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Habs Inactive at Trade Deadline

  • No moves since Schneider & Metropolit….and none coming.

    This roster is the team that will go forward working for a playoff spot and hopefully a lengthy playoff run.

    Thoughts?

36 Comments
  1. #1 PACTUM SERVA says:
    March 4, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Gainey holding onto his players. The only thing i can see happening is that he makes a pitch for vinny on draft day and throws a bunch of players at tampa.

  2. #2 groundworking says:
    March 4, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    This team has lots of heart, two proven goaltenders, and great dressing room chemistry. We already have all the leadership that we need.

    I worry sometimes that Laraque is over-achieving, that Kovalev will burn out if he keeps digging so hard in the corners, and that the Kostitsyn brothers are being asked to shoulder much of the load because their hard work ethic. My main concern, though, is Higgins. Can he continue to score every time he gets a chance? Hard to say.

    I think the Habs will win the cup with grit, determination, and, God Almighty, playoff goaltending that puts Patrick Roy to shame. This is the best Habs team, ever!

  3. #3 Joseph says:
    March 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Of course this team lacks what it takes to make a deep playoff run. And it’s obvious that Gainey feels the same given his complete lack of player movement at the deadline. He is clearly looking forward to next season at this point. But one thing that I don’t quite understand – why the acquisition of Schneider? Unless of course he intends to use Schneider for next season’s run, hoping that he’ll be just as effective next season as he’s been since rejoining the Habs this season.

  4. #4 worsley says:
    March 4, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    I wish GM’s could traded lol. I was hoping we could have picked up a big strong centremen. What would be the scenario if the trade deadline was amidst our recent slump. I think we would have seen alot of movement. Need to break ties with Saku Koivu. He has a lot of good hockey years left in him, but hes not showing it here anymore. Ive been a habs fan since the days of b&w tv and as much as I wish we would win the cup this year. I am already looking at bnext year. It looks like a few players on our team have a shortfall for passion for the game and its hurting us. Look what changes can do. Matt Schneider is a big reason for our recent turn around. We need a big physical centremen(trade Koivu)

  5. #5 PACTUM SERVA says:
    March 4, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    We have been waiting for a big centreman for 5 years but gainey has failed to address that in 5 YEARS. Like i said before gainey must have some kind of man love for small euro players

  6. #6 Mats Naslund says:
    March 4, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Guys, we may not all see it right now but what we witnessed today was a very good piece of managing. We aren’t going to win the cup this year (barring an incredible run – see 1993). That is realism. Yes it takes a roll of the dice sometimes to put your team over the top – but what is the point of that if you aren’t ready? What would happen next year if Gainey traded all of our picks and we didn’t win? Gainey knows we are close. This team has some ingredients, but you don’t win Stanley cups by chasing deadline deals. Most often you lose more than you gain. What if after all of that the Cap also goes down substantially? There goes the franchise! We need to make the playoffs and make our best run and then evaluate where the team is. Young players are cheap. We’re going to have loads of room to make additions in the off season, and this way Gainey can evaluate whether or not names like Subban, Weber etc can help us or whether a combo of prospects could help us land a MYRIAD of higher contract superstars who will be available from teams who can no longer afford them. I’m very glad Gainey sat this one out because it improves our position in a time when we can realistically win.

  7. #7 Joseph says:
    March 4, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    It appears that Gainey echoes your sentiments, MN.

    In so many words, he is telling his younger players that he has al the confidence in them, that it’s all up to them now, and in doing so, allowing them to handle the pressure of another playoff year, ultimately assess how they perform under those circumstances, and make any necessary changes come the offseason.

  8. #8 Senet1 says:
    March 4, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Well said Matts, I could not agree with you more, the Schneider trade was obvious, Gainey wants to make the playoff and give these yound kids additional experience that they are going to need once we do have a team ready for the run. One thing everyone forgets is that to make a trade there has to be a willing partner and the price has to be right. Some mentioned that we had not addressed the big centreman issue for over 5 years well I am sorry we did that with Lang and he was playing exceptional until he got injuried. This team may have gone to the second or third round with him but they may still but as Matts says all the card have to fall into place like in 1993. As usually we have the arm chair GM’s out there that do not apparently would have given up the ship to gat one or two players that may have helped us but we still would not have won the cup with or without them. Matts hit the nail on the head, there are very few times when a team makes a trade that that trade puts the team over the top unless they are already there to begin with and they replace a player who got injured with a similar player. This time of year it is buy be ware because most of the buyer usually lose.

  9. #9 Dancan81 says:
    March 4, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    blah, blah, blah…Same bs every year. Gainey thinks he has something special with the current players. Are we blind to this, do we have to be employed by the habs to see that this team is a contender? Because everybody i speak to sees us going 1-2 rounds max. Why can’t we make a trade for a big centreman? Year after year everyone agrees we need that type of player and in order to get one you have to trade a top 3 forward and a top 2 dman. You have to give a little Gainey in order to get the missing piece.

  10. #10 Senet1 says:
    March 4, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Well I promise I do not talk that way but my typing is terrible. The Arm Chair GM’s would have trade away the franchises future for one run at the cup and we would have probably got beaten out in the first round. I wish that some of you guys would stop selling your GM and Coaches out. They are hockey men and is it obvious to me that some of you are just fans. Fans always want to see their team do well whereas hockey men at least good ones want to make sure that their team continues to improve, in order to do that under these new rules in the NHL you have to build through the draft and then supplement your team with trades at the right team. NOW is not the right time.

  11. #11 Joseph says:
    March 4, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Well, Gainey apparently said that he pursued Lecavalier. If Tampa didn’t budge–and they obviously didn’t–his hands are then tied. But Gainey was willing to forfeit some of his current talent for that much needed superstar.

  12. #12 Joseph says:
    March 4, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    In the instance of Lecavalier, it wouldn’t have been a single run at the Cup scenario. Gainey would have secured his services for certain. And a player like that would have been worth the price.

  13. #13 Senet1 says:
    March 4, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Gainey – “I have no regrets when I look at the list of players who were dealt today,” began Gainey minutes after the 3:00 p.m. deadline had come and gone. “It was a quiet day for us. We had a few discussions with clubs on Sunday, but we didn’t begin our day today with the intention of making any changes. We were open to any calls we could receive where something could have come out of nowhere, but didn’t really contact other teams and there wasn’t much on the table that interested us today.”

  14. #14 Joseph says:
    March 4, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Why does everything always have to be such a secret until after the fact? Why the smoke and mirrors in professional sports? Why can’t a GM just be up front about his intentions, and thus spare the fans inflated expectations? I suppose that deception and dishonesty are all part of the business game though. Oh, wait. No, it’s strategy. That’s what it is. Wouldn’t want to let the rest of the league know that your intentions are to lay low at the deadline. Other GMs might avoid phoning you.

    That and all of the lower body inury, upper body inury nonsense is enough to induce regurgitation.

  15. #15 Joseph says:
    March 4, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Prior to the acquisition of Olli Jokinen, Todd Bertuzzi was out with a lower body injury. After the acquisition, he was out due to a knee injury and had undergone arthroscopic surgery… in a secret hospital… of which only five people know of its existence/location… three of which are members of CSIS.

  16. #16 jason1919spezza says:
    March 4, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Habs media talks too much, its true!!!

    They said that the habs might get Lecavlier, Kovalchuk, Bouwmeester, Havlat, Gaborik, Antropov,…etc.

    And who did they got, …no one…

    I’m a sens fan so I’m pretty happy about that, but in a habs fan point of view…its pretty disappointing.

    Wel…goodluck?

  17. #17 Joseph says:
    March 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    You’re a Sens fan, jason1919spezza? I’m just happy that you’re happy about something.

  18. #18 nico-666 says:
    March 4, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Wow surprise surprise another deadline gone and nothing,Well you’d figure with all the cup’s GAINEY has won you would think he would know what it take’s to win it.Well with this bunch of UNDER ACHEIVERS i wonder is he really all upstair’s,with a pile of UFA’S coming up(all under acheiver’s)is it really brain science to realize to say bye bye to most or all and MAYBE get something anything in return.Bob fly’s around the world giving Matt’s a handjob,is he not SMART enough to realize it’s not going to happen say after a year of trying.Oh ya what happend with hossa and kovalchuck and briere and so on and so on.Comon HAB fan’s is it the player’s or is it the G.M.All that talent all those year’s and BOBBY just close’s his eye’s.Time for a g.m. with a LITTLE emotion in his job,gainey is not the right fit(see dallas hmhmhmhm) for the hockey crazy city of MONTREAL,he’s alway’s sleeping behind the wheel.BOTTOM LINE FAN”S WHAT HAS HE DONE IN HIS TIME IN MONTREAL NOTHING BUT HURT THE TEAM,SCHNEIDER IS A BAND AID FOR GAINEY’S MISTAKE’S IN THE OFF SEASON(STREIT,SOURAY).Watching this team play is painful,almost playoff’s and still no identity,must be the city or the player’s eh!Time for captain koivu to hit the road,he’s way to soft for the N.H.L. and he’s done dick for the team in his tenure.All in all we’ll just sit and wait till NEXT SEASON AND SO ON AND SO ON.BYE BYE GAINEY IS MY ANSWER.

  19. #19 groundworking says:
    March 4, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    In his last 11 games, Carey Price is 2-9, with a 4.00 GAA, and a .856 save percentage. His two wins came against Buffalo and Pittsburgh; two games where the Habs badly outplayed and out-shot their opponents. He has now lost 6 in a row, and he has let in 3 or more goals in all 6 of those games, and 5 or more goals in 4 out of six. He has let in 5 or more goals in 6 of the last 11 games.

    In his last 6 games, Halak is 5-1, with a .945 save pct, and a 2.17 GAA.

  20. #20 worsley says:
    March 4, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    I totally agree with you nico. Our GM’s passiveness is going to make for a tough run for the playoffs if tonights game in Buffalo is any indication. If this is the start of another winless run, our rookies will not get any playoff experience. Again I say Koivu has got to go.

  21. #21 Mats Naslund says:
    March 5, 2009 at 12:30 am

    You can’t blame Gainey for not landing Lecavalier. He put it all out on the table and Tampa didn’t want to take a chance on making a huge mistake. If you guys really think Olli Jokinen would have put us in a position to come out of the east and beat San Jose this year, then you haven’t watched him play hockey. Yes he would have been an upgrade, but the same people complaining about Gainey would be complaining that he takes shifts off, and doesn’t use his size.

    As I’ve said before: we have ingredients. That doesn’t necessarily mean we have a pie. It means that with patience and shrewd management, we could live to see a day when prospects like Pax, the Kostitsyns and the rest of the prospects carry the team. Look around the league. Who got better today? NO ONE was making deals aside from a few teams which over-spent like crazy to get players who will bring unpredictable results. In the end it is HIGHLY unlikely that any team that made a deal today will win the cup. Calgary will certainly have the best shot, but they went into today with one of the best goalies, best power-forwards, an incredible D and great role players. They added a final expensive piece that is considered to be as much of a risk in the dressing room, as he is a potential offensive boost.

    It is understandable to be disappointed, especially after a loss – but this team (the core who will be back) is young and needs time more than deadline additions to succeed. Gainey simply can’t make the type of changes this team needs at the deadline. It is unrealistic, just like the pressure that Montreal has to win at all costs, even when the proven formula suggests it is better not to. Its a process, so unless you want to end up like Toronto, I say you get used to building from within. The days of the high-priced knight in shinning armor are over. Our problems start with injury, move onto underachievement and end with goalkeeping. The cup is a ridiculous notion right now, but so is abandoning all of the ground work that has been done to fill the organization with good prospects and young roster players.

  22. #22 VanHab says:
    March 5, 2009 at 1:46 am

    Here’s an interesting article from MSN Canada about the winners and losers of the trade deadline. Guess what category Montreal fell into.

    http://sports.sympatico.msn.ca/NHL/ContentPosting_TopShelf?newsitemid=08f18ec1-3138-4c85-b612-b4fd9610da62&feedname=jeffmackie&show=True&number=10&showbyline=True&subtitle=&detect=&abc=abc&date=True

  23. #23 groundworking says:
    March 5, 2009 at 3:05 am

    I’m disappointed not so much just because of the losing, but because of the under-achieving players. Sure, there are some bright spots: Pacioretti and Dagositini. And then there are the Russians: the Kostitsyns? Kovalev? Markov? Where are these guys this year?

    I guess I worry both for the present and the future. It doesn’t look to me like many of our prospects have the heart that it takes to win in the playoffs.

    I also worry a bit that Price might be under-developed mentally for the position of starting goaltender in the NHL. I’m not saying its easy – I couldn’t do it, even if I had the talent. But it’s sad to see him break down, when it counts, for the second year in a row.

  24. #24 Joseph says:
    March 5, 2009 at 3:36 am

    I see other organisations ruin goaltenders as well though, so I don’t believe that it’s a Gainey/Carbonneau thing nearly as much as I do a modern day NHL thing. Considering what Mats Naslund has to convey about the league being in a draft and develop age, there’s obviously a lot more pressure placed upon younger players to perform to expectations much earlier in their careers than in years past. So I guess that this is one of the quandaries that the modern NHL faces: weighing fan expectations against ample development time for younger players in a league where an unpredictable and everchanging salary cap limits an organisation’s ability to go out and hire developed talent. As many GMs had eluded to over the past couple of days, surrounding the March 4th gong show, they have to walk a financial tightrope when considering the movement of assets, and one which extends into the unforeseeable future of the organisation. Thus the less carefree approach and more calculated and cautious approach to trades. I can understand that.

    Yet we witness certain GMs selling a piece of the farm in an attempt to acquire that ever crucial and elusive piece of the puzzle whilst others are reluctant to do so. So which approach is indicative of smarter management? I would say that only the end result can answer this question. If the Rangers, for example, manage to alleviate their woes as a result of their deadline acquisitions and win the Cup, then Sather will look like a genius. If they fail miserably however, then a GM like Gainey will look the smarter of the two.

    Another opinion, that offered by Pierre McGuire, suggests that Gainey will only appear competent if the Habs win the Cup this season. But perhaps he was eluding to the Montreal fans and media when he offered this opinion because to me, it’s quite clear that Gainey is more focused on the future than he is this season. While I’m sure that he wants and hopes to win, his expectations are likely more realistic.

    As to the talent which currently comprises the Montreal Canadiens, I am not in agreement with it. As has been discussed ad nauseum on this blog, the Habs require a better mix of players. All additional factors surrounding this rollercoaster season aside, the young Russians require leadership – something that currently seems to be missing from the locker room, on the bench. On the other hand, the leaders and grinders (we need them) require skilled players a teammates. So I think that it will all come together if Gainey is able to lose the wrong pieces and acquire the right pieces, and thus achieve that essential mix that we see enscribed on the Cup in years past. As Mats Naslund suggests, we’re close. And I’m beginning to see that.

  25. #25 Joseph says:
    March 5, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    But, close won’t be good enough if the drought continues beyond the next two seasons and with no evidence of a marked improvement.

  26. #26 Mats Naslund says:
    March 5, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I’ll also be the first one to admit that I am as frustrated as the next fan. I’m as aware of he centennial as anyone else. It takes something BIG for me to miss a game. Throughout the off season I check up on team daily (which is by my own admission ridiculous). I am a habs GEEK, and proud to admit it. So it bugs me to see the players which I had thought so much of in October have the kind of January and February that we have had. It turns out there were good decisions made in the offseason and poor ones, and the time for re-assessment is now.

    Gainey brought in three main FA’s in the off-season: Tanguay, Lang and Laraque. Lang and Tanguay have both produced when in the lineup, but have been hurt more than not. It is hard to find fault in the decision to bring them in. Laraque, unfortunately has been a large waste of money. Don’t get me wrong, he could still be effective, but all of us could use a little more anger and a little less “code” in his game. Like Tanguay and Lang, he has been hurt more often than not tying up capspace as well as forcing Gainey to use smaller players as fodder for the NHL’s tough guys. How different would this year have been had these 3 contributed what we all thought they would?

    Defense: The emergence of both Mike Komisarek and Josh Gorges and to a lesser extent Ryan O’Byrne last season made many among us believe that our defense would be a strength this season. Well, this winter has exposed those 3 players and brought on the need to add Matt Schneider’s veteran leadership to our group. The deal happened when it did because Gainey had to wait for a point in the season when he could afford to take on Schneider’s pro-rated contract. Markov, Hamrlik, and Gorges are all signed through next season so it will be interesting to see what happens next year. I think Schneider will be back and Komisarek will be signed but for less than people thought going into this year. With names like McDonagh, Weber, Subban, Yemelin all chomping at the bit to get to the pros, Gainey will have the latitude in the off season to make our Defense strong.

    Goaltending: Jaro has played as well as Gainey could have suspected heading into the season. Good games (at this point) outnumber the bad and Jaro continues to be a sign of how patience with a prospect can be WAY more valuable than chasing high priced deals. This 271st draft pick, that couch GM’s have been trying to package all season long is now our starting goaltender.
    Carey is in trouble. People keep saying its in his head, which by this point is probably true, but his mechanics are REALLY bad these days. He over-pursues every shot and leaves himself vulnerable to easy rebounds and redirection goals. Once he lets in a couple of those a night, the floodgates are open: see Buffalo game. He is in desperate need of Hamilton which isn’t an option anymore. He has become Gainey’s worst decision, but there is still time to get him on track. He has won before, and if Rollie Melanson is worth his paycheque he will identify the problems in Price’s game and help him regain his form.

    I’m sorry for the length of this diatribe, but things need to be said. Eric Engels cut to the point a little better than I over at Hockeybuzz this morning. He said:

    “Bob Gainey decided that no one on the market yesterday would’ve significantly improved his team. Bob Gainey said that if certain players who had underachieved to this point showed their worth in the final 20 games of the season, and into the playoffs, in unison with a couple of injured players returning to the lineup that this team had the potential to make the playoffs and do very well.

    Meaning: The return of Alex Tanguay and Guillaume Latendresse would give the coaches more roster options. That if Mike Komisarek, Roman Hamrlik, and Carey Price could pick up their games things would be easier. That if Tomas Plekanec and Alex Kovalev could continue their hot play of late, and Saku Koivu, Chris Higgins, and Matt D’Agostini could support them with some offense the Canadiens would be every bit as good as Gainey or anyone else planned for them to be this season.

    One thing is clear, when none of the things listed above come together the results will be similar to last night’s, more often than not.”

  27. #27 PACTUM SERVA says:
    March 5, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    That sure is alot of “if’s”

  28. #28 Joseph says:
    March 5, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Here’s a couple more ifs, PS…

    If Montreal wins the Cup in the next two or three seasons, then all criticism of Gainey now and in the near future will be rescinded. All will be well and he’ll be given full credit for knowing what he was doig all along. If Montreal’s drought continues to drag on however, then all of the criticism will be justified because in the end, it’s all about the results.

    As difficult as it is, we have to be patient a little while longer. But just think of how much worse it could be. We could have been waiting 42 years already, only to watch our team go into yet another rebuilding period, listenting to the GM saying ‘I know that it’s been a long wait, but you’re going to have to wait a bit longer because this is going to take a while’ (in so many words). At least the Habs are close to where they need to be, and the drought a mere 15 seasons.

  29. #29 Donnie says:
    March 5, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Great effort against Buffalo huh? Seems to me that these guys played their as*es off to avoid any of them possibly being traded, and a few hours after the deadline, it;s back to normal…same old lacklustre, half-as* efford on the ice.

    These guys are going to continue to be the egg on Gainey’s face…this is NOT a good team. A first round bounce from the playoffs again is most likely in the cards, IF we even make the playoffs. Here’s the broken record….we need a first class centerman…end of story. Acquire one and build around him. What have we got here thats so fantastic that Gainey fears parting with it? Koivu was supposed to be this savior 12 or 13 years ago…newsflash…he never became that, and he’s the first one to go with my armchair GMing.
    An average 2nd line center AT BEST…and thats on a good day.
    Some of your guys loyalty to Gainey and Carbs is heartwrenching. Gainey hasn;t gotten us the players we need to suceed, and Carbs coaching style went out with mullets.
    Makes me sick that again this year the trade deadline has come and gone, and Gainey’s conservative style has once again left us with a middle-rung team who’;s going nowhere…and some people out there actually commend him for that AGAIN.
    Now, here we stand again…a few hours after the deadline….terrible defense, guttless forwards, Price is full of holes, and Carbs playing the feet off his baby boys Kostop and Lapierre once again when we are down by 4 goals.
    Nothing has changed…this is what we have now…nothing.
    Protecting the future???? What a load of crap…this season is the future from a few years ago….as is last season, and the one before that…this is what we were patient and waited for??? So why is waiting for the “future” from this year on so different?
    And ya know what…a few changes to this lineup with Carbonneau hung out to dry for a more offensive minded coach and we might actually be a contender NOW, and wouldn’;t be banking on this fictional future.
    GET A FIRST LINE CENTER….Get something Bob…this is the same pus*y team that got bounced outta last years playoffs.
    D’ASgostini and Pacioretty…are these our future starts of which you speak…gimme a break. Higgins and Koivu already have D’Ag ruined, just like they did with Ryder last year…and these 2 schmucks are still playing? And stiull together. The whole thing is laughable…and I just might if I wasn;t so f**king frustrated with every level of this organization.

  30. #30 Senet1 says:
    March 6, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Well said Joseph and Matts, I am glad to see that Joseph is coming around to what real hockey people are thinking. The rest of you guys should be ashamed of yourselves, yes you are hockey fans and that is great but please start to think what you are saying. Matt’s and I have been saying this all year and Joseph seems to understand the process as well. Our GM could have gone out and done what Ferguson did in Toronto, or what NYR did a couple of years ago and one team has missed the playoff for a number of years and the other just spent a lot of money for nothing and in the process lost their younger stars. Yes if we had a shot at a true all star like Vinny then giving up some of that future would have been worth it but there were no vinny’s out there, so why not give your younger players a chance to make the playoffs and if so get some additional experience. That is how you build a team, not by trading away all your future for an also ran. Someone said that Gainey had not done anything since taking over the GM, well that could not be any farther from the true. He took over a team that had not made the playoffs, he had built the team through the draft and we now have as many good prospects than any team in the league. These players are going to make a difference we are just going to have to wait for awhile.

    We need an allstar up front but we either have to draft him or eventually trade for him or sign him as a FA. That will happen eventually probably through FA. Is there any one player that actually got traded to another team that would have put this team over the top? NO! So what is all this crap about the GM not making any moves.

  31. #31 Mats Naslund says:
    March 6, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Donnie: I understand the frustration. Things are pretty bleak all things considered. But if we really want to judge the work of a GM its important to think about what has happened since Gainey took over. (And I only come to his defense because so many people fail to look at the bigger picture when it comes to personnel decisions). It is fine when you can see the progression towards building a contender, but recently it looks as though we’ve taken a step back – and that is when the fingers start pointing.

    In the modern NHL it takes losing for an extended period of time to easily build a championship team. You mentioned our lack of impressive prospects. The reality is that Montreal has never had the type of season to season losing streak to allow the team to load up on high end prospects. In 2003 we picked 10th and in 2005 we picked 5th. The rest of the seasons we haven’t even been close. In 2005 Gainey took Carey Price which until his recent slide, has been a CONSENSUS solid draft pick. The pick also addressed a need FAR greater than a big goal scoring center: a need for a number one goaltender. Unfortunately for Montreal, Colorado picked Paul Stastny with the 44th pick. He was on Montreal’s list and would have by now fulfilled the aforementioned need for a top line center. With the 45th pick we took Latendresse who has taken mega heat since that day, but played really well in the games before he got hurt. Gainey also found D’Agostini at 190 and Sergei Kostitsyn at 200 in the draft in 2005. You have to at least admit that Gainey and his staff have built a playoff team without tanking years upon years to collect big names like Fleury, Crosby, Malkin and Staal.

    In 2003 we took Andrei Kostitsyn with the 10th overall pick. Its hard to blame Gainey for making a mistake on that draft as he had only been GM for a matter of days, and the fact that Andrei has become our team’s best goal scorer, but the list of Centers taken after him in the first round is impressive. Carter, Parise, Getzlaf, Kesler, Richards all fell in behind Kostitsyn. Hindsight is 20/20 though (especially given the 6 years those players have developped since), and in 2003 our need for a scoring winger FAR outweighed our need for a center considering we had Koivu, Kilger, Ribiero, Marcel Hossa and Yanic Perrault. As a testament to Gainey’s staff however, I will take the opportunity to point out that they also took Jaroslav Halak 271st in that draft who has been an absolute coup. There are a whole bunch of teams that have been searching for goaltending for a lot longer than our search for a big center.

    The draft is one thing, but most people are frustrated with the fact that Gainey has publicly pursued big name players only to lose out in the end. Marion Hossa last year was a tough pill to swallow considering he helped Pittsburgh to the Cup finals… but where has that landed Pitt now? They have had to win 5 straight and continue to mortgage their prospects just to get into last place in the division. That is not smart management, but hey, what do you expect from a franchise that has no problem coming perpetually in last place to get high profile draft picks?

    Gainey also took a pass on Sundin which had many of the reactionary masses crying bloody murder. While Sundin sat on the sidelines holding Vancouver hostage all season, Gainey picked up Robert Lang who was our leading scoring forward until his injury. That is great management.

    And now, in our current season filled with struggles that NONE of us could predict Gainey has decided not to bring in a high-risk-high-reward forward because he honestly didn’t feel the team was ready. In the words of a man far more poetic than I “You got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em… There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done”. Bob Gainey is a guy who likes to have good information on which to make a decision. It is apparent in the way that he and Trevor Timmins conduct their draft scouting, and it reflects in the quality of result in most cases in retrospect. There is no way Gainey is content with where this team is, but you can bet that he has considered all of the scenarios that will play into how this team shapes up next year. Given the cap, the amount of prospects in our system, and the amount of capspace he will have in the offseason (cap contraction notwithstanding), I can’t look at our situation with anything but reserved enthusiasm. We’re in a good position because our management has allowed for varying factors. We’re not the only team that has been patiently rebuilding in the past few years. Our time is coming, and a playoff run this season will go a long way as to determining what will be done to make this team better next year.

  32. #32 Joseph says:
    March 6, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Well, Senet1, while the pro-Gainey argument has certainly won me over (well done, lawyers), my acceptance of it didn’t come without having to shed an ounce of hypocrisy and a pound of ignorance in the process, admittedly. But your case makes perfect logical sense. Attempting to refute it at this point would be akin to arguing with Zeitgeist, or even worse, Daniel Quinn – you’re going to lose. I’ve read enough of the evidence now to conclude that Gainey is doing a fine job as General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens.

    Having said that, I fully understand the desire to reject the idea that he is doing a fine job. Fans hate to lose, hate to wait. Especially North American fans who tend to have a need for immediate gratification more than most others. And especially Habs fans who are tortured by the memories and/or knowledge of this franchise’s proud history, and have to deal with the realities of the NHL today, which unfortunately includes longer droughts due to longer rebuilding processes, especially where an organisation has been set back as a result of a previous sale of the farm.

    I must admit that I’m one of those fans. And I’ll only put my emotions aside long enough to look at the facts after I’ve properly vented my frustration through a series of knee jerk reactions. :-)

    So therapy hour aside, I have confidence that Gainey will bring to this city in the next couple of seasons what it so desperately wants. And as painful as it is to watch this team stumble miserably right now, I trust that he will address its current needs in the offseason.

  33. #33 Joseph says:
    March 6, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    So I suppose that my answer to the Schneider question is: to ensure that the Habs make the playoffs again this season, and in doing so, provide the younger talent more experience and keep spirits up for the coming season.

  34. #34 habknot says:
    March 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    i HOPE i’M NOT TOO LATE ON THIS ONE. mATS n, YOU’VE DONE A GREAT JOB DEFNDING bOB [WHO REALLY DOESN'T NEED IT } Ooops, sorry about all that shouting :-(
    So now I'm going to critize him. All your points are valid, the stars would need to align to get to the cup, but sometimes you can help the stars. Sami Pahlsson was available for a song, and he would have given this team a completely different look down the middle [Plk, Koivu, Pahlsson, Lapierre]. All of a sudden, you’ve got a nasty job, contain and/or survive. You can decide which wingers to throw where, but all of a sudden BOS and PHI don’t look so hard to beat [NJ is another story}
    This is crying over spilled milk, but, Oh Well!
    Just so all of you know, I’m not throwing in the towel. I watch every Habs game as if it the start of a cup run, always will, will not apologize :-)

  35. #35 Donnie says:
    March 8, 2009 at 12:36 am

    Yeah, kinda blew a gasget there. Just so frustrated with the effort put forth by this team night after night. And that frustration heightens when for the 2nd straight year, Gainey does nothing at the deadline to at least TRY and improve this squad.
    Fact is, now that I’ve cooled, I do respect Gainey. Just hope that he is working on the bigger picture…cuz some radical changes have to occer for us to be the condender everyone hoped we’d be this year.

  36. #36 Magpies says:
    March 8, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Ok so habs don’t make a move on trade deadline, so what! Gainey made somew minor moves a few days ahead of the dealine and one of them is paying off. The bottom line for this team is that there is a nucleous of young players, e.g Mike K, Chris H, Carey, Josh, just to name a few who have underperformed this year. I mention their names bethey cause I beleive they are the ones with the most leadership potential. That’s right I said leadership.. but that potential is nowhere to be found because they have been to busy getting caught up in the start allure of being NHL players in a city like MTL. Trust me these guys would be bored to death if they were playing in Florida, or Atlanta, but because of the environment they are in they get all caught up in the glory. The problem, they have not earned the “Glory” that comes with dedication, focus, and determination which none of them has shown on a consistant basis this year.

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