I have a distinct perception of how The Habs work in a sense. In the 90’s I was their first videographer and created systems far ahead of what we today call analytics. Some of the tools I created way back then still have not been matched. We tend to over analyze certain factors and call them stats, but that’s for a different story.
Back when I worked with the team Mario Tremblay was coach and Rejean Houle was GM. It was a mixed exercise.
Coaches like Steve Shutt and Tremblay embraced the information provided. Yvan Counoyer, “Lappy” and GM Houle especially were clueless. Houle has cursed the team since by not paying my contract off in full, but hey, I’m not going to sue the team that I will be a life long fan of.
It was my transition from sports to Hollywood and I was off on another adventure that resulted in my first project produced netting an Oscar nomination which turned me into a trivia question; Name the only Montreal Canadiens employee ever to have their work nominated for an Oscar.
Houle left, Bob Gainey has left, a bunch of coaches have left, but things still seem to be the same for Montreal.
It’s not easy being in the spotlight as Marc Bergevin has discovered. New team owner Geoff Molson seems to be all in on Bergy’s vision however this season has been an utter embarrassment that most GM’s would be bounced for.
When Carey Price went down, which was a huge blow, all the team had to do was finish the string playing .500 hockey and they would have made the play offs.
Every team deals with adversity, the Habs choked. Mr. Bergevin failed. While the rest of the World only learned of Price’s true injury recently he knew from day one. There were lots of goalies available. Most were far more talented than Ben Scrivens.
Now there were three real options when Price went down. Finding a replacement goalie wasn’t a real solution because Price’s career is not over and #1 goalie’s don’t come cheaply.
Pumping up the defense made sense, but again, that’s pricey. Look at what the team has paid for Oiler retreads like Jeff Petry.
Pumping up the offense? Bingo! But the team failed on that front too. The Kassian situation was handled about as professionally as the trade for John Scott. Dumping Alex Semin when you’re weak on right wing? His numbers simply didn’t justify being dumped. Yes, we have to give Bergevin the benefit of the doubt, but honestly, with his deck of cards the timing seemed quite premature.
Semin finished the year in Russia putting up 14 points in 20 games, but more importantly he notched 15 points in 19 play off games. Semin had never had a problem scoring in the play offs.
Bergevin’s big comment is that it’s hard to acquire top talent in the NHL. That seems like a hollow response lacking character. A GM’s job is to make big trades and build Stanley Cup winners. It’s not easy, but it’s certainly not a position that tolerates copping out which is what this team has done to a fan base that deserves better.
8 – 10 top six forwards were traded between the off season and in season this year. That doesn’t sound like an impossibility.
The players Bergy traded for are vintage Rejean Houle 3rd liners at best. The vocal endorsing of Michel Therrien was even more bizarre when you look at choices made by Therrien. That would suggest that either Therrien was following direction from Bergevin or Bergevin supported choices that saw frustration in the Alex Galchenyuk development and lack of support of other younger players when it was clear that the vets were not going to get the job done.
This is not new. Look at how PK Subban was handled including the expensive choice of going with a two year bridge deal which has resulted in the current expensive contract. That contract has a window to July 1st that will allow the team to trade him to any team they wish which is the big talk in Hab land.
Does it make any sense to trade Subban? Not really. David Desharnais yes, Subban no.
Who are the possible trade partners? Colorado, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. There are 29 other teams in the NHL that would love to have PK Subban on their squad. In today’s NHL can you really afford to let him go?
No, it’s far easier to bite the bullet and look at another direction for this team that has struggled to land Free Agents, make trades, and scout top talent during the Bergevin regime.
In Montreal the only thing that counts is winning. Even Toronto has figured that out with the Leafs prepped to return the to the play offs next year under Mike Babcock.
What do you think hab fans? You can post your comments below.