Analysis: When Bob Gainey took over this team, they were small at center,
lacked a powerforward and lacked NHL depth. Seven years later, the same
problems exist. During the past couple of years, Bob has let assets like:
Souray, Streit, Komisarek, Ryder, Koivu, Tanguay, Kovalev, and others move
on to other teams without getting anything in return. Imagine the draft picks
and/or prospects he could have accumulated. The goal is to win a Stanley Cup.
Under Gainey, this team never won more than two games of Round 2. As for
2009-10, with Gionta and Markov out longterm, Montreal will likely not make
the playoffs. And, even if they do, take a look at the core players on Pittsburgh,
Washington, and Philadelphia. How can Montreal get by them in the East?
Last July, Bob Gainey was a buyer. Less than 6 months later, and in his final
contract year, he cannot be a seller. But, its obvious this team is better off
selling right now than buying.
Solution: Bob Gainey needs to be replaced immediately. Geoff Molson, must
bring in a new GM who knows the league and all the players. The new GM must
implement a rebuilding plan. We can throw out 100 names. But, there is a
bilingual Montrealer, who has experience in scouting and coaching. He also
knows all the players and has won 2 Stanley Cups working under Bob
Johnson and Scotty Bowman. His name: Pierre McGuire.
MAIN ISSUES: SALARY CAP. No cap flexibility going forward. Salary
2009-10: $60 million. Salary 2010-11: $46.6 million paid to 16 players /
Salary 2011-12: $24.6 million paid to 6 players. Solution: Trade 9-10 players.
(1) Scott Gomez. 7.357 million per season over next 4 years. Enough said.
DESTINATION: He might be impossible to trade. But, you can try: Colombus,
Nashville or New York Islanders. Can you get RJ Umberger or Antoine
Vermette from Colombus in return? (2-3-4-5) Roman Hamrlik, Jaroslav Spacek,
Hal Gill, and Paul Mara. DESTINATION: These 4 veteran defencemen should be
traded during the week of trade deadline. Teams that are 1 d-men away from a
cup run will probably add these players. (6-7) Andrei Kostitsyn and Sergei
Kostitsyn. These 2 players have off-ice issues. They both need a new start.
DESTINATION: Andrei Kostitsyn= NYR, STL? Sergei Kostitsyn= Edmonton? (8)
Glen Metropolit. DESTINATION: To a playoff team looking for an experienced
player. (9) Jaroslav Halak. DESTINATION: can be packaged with (MAYBE
Plekanec) to Detroit.
Halak and Plekanec for Fillpula? Or Halak for Helm?
*** N.B. You hold on to Cammalleri and Gionta for now. They will assume
leadership of the team and show the young players the way.
As for Markov, he will return in February. Teams might be tentative to give fair
market value because they might want to wait to see if he can be the same
player he was before the injury. Re-evaluate his situation 1 year from now. *** .
3 CONTRACTS TO SETTLE IMMEDIATELY:
Solution: (1) Carey Price. When building a team you must target your
franchise player/s and lock them up. Carey Price is the franchise player. He
must be signed to a 6 to 8 year contract. (2) Tomas Plekanec. He is UFA at
years end and will be top 2 point getter on the team this season. His value is
rising. He must be signed to a 4 year deal. Why? If you decide to keep him, by
signing him now you don’t lose him to UFA. If you decide to package him, he
will have more value as a signed player. (3) George Laraque: he has 2 to 3
herniated discs. He must be bought out.
COACHING STAFF: The new GM should choose his own coach,
however Jacques Martin is signed to a 4 year deal.
Solution: The GM cannot ask the owner to absorb the coaches contract one
year in. Stick with the coaches for a while. And, put emphasis on development.
TEAM PRESIDENT. Decision to be made by Geoff Molson.
ADMINISTRATION. Julien Brisebois, has not shown in the past that he
has an understanding of a players real monetary value. Furthermore, he wasn’t
able to convince Gainey to negotiate during the season.
Solution: Ideally, his successor is a former NHLer with a business background
and knowledge of CBA and current players. As a replacement how about
MARKETING. Some fans might not accept a rebuilding plan.
Solution: Must lower ticket prices across the board. And, must give the team
back to the fans. Setup a program to get players out in the communities, like
the Montreal Impact and Montreal Alouettes.
PRO PLAYER DEVELOPMENT. Players not developing at NHL level.
Solution: Need someone to work OT with some players like Claude Ruel used
to do. Players are developed in Hamilton but once they get here they play well
for a month or two and stop progressing. Need to hire someone hockey smart
and versatile. And, a good teacher. How about Gaston Gingras?
PRO PLAYER MENTORING. Players need to live with a teammate or a
family. Players are rock stars here and city has too many temptations.
Solution: Do exactly what Pittsburgh did. It worked.
AMATEUR SCOUTING IN QUEBEC. There is an inability to recognize
francophone talent playing in the QMJHL. Can no longer miss out on Patrice
Bergeron’s or David Perron’s of the QMJHL.
Solution: Denis Morel and Michel Boucher must be let go. Try to hire a former
offensive player from the QMJHL. The ‘‘Q’’is known for wide open hockey and
offensive hockey players. There is a former NHLer who was an offensive player
in the QMJHL and can recognize offensive talent. He is 2nd alltime goal scorer
and point getter in QMJHL. He also coached in the QMJHL. His name: Stephan
AMATEUR SCOUTING OVERALL. Trevor Timmins, would like to have
a mulligan on the 2003 and 2004 drafts. However, to his defence those were his
first 2 years drafting with Montreal. In 2003, he worked with Andre Savard and
Pierre Dorion. So, it wasn’t all his fault. Since then, he has drafted many
NHLers, two of which I believe are home runs: Carey Price and PK Subban.
Solution: Trevor Timmins , can continue running the Amateur Scouting
Department BUT the GM has to make some changes to the existing staff.
FRANCOPHONE PRESENCE. A rebuilding phase is not easy for fans
or the media. Adding a few francophones who want to play here will help.
Solution: Identify all francophones or Quebec born players in the NHL. Try to
determine who might be available and who could be a fit. Players must be
affordable as the goal is to create cap space. Examples: ANTOINE VERMETTE
(CLMB), P-LUC LETOURNEAU LEBLOND (NJ), P-A PARENTEAU (NYR), ALEXANDRE
PICARD (OTT), DAVID LALIBERTE (PHI), MATTHEW LOMBARDI (PHO), TORREY MITCHELL
(SJ), STEVE BERNIER (VAN), ALEXANDRE BURROWS (VAN),MATHIEU PERREAULT (WAS).
***Maybe even consider acquiring Angelo Esposito from Atlanta and send him to Hamilton.
N.B. Some players on the above list might not be available BUT you might
want to consider trading a superior player to try to acquire them.
PRO SCOUTING DEPARTMENT. Needs to be restructured. Since
Pierre Gauthier has been in place 38 trades have been made. Probably 2 have
worked out. Gauthier, Gordie Roberts and Doug Gibson must be replaced.
Solution: Try to pry Montrealer, Blair Mackasey from Minnesota. And, move
Vaughan Karpan from Amateur Scout to Pro Scout. Many hockey people
believe Vaughan has a good eye for pro talent. Hire 2 more pro scouts.
CENTRE ICE POSITION. Small at Center. No elite centerman on team or
in system. Top center prospect is Louis Leblanc. He is at least 3 years away.
Solution: Draft a centreman with your 1st pick. Ideally, Tyler Seguin RH Shot.
POWER-FORWARD. Currently, no legitimate top 6 is a powerforward.
Solution: You try to develop Pacioretty into one. If not, what’s Andrew
Conboy’s potential?If not, you must identify one and trade for him.
BACK-UP GOALIE. Trade Halak. Need a veteran to backup Carey Price.
Solution: Scott Clemmenson from Florida would be a great choice.
He used to backup Brodeur, he would be a great mentor for Carey Price.
ENTERTAINING HOCKEY. During a rebuilding phase you will lose more
games than you will win. However, you can still be entertaining. The key is to
put together a young, FAST, dynamic team.
Solution: Trade for speedy players like: Cogliano, Vermette, Lombardi, Helm.