for Campoli and Weber. Mathieu Darche is finished and Ryan White may never be the same.
If the team is smart - they would best be suited to trade for Martin Brodeur. The record-setting goalie is in the twi–light of a glorious career and giving his support and knowledge to Carey Price will benefit the team for years to come. It would also take the workload off of Price and give Martin a boost to finish his career in front of his hometown fans.
With a little luck – this team may finish 16th again …
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