Cornwall Ontario – The Christmas break sadly is the funeral song for les boys this season. The injury to Shea Weber didn’t do it. The drama that is Carey Price actually wasn’t either.
It was owner Geoff Molson signing off on the strange Rejean Houle type management of his hand picked GM Marc Bergevin. When you own the Montreal Canadiens it’s like owning the NY Yankees. There are expectations of greatness and all the resources that any team in the league has.
And Montreal is making cash. Eventko, owning the building, and still fan support even though the team went into the season short changing fans by over 10% of the cap as though they were a budget team.
The short version essentially is that Claude Julien, a great defensive coach, hasn’t adapted to the hot mess of a roster he has. The allegations of his issues with Russian players may or may not be true, but we saw Andrei Markov rudely dumped without his aging skills replaced, and the loss of a good player who put happy bums in the seats and those bums when excited drank beer!
The bottom line is that you don’t need to be Pierre Mcguire to realize that this season’s team was not built for Lord’s Stanley’s Cup, nor frankly even the playoffs. Whatever Bergy was thinking didn’t translate into anything that makes hockey sense. Bad trades, bad signings, all showed the signs of desperation.
The inability to address team needs and even if taking a step back, moving forward just didn’t happen.
While fans are still bemoaning the Subban trade, the Sergachev deal will most likely look worse than trading away McDonaugh for Gomez.
Now the team has the league’s most expensive goaltender who appears to not be able to goaltend at the levels that got him his contract. As many have written and said, you just don’t build a team in today’s NHL around a goalie. You simply don’t tie up that large a piece of the cap on a goalie, and certainly not go long on a player over 30.
So was the problem Bergy or his owner? The longer that Bergevin remains the more it appears to be the latter.
To have two disastrous seasons this close together simply is not the way the Canadiens roll. It’s like snow in Florida. It can happen, but people are shaken when it does. And it need not happen except for the below par management and coaching this team has right now and coaching isn’t part of the cap. Montreal should have the best management team and support team in the NHL based on the dollars fans spend supporting the team. Does it really make sense to have a JJ Daigneault coaching the D still? Honestly?
The Drouin at C experiment frankly has failed. No diss to Jonathan. He’s doing his best, but some of the very criticisms of Alex Galchenyuk can be made of Drouin. Both aren’t the best at face offs although Chucky seems to be better. Isn’t it time to either trade Chucky or turn him loose at C for the rest of the season and really see if he’s a centre or not? He certainly wouldn’t be the first one to not be strong in his own end, but seeing as how hard it’s been for Bergy to land a top centre surely a 70 point one would be a good thing for the team?
It makes no sense to devalue your asset. Look at what Toronto is doing with Nylander now. They are pumping his tires and upping his trade value as he most likely will be traded by the team to land that 1D they’re looking for.
The D is an utter disaster. If you’re going to keep Weber why didn’t the team get him a proper wingmate? Petry and Alzner? Benn and who? Throwing poop at the walls hoping something sticks isn’t how to manage a top team.
Bandaids aren’t either. If you planned on dumping most of your D shouldn’t you have had your replacements ready to roll too?
Montreal right now is nearly bare. There are no top prospects. There is some talent on the team that needs to develop which is what should be done this season so the next GM knows what he really has rather than make more bad trades. There are over 30 players with question marks.
While it’s mostly Geoff’s money and he can do as he chooses with his asset, does he really want to go down as worst owner in Hab history? Right now he’s collared for two of the franchise’s all time worst seasons in a three year span.
It might be time for him to spend some cash and build a management team around him that will make him look good.
It will take 1-3 seasons to right this ship. Floating through as a bubble team might make cash, but it will hurt the franchise value and that’s never a good thing. Fans will not pay premium bucks for a losing team and everyone knows that the entire industry that floats around the Habs suffers when the team blows chunks as it is now.
What do you think Hab fans? You can post your comments below.