The Montreal Canadiens have made several changed in the last couple of years on the management side of things. Out are former Canadiens Guy Carbonneau, Bob Gainey and now Kirk Muller. In are former Senators Pierre Gauthier, Jacques Martin and Randy Conneyworth. So much for Habs tradition I guess.
But it’s the decisions made by this new management that catch the attention above all. While being dominated at just about every level on the ice, the Canadiens rode the tail of a hot goaltender (Halak) two years ago to give the impression that the team was heading in the right direction. Many fans bought into the idea and gave the Gauthier/Martin duo a blind vote of confidence. This past season, young superstars to be Carey Price and PK Subban made their coach and GM look good once again as without their amazing contribution, especially Molson Cup winner Price, the team would have been excluded from the playoffs.
The scariest thing about it is that the GM’s and coach’s track records aren’t very positive. Many players had a terrible season offensively. Many others have been given away, players who, under smothering coaching and unfair treatment towards young talented players, have found their niche and success elsewhere. Let’s look at it a bit closer if we may…
- Gone are Ben Maxwell and a 4th round pick, and so are the two players we got in return: Nigel Dawes and Brent Sopel. That’s a four player swing!
- Gone is the 2nd round pick that they gave up for Dominic Moore, who is also gone.
- Gone is Sergei Kostitsyn (23G, 50 Pts) and so are Dustin Boyd and Dan Ellis, the players we got in return for him.
- Guillaume Latendresse (28 goals since being traded) is gone and Gauthier didn’t see fit to qualify the player the Habs got in return: Benoit Pouliot.
- Matt D’Agostini (21G, 46 Pts) is gone but Aaron Palushaj is doing well… in Hamilton.
- Kari Ramo is amazing… in the KHL and we’ve given young goaltending prospect Cédrick Desjardins.
- Maxim Lapierre, good enough for 3rd line duty for the Stanley Cup finals runner-up Vancouver Canucks, just re-signed a two-year deal with them. But we have Brett Festerling and a 5th to speak off.
- Lars Eller is a good young prospect, while Ian Schultz may never make the NHL. Is that really enough for Jaroslav Halak?
- Gone are a 2nd and a 5th round pick and it looks like so will James Wisniewski, another 3 player swing.
- And that’s not counting the loss of Guy Boucher and Julien Brisebois who helped the Tampa Bay Lightning gain 23 points in the standings, going from 25th to 8th overall in the NHL! Habs got nothing in return.
- And now, the reason for the team’s success on the PP in the last few years under Carbo and Martin, Kirk Muller, is also leaving the team… for nothing.
So let’s keep on praising the current management in place. Let’s keep on filling the Bell Centre, buying merchandize, hot dogs and $10 beer, while defending incompetence and poor decision making. Let’s look for more excuses to justify their bad decisions one by one. In the meantime, other more pro-active GM’s will make the necessary moves to improve, as did Peter Chiarelli and more recently Paul Holmgren! I’ll go as far as saying that it’s only a matter of time before Brian Burke’s Maple Leafs will do to the Montreal Senators what they did to Ottawa a few years back!
En français: Je suis… Sénateur?!?