CFN – In professional sports Character is very important. It’s something I agree with Bob Gainey about. Mind you I’m not lopping SANITY into character. Warriors win Stanley Cups and Championships; not Primadona’s generally. Players that go that extra mile under the hardest extremes. Hockey has its own special areas.
Standing up for your team mates; blocking shots; and paying the price is huge. There are some players who have had very long careers without putting a lot of numbers on the score sheet. These factors are hard sometimes to find in “stats” but they are there if you look for them.
Kyle Turris I do not think will ever be confused with Mark Messier. He may never be confused with Pierre Turgeon. When I worked for the Habs a million years ago I created modelling systems which projected short and long term snap shots of players. Ottawa snatched him up and blinked giving up a highly touted offensive Defenseman in David Rundblad and a 2nd to acquire Mr. Turris. I can understand why Ottawa made the move and sometimes you have to over pay to get a shiny toy. I just think you build championship teams by having strong asset management.
With parity it shows how some teams really don’t have to do a full rebuild. It’s also an indication of the teams long term position on Erik Karlsson who’s racking up some manly numbers this season. Personally I think Ottawa could’ve got more for Rundblad if they needed to move him. They are deep at D and weak up the middle, but the price may be something they shiver at in years to come.
Montreal finally fired Coach Jacques Martin. I’m a bit surprised that Pierre Gauthier is still on the job though; Geoff Molson must really not want to hire Pierre McGuire as GM? Montreal is in a very weird spot right now. They have plenty of excuses to tank and give up this year; but there’s just too much talent on this squad for them to be where they are in the standings.
None of the high priced talent on this team is in high gear. Tomas Plekanec is suffering because teams can focus on him and as good as the Desharnais line has been with the addition of Erik Cole the team has just not gelled…yet.
Again, with Parity this season can still be salvaged. There are some amazing elements in place that if caught on fire could give this team quite a run in the play offs…if they make it, but if the focus at an organizational level isn’t there this team is going nowhere.
The scary thing is that Montreal could make some panic moves, and that would set this franchise back years if that’s allowed to happen. The seeds of growth are there; some are in full blossom. The stop gap of Gomez, Gionta, and Cammalleri has worked and given the team at least one good play off run.
Now is the time for a strong organizational leader to take the team to the next level. I think if the team can sign up Andrei Kostitsyn for around $3M they should. Carey Price needs a new contract. Josh Gorges needs a new contract. Tomas Kaberle is a great pick up for this squad that needs to focus on offense. If you look at the Black Hawks this season you see a team that’s winning in spite of giving up a lot of goals.
It’s an acid test for the Habs. It’s get it to the next level or go backwards. The status quo isn’t acceptable.
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