Jacques Martin weighs in

Martin
The Canadiens coach – until Pierre Gauthier fired him – was on L’Antichambre Thursday night.
Martin joined fellow former (and fired) coaches Guy Carbonneau, Mario Tremblay and Michel Therrien to chew over the departure of the Canadiens’ general manager.
Martin said the current roster is “better than we think”.

While P.J. Stock predictably characterized the Canadiens as “a team in trouble”, Martin listed the Canadiens’ core assets: Carey Price in goal, P.K. Subban and Josh Gorges on defence, the David Desharnais forward line … i.e. the six guys who start every game for Martin’s successor, Randy Cunneyworth.

Martin also mentioned a healthy Andrei Markov, Rapahel Diaz and Alexei Emelin, a line of Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta and a new winger and promising youngsters in Lars Eller and Louis Leblanc.

“The team has to add pieces,” Martin concluded. “But the key elements are in place.”

Martin, who was general manager of the Florida Panthers before Bob Gainey lured him north to coach the Canadiens, also suggested he’d like to be interviewed by Serge Savard for the vacant GM’s position. He thinks a new GM should be in place a month before the June 22 draft.

Tremblay favors player agent Pat Brisson for the Canadiens’ GM job. Carbo likes Julien BriseBois.

Dave Stubbs on Geoff Molson’s D-day

• Here’s Pat Hickey’s list of candidates

Michael Farber weighs in

Bruce Arthur’s take

Stu Hackel: What now for the Canadiens?

• The lists of Richard Labbé and Renaud Lavoie

The people’s choice: Patrick Roy

• Eric Duhatschek: Don’t expect magical turnaround

Bob Gainey’s failed rebuild

506 Comments

  1. Sean Malone says:

    Assuming the new GM is unable to move Gomez (which is very, very likely) – I say trade Plecks for a big RH stud on D –

    Cole – DD – MadMax
    Gionta – Gomez –
    Moen – Eller – Bourque
    White – LeBlanc – Geofferion

    Markov –
    Gorges – PK
    Emelin – (far more effective playing on the LS)

    w/ markov, gorges, pk all 6″ 200lbs it would be redundant to have diaz & weber back there too…Price needs so meat & potato’s in front of him… imo, Kubina might be a good ufa signing

    Price

    ~I never said it. Honest.~

    • foghorn11 says:

      eep up the molsons boyott till this is fixed and no jagues martin we need an irishment to run team bob hartley and paddy roy at least we will have some in tensity and passion and nobody will be pushing top six around look out chara and yellow lucic who picks his spots

      t lett

  2. Corson27 says:

    Lmao, I almost choked reading Pat Hickey’s suggestion to rehire JM, pass it this way sir that has to be the good stuff you are smoking.

    • foghorn11 says:

      dont know what he was smokin but would like some martin should have been fired after the sixth game against washington for not calling a time out and resting first 2 lines instead put out laoerierre against ocechkin and was scoredupon to tie game wsh won in overtime that could have cost them the series and not having a player on roster to take care of business when your top six are getting bounced around and should have been fire for no retribution on chara for pacoritety hit pacoritety was difference in winninng and losing against boston last series with patches in lineup montreal beats boston so pat hickey think about it when the going gets tufff martin dont get going

      t lett

  3. Habitall says:

    Did I read Pat Hickey correctly, saying he thinks Jacques Martin deserves a second chance? Was he thinking about Martin as coach or GM?

    What’s Hickey drinking these days?

    Seriously, his behavior at the press conference a few days ago, publicly chiding Cunneyworth for giving Bourque more minutes than Leblanc was onoxious. Granted, he has a point, but maybe the coach knows a thing or two about trying to motivate a guy like Bourque. Just maybe …

    Back to Martin, though: I would hate to see him back as coach, beacuse he’s incredibly dull, and he’s just not a winner. Yes, he might have gotten us to the #8 spot this year and into the playoffs, but that’s not what Molson or anyone else actually wants.

    If Hickey was referring to hiring Martin as GM, I have to plead agnostic. Does anyone know if he did anything noteworthy in that role when he was in Florida? Seems to me, the Panthers now have their best GM ever in Tallon. Is Martin a great evaluator of talent? Does he have the kind of philosophy that will lead to a consistent winner in the league?

    Thoughts?

  4. mark_ID says:

    What i would like to see in 12/13

    Pacioretty Desharnais Cole
    Doan Plekanec Gionta
    Eller Grigorenko Leblanc
    Moen White Blunden/Darche/Staubitz

    Markov Gorgeous Gorges
    Carle Subban
    Allen Emelin

    Both Bourque and Kaberle have been traded BAM!

    “Step off George”

    • Captain aHab says:

      What you’re likely to see in 2012-2013:

      Moen Desharnais Cole
      Some francophone obtained for our 1st Plekanec Staubitz
      Eller Gomez Leblanc
      Pax White Blunden/Darche/Gionta

      Markov Gorgeous Gorges
      Kaberle Subban
      Diaz Emelin

      The beer will only rise to $11.
      —————-
      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  5. Strummer says:

    I still blame Mats Sundin for this mess.

    If he signed with the Habs when BG was wooing him in ’09, they wouldn’t have had the cap room to acquire Gomez and that deal never happens.

    ______________________________________________________
    “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Not only that but he wouldn’t have panicked about free agents wanting to come here either.


      Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Nah…..I’ll still blame Gainey for it.

      —————-
      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

  6. Bripro says:

    I’m seriously pissed!!!
    When I was a boy, standing on Ste Catherine watching a Stanley Cup Parade was a right of passage.
    My dad co-owned a building with Yvan Cournoyer’s father, and I used to meander over to their side often.
    I remember Yvan getting upset with some of the guys in the back and picking up a steel rod, that had to be 1-1.5″ diam. x 20′ long, and throwing it like a javelin. But he really was a sweetheart.
    He used to bring me aside at his hockey school (National hockey school in St Anne de Bellevue) to give me some tips.
    Now, if I want to get near a player, I have to pay a fee.
    Back then we rode our bikes with no helmets. Now, if I’m caught not wearing a seat-belt, I get a ticket and fined.
    In ’67, during Expo, we had Americans living with us for the summer and they raved about the progressive nature of our country.
    This week, our so-called Gov’t told me that if I had been born a year earlier, I could retire at 65. But no, I have to wait until I’m 67.
    My grandmother, who lived with us, collected an indexed pension for years, without ever having paid into it.
    I’ve paid all my life, yet every time I show up at the cash register, or the gas pump, I’m told to bend over.
    I say Harper, you ass, take your budget and shove it where the sun don’t shine.
    And Charest, if you use my money to finance a stadium, I hope they bury you under the centre ice as they did the loony during the Olympics.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Wow that is quite a rant! From Yvon’s father to burying Harper and Charest. You are a feisty one Brian, atta boy, love reading a good rant. Especially on a Friday, go have a cold one my friend, perhaps a Czech Staropramen, one of my favourites!

    • Phil C says:

      I am wondering if Molson is a conservative, because by firing Gauthier the same day as the federal budget certainly took the attention away from the Government for a large segment of the population!

      • Captain aHab says:

        Either that or Molson knows nothing about communications and thought the news of Gauthier’s firing would be buried by the news of the budget.

        —————-
        Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

      • Bripro says:

        They tried to reduce the fury to a smoulder.
        It took me a little while to determine that I, as a typical Canadian, am being screwed again!

    • Garbo says:

      Its a real shame how safety standards have improved.

      And to point out the obvious … “My grandmother, who lived with us, collected an indexed pension for years, without ever having paid into it” … therein lies the problem. Unfortunately there is no magical fountain of money.

    • Captain aHab says:

      Wait until you get to 67 and they tell you that the pension plan is broke. Now THEN you’ll be pissed good and proper.

      —————-
      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        That is when we find out BriPro was a Postal Worker who goes complete Postal!

        • Bripro says:

          HA! Great minds think alike!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Have a good one Bri’ I have to hit the Beer Store, Poker night at my place tonight got most of the boys from the slo-pitch team coming over…..

          • Bripro says:

            I’d join you if you were just a short ride away.
            Enjoy buddy! And win lots!
            Don’t gamble away the house….the wife maybe, but not the house.

      • Bripro says:

        By then, I’ll take my un-registered gun that my grandfather handed down to me, and I’ll be the oldest political serial killer in Canadian history.
        Am I still allowed to say that in an open forum? Is this a republic yet?

    • CranbrookEd says:

      The only thing that you did not cover was blaming the Russians for the weather . . . but it sounds as if we are both in the same boat in terms of pension – I missed the magical cutoff by 4 lousy months! I also remember Stanley Cup parades being just the thing that was done each spring . . . a day off of school to head downtown to watch players that I had idolized all winter . . . so unlike the overpaid “kids of today”!

      CranbrookEd
      Mr. Beliveau: “Pure Pak mais oui”! . . . What ever happened to Johnny Jelly-Bean!?

    • Danno says:

      Bravo Bripro!

      ________________________________________

      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

    • boing007 says:

      Ahem. Rite of passage.

      Richard R

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      In all fairness, the seatbelt and helmet laws are not really something to complain about.

      I just got my first ski helmet, which is weird, but I only have one brain.

  7. TommyB says:

    While Gillette was more concerned with printing money and milking a 2-year centennial, he kept his nose out of the hockey operations of the business. And while we don’t want an owner who tries to run the entire show, we do want an owner who recognizes deficiencies in the hockey department. So far, Molson has used the right measures. I think your post has put it in the proper perspective.

    (Sorry, this was meant as a reply to Burly below)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Gillette gets a lot of credit here, but wasn’t that BG running the show?

      • TommyB says:

        BG played a big role in running the show, but the receipts were stuffed into George’s pockets. Which is what I’m saying here. As an owner, Gillette had his mind on other matters, which is why he didn’t interfere in the hockey operations. I’m hoping Molson can stuff his pockets as well, but keep an eye on the on-ice product in the process. There’s a difference in having an owner who understands the game to some degree, and one who doesn’t. You don’t want a meddling owner, but you don’t want one who is deaf, dumb, and blind either. From what I’ve seen so far, Molson can walk that fine line.

  8. HabinBurlington says:

    Geoff Molson has taken his share of criticism here. However, he buys a team and watches them go the Conference Final, so he doesn’t mess with it. THen he watches the team play a competitive series against Boston(albeit, they blew a 2 game lead) so he probably ponders a bit more, but still can’t justify going Duck hunting.

    Then he watches the whole fricking thing turn into an inferno rolling down a hill towards a bunch of huts made of dry straw. So he immediately pulls out the firehose and douses absolutely everything.

    I will therefore, sit back and trust Geoff Molson to make his next hire a good one. For that he will be judged, I don’t think he can be blamed for what happened this year. I know I will be yelled at, but that’s okay I will turn the volume down on my computer and take it like a man.

    • twilighthours says:

      I don’t know how anyone can really argue with this assessment.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Don’t know why but I have good feeling going forward Twi’, also I feel like steak tonight! I feel bad for Bob Gainey, I know he made mistakes, but I also know he was passionate about trying to do the best he could all things considered. I don’t feel bad for PG, he came across to me as very arrogant, I could be and may well be completely wrong, but it is how he came across to me. I have never been a fan of arrogant people. I certainly know my crap stinks!

    • Mattyleg says:

      That’s a pretty sweet reading of the situation, Burly.
      I especially like your imagery.

      …what are you doing under your desk with your fingers in your ears…?

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • Phil C says:

      Haha, nice fire analogy. I was picturing Cunneyworth with his hair on fire trying with futility to pull back on the reins.

      I agree with your take. You have to know what’s broken before you know what to fix. He was wise to sit back for a few years and assess. Nothing worse than a new guy coming in and changing everything before he knows what’s going on. From this point forward will be his legacy.

    • habsfan0 says:

      Geoff Molson: “I like this team!”

      Mind you, I think Geoff had a few ones prior to making this comment.

      I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Hey at least we have a visible owner, who the do Leaf fans bitch at now? The hosts of Sportsdesk or Connected? Gino Reda and Hazel Mae?

        • habsfan0 says:

          They were chanting: “Let’s Go Blue Jays” at the ACC last night.

          Burke was nowhere in sight.

          Maybe he was next door at the Rogers Centre ticket counter picking up his ducats for Opening Day against the Red Sox.

          • HabinBurlington says:

            My buddy went to the game in a box, he made up signs urging fans to throw their jersey’s on the ice, he was supposed to do that he promised me. I am guessing he tried throwing them, but it was too far away. Couldn’t of been the fact he was completely lit by the time he got in the limo to go to the game at 530pm.

          • Bripro says:

            That’s funny!

  9. 69HABS says:

    How come the CORE of the team “Carey Price” wasn’t asked for his feedback of the canning of the two.

    Bob afterall, was the main reason that Carey is still here today!

    • Say Ash says:

      Um, no. Tampa Bay’s Len Barrie deciding to keep Lecavalier is why Price is here today.

      • 69HABS says:

        U stick to that story ….

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Really you deny this? THe two owners of Tampa were in complete disagreement with one wanting the trade the other saying no. because of their pathetic financial position Bettman had to step in and make the decision for them. He overruled it from happening.

          • Mr_MacDougall says:

            I know a guy that knows a guy that works for Sportsnet.. Lawton mentioned the deal was squashed that included Pleks, Price, Subban, 1st rounder for Lecalvier and Mike Smith (not Bubbles, but the goalie). Lawton also said another deal for Vinny was worked out at the draft that was squashed.

            To me, the information I got was very credible. Lawton would still have a job if that deal had taken place.. and the Habs would have Gomez and Vinney @ 17 mill per!!!

  10. Captain aHab says:

    Mike has yet to post his game blog lead-in and the Habs are looking for a GM….coincidence? I think not.

    —————-
    Avast, me proud beauty! Wanna know why my Roger is so Jolly?

  11. BJ says:

    I agree with theDude below. Here is where I would start and refine it from there. 4th line White, Staubitz, John Scott. Add Allen on D. Much needed toughness taken care of. Next depending on our 1st round pick. If we get Grigorenko and he fits in as a centre next year then one of our current centres becomes available for a trade for a top 6 big sized left winger. From there I belive we have a playoff bound team. As for the Cup we will need to wait for Gallagher, Tinordi, Beaulieu to mature and help out in a few years.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      I like your 4rth line when playing against a handfull of teams (Bos, Phi, NJD, NYR etc) but the team could not use that line against the quicker more skilled teams. What about Moen-White-Scott/Staub?

      Allen is the exact D that Mtl needs. Not really a fighter, nut a solid #4 D that is above average Defensively, blocks shots, has size and uses it.

      • BJ says:

        I’d like to see Moen on the 3rd with Eller. I would still like the 4th line as stated but a 13th forward could rotate with Scott.

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          I see Moen as a 4rth liner with the ability to fill in in the top 9 when injuries arise. I think a top 9 forward needs to have the ability/potential to score 15-20 (Eller, Bourque, AK46, LL?) Not a big disagreement, as we both like a “capable” 4rth line.

          I really hope the Habs make a bid for Allen!

      • mark_ID says:

        I think once Montreal sends Gomez to Hamilton…as long as the cap does not go down, we will have a boat load of money to get a second liner who can pot goals…..as well as that much needed big physical stay at home, take no sh*t defenceman.

        Gomez money gone…..3 mil gone from Cammi, Kostitsyn 3.25 mil gone, Gill 2 mil gone. Who else am I missing.

        Price shouldn’t receive any more then 5.5 per, as long as he is a RFA…..same for Subban, can’t see him getting more then Gorges. Those aren’t going to be significant raises.

        “Step off George”

        • mark_ID says:

          Remember the last time Habs had a bunch of money to play with on July 1st….that was the most exciting one in years.

          Cammi
          Gionta
          Moen
          Gill
          Spacek…….all of them contributed in their first years to get us to the EC finals

          “Step off George”

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          I agree with your contract evaluation. Subban’s deal will be a “stepping stone” deal, one that also “sets him up for life.” Maybe the 2.75-4 mill range. Ideally PK is signed to a contract that leaves him as an RFA once it expires.

          As far as the “ceiling” for Price, I hope 5.5 is correct, I think he could bring in 6. Ideally, 6 years 33mill (5.5 per)

    • Malreg says:

      Have you ever seen Scott skate? He makes Hal Gill look like the reigning short-track speed skating champion.

      • BJ says:

        I can live with that. Have you seen him fight? Another alternative that I would also like is Artyukhin presently in the KHL. He is a very good skater, hitter and heavyweight which we need. I like Staubitz, Moen and White but they are middle-heavyweights. Not to sound as if my only concern is fighting but the ability to make the other team accountable and nervous to play us at home is a big plus.

  12. kerrgte says:

    i am very optimistic. A very professional and dedicated Geoff Molson will ensure a truly professional exec search will be conducted, and only the very best candidate for gm will be selected. The pursuit of excellence typifies the Molson firm – only the best gm suited to the needs of Montreal will be hired.

    I enjoy the naivete of those who say do this and do that. Try applying such wishful thinking in a world of contracts, the cap, agents, and lawyers. Tough sledding in a legally binding world. Each step of freeing up required cap space is a challenge in itself.

    With the hiring of the new gm, we can say for certain that some contracts will be resolved in as expeditious a way as possible. We can say for certain that the team’s portfolio of contracts will be handled smarter – and this is the most critical element of success to team building.

    NEXT YEAR:
    1. We can say for certain the team will be better next year with the return of Gionta, a very smart and dedicated player, and Moen, a solid, tough forward;
    2. We can say for certain that Randy C and assistants will be replaced;
    3. potential ufa signing in the off-season is a wild card as ufa’s can choose their destinations. I do think the renewed team management will foster a new era in the desirability of playing for our team.

    all the best

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      100% agree that a new management team in Mtl, with the given core, Montreal will become a desirable spot for UFA players. Also, if the UFA is a physical D or a LW there is not much competition and have a very good opportunity to get playing time.

    • Captain aHab says:

      “The pursuit of excellence typifies the Molson firm”

      You haven’t had their beer now have ya?

      —————-
      Me skull and crossbones arn’t the only thing I plan on raisin’ tonight.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I have been quite drunk on it, and my hangover the next day was not unlike that which I had with fine Czech and German beers. Does this provide any clarity to an already foggy situation?

  13. 123456 says:

    I am in favor of letter the goat and he certainly made a couple bad decisions . . . . but I have not seen credit given for getting Cole in a Habs uniform.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      Really? many posters have said that the Eric Cole contract/signing is the best UFA signing (all things considered) in 2011, and in Habs history.

      • nellis13 says:

        the problem is he had one good deal and several bad ones this year including:
        -kaberle
        -bourque (i’ve officially given up on him)
        -campoli
        -getting nothing for AK
        -not dealing with gomez
        -signing markov (8.5mm per year if you spread out the cost of his contract this year over the next 2)

        • Mr_MacDougall says:

          A few things. Agree with Kaberle, Bourque (one could assume Habs could have got Johnson for Cammy from LA) and Rene sucks.

          Campoli, not bad, not good, a filler piece.

          AK, probably should have been signed.. 2nd rounder isn’t all that bad.

          Gomez- nobody could deal him with how he has performed the past couple of seasons.

  14. Dr.Rex says:

    Legitimate Candidates for GM include:
    – Julien Brisebois
    – Pierre Giroux
    – Marc Bergevin
    – Craig Nil
    – Larry Carriere
    – Pat Brisson
    – Andre Savard
    – Claude Loiselle

    Fantasy candidates that are media driven:
    -Jacques Martin
    – Dale Tallon
    – Vincent Damphousse
    – Patrick Roy (Although possible HC candidate)
    – Pierre McPoop
    – Ferguson JR

  15. New says:

    It would be real nice if the management of the Club inspired a sense of planning and forethought in decisions. Guys like Eric Cole show you that not all free agents are created equal. Guys like Ryder show you that not all coaches can motivate. Guys like Price show you a sense of class that has been missing for a long time.

    I don’t think a business should be a popularity contest. Sure it would be great if everybody got along off ice. Read Dryden’s book(The Game) and you’ll learn that isn’t the case with champions. What they do is play together to win. They want to win whatever game you bring. To do that they needed the right players, the right farm system, and the right coach.

    Change is such a great thing. Let’s all hope they do this right so the fans aren’t talking about this same BS two years from now.

  16. TommyB says:

    So, J. Martin has weighed in. I only hope he gets slammed in the behind by the door on his “weigh” out. There are those who feel that had Martin been kept around as coach, the Habs could have squeaked into the playoffs this year. I have to ask, is that what you guys want? Limp into the playoffs again on the last weekend of the season, and by doing so, create the impression that real changes are not needed? Maybe get lucky again and miraculously win a round or two but fall short once again, enabling everyone to think, “hey, we’re just a piece or two short of contention”. Don’t know about you, but I’ve seen that movie a few times too often. Goodbye JM, and goodbye PG. A clean slate is needed in the front office and behind the bench.

    If you believe what Geoff Molson has said yesterday, and there’s no reason not to believe it, he recognizes that there is no quick fix to put this team back on it’s former path of excellence. At least not while the people just let go were at the controls. He realizes that the team has slipped greatly from the glorious and respected team it once was. I can’t think of a better person than Serge Savard to be the one to help Molson find the people who can set this team back on the track to becoming respectable, and competitive, again. Savard is a link to the past. Some may say, hey, Gainey was a link to the past as well. The difference is, Savard seems to understand the reality of how far the organization has fallen, while maybe Gainey didn’t quite recognize it as being that bad. Savard knows how to win. He knows what the team means to the people of Montreal and Quebec. He understands that local talent is important to these people, and he understands that the language is not an “issue”, but rather, a fact of life in Quebec. So, it’s a good bet that the man Savard finds to take the reins of the team will also understand this. There is no shortage of candidates, but many of the names being tossed around don’t seem to totally fit the criteria. Pierre Maguire, for instance, is a very knowledgable hockey man, but is he patient and reserved enough to handle a job of this stature? I don’t think the organization is looking for an excitable personality with potentially knee-jerk reactions like that of Maguire’s to guide this team back to respectability, and the same can be said in regards to Saint Patrick.

    If we are to believe Geoff Molson’s words yesterday, then we have to think that the next GM of the Montreal Canadiens will be a man who has been carefully selected, and has not only the hockey qualifications to run this team, but has a sense of what this team once was, and needs to be, going forward. A man who can help this team return to the class organization it once was. Not forgetting the past glories, but not dwelling on them either. A man who can bring this team into the present, and beyond. No small order, to be sure. I get the feeling that the successful candidate could end up being a surprise to all of us. It will definitely be interesting.

    • Cal says:

      I am not so sure this team is so far away.
      All it needs is a 2nd line and a 3rd line and 2 tough Dmen. ;)

      Seriously,
      DD-Cole-Pac
      Pleks- Gio- Bourque
      Eller-Leblanc- ?
      White- Staubitz- ?
      Markov- Emelin
      Subban-Gorges
      Kaberle- ?

      Price
      Budaj

      A couple of experienced fill-ins on D while we await Tinordi and Beaulieu.
      An impact draft pick this year that can make the team. (a 28th placed team can promote straight out of junior with a straight face).
      Gomez to Hamilton for no cap hit. If Kaberle doesn’t show up in shape, the same.

      Using the draft picks (7 in the first 2 rounds for this and next time) wisely could make the climb quick.

      • mark_ID says:

        I’d much rather have Bourque on the 3’rd line.

        Although it won’t be very easy getting a second line winger in this years free agency. I wonder if Doan is planning on continuing his career in Phoenix or not.

        Is it true that he is Carey’s cousin?? Would love to see him with Pleks and Gionta

        “Step off George”

      • TommyB says:

        My two cents in regards to your reply…..Bourque has been a complete disappointment. If he could be moved, do it sooner rather than later. I’d include Blunden in that mix of 4th liners, and try to find room for Moen somewhere. You left Gomez off (agreed), but you include Kaberle (oops, I see you did mention dumping him if possible). With regards to Beaulieu, I think he could step right in next year. He could be at the skill level, but would there be an open roster spot for him? Agree with you about the impact draft pick. No reason why, if you’re drafting 1st to 3rd, that player couldn’t help immediately. I haven’t noticed many other teams getting burnt by doing that. But the one thing not mentioned by you, and I think it is key, is who will coach this team and what will be his style or coaching philosophy. That, I think, could be the deal-breaker.

    • New says:

      Martin’s record speaks for itself. Open the rosters of the teams he coached and let him stand on it. There are too many Ottawa links on this team. Just because Timmins is great doesn’t mean the same light shines on the others.

      I think Gainey knew how far the organization had fallen and we have forgotten how far he brought it back. From no chance and no prospects to a chance and many prospects. All with a US owner with his own agenda.

      I think Gainey was let down by several of his choices. He took responsibility for each of those choices because, well, the buck stopped there. Now Savard will take responsibility for keying on the solution. He saw the Grundman effect. He saw the Cory effect. And if things had been different he may have been him making the Gauthier speech rather than Molson.

      • TommyB says:

        Perhaps Gainey knew how far the organization had fallen, and I certainly would be with you to acknowledge how far he had brought it back. I have never been a Gainey-basher. But if I could find criticism of Gainey’s tenure, it would be that it seems to me he had forgotten some of the elements that made those Montreal teams of his era so good. They had talented scorers, and they had physically tough players sprinkled all over the roster. We have seen precious few of those elements in the last 10 years.

  17. 24 Cups says:

    Toughest task for the new Hab GM?

    Answer: “Deciding who stays and who goes and the best way to handle both scenarios. Starting with Carey Price, the foundation for a relatively quick turnaround is there, so the new GM is going to have first assess the organization and then determine how extensive the renovation project is going to have to be. Canadiens ownership has a difficult task in hiring a new leader. There are a number of qualified, but somewhat inexperienced candidates out there, but a lot of damage can be done by those who go looking for the big splash trade or free agent signing – something the Habs will be mindful of as they go through the interview process. A more experienced GM will take stock of what there is to work with and map out the direction of the team from that point. Resisting the urge to lob a grenade at the Canadiens full NHL-AHL roster could be among management’s toughest tasks”. (TSN)

    I agree. There’s no need to try and hit a homerun right off the bat in terms of a blockbuster trade (Kessel, Vinny, Gomez) or make a long-term UFA signing (Cammy, Bryzgalov, Semin) just before the new CBA cuts the cap down to 50%.

  18. mark_ID says:

    Although it is definately a different feeling this year with knowing we won’t be making the playoffs, I find myself still remaining somewhat optimistic and excited that we should be getting a very high draft pick.

    My question is: who would you guys like to see our first and second round picks be??

    I’m guessing we will see either Grigorenko or Galchenyuk with our #1 pick

    I’m not too familiar with the prospects ranked between #25 and #40…….but it would be great if we could get another forward, with some size who can potential crack our lineup in the near future.

    “Step off George”

    • 24 Cups says:

      Forsberg and Faska could be in the mix if we fall back to 5th or 6th spot.

      As for our 2nd rounder, it sounds like Savard will want to pick a kid from the Q with French bloodlines. Or maybe that perceived need will fall to the Nashville pick.

      • mark_ID says:

        Yea….I’ve heard about Forsberg and Faksa…..but just considering the remaining opponents that we have….I guess I just invision us dropping no further back then 4th…….or am at least hopeful lol

        Yea I hear ya, nice that we have two second rounders this year too.

        “Step off George”

  19. The Dude says:

    Whomever the new GM is to be a radical format change to the Habs must be put in place to deal bigger teams like The Rangers,Bruins,Philly etc.
    The Habs must be turned into the Biggest Toughest And if Pushed Meanest team in the NHL With Giants in the back end and giants at forward .Then we need a real back up tender….

  20. SteverenO says:

    Not sure why there is such a consensus around diaz (bad) and emelin (good).

    I like Emelin physical play, and love to see those punishing checks he delivers but as for effectiveness, the numbers show that he is not even nearly as good as Diaz.

    Lets compare:

    Even strength defensively

    Emelin; one goal scored against for every 18 minutes of ice time
    Diaz: one goal scored against for every 24 minutes of ice time
    Huge advantage Diaz

    Even strength offensively

    Emelin; one goal scored against for every 27 minutes of ice time
    Diaz: one goal scored against for every 29 minutes of ice time
    Slight advantage Emelin

    Penalty Kill:

    Emelin : 9 PP goals scored against during 78 minutes of ice time
    Diaz : 2 PP goals scored against during 80 minutes of ice time

    HUMUNGOUS advantage Diaz

    Power Play:

    Emelin : 0 PP goals scored (team wide) during 11 minutes of ice time
    Diaz : 6 PP goals scored (team wide) during 97 minutes of ice time

    let’s call that a wash. Diaz numbers not very good, and , and Emelin not given the opportunity.

    It is pretty clear that Diaz was the far more effective player of the two this season. That doesn`t mean that he should be kept over Emelin, or that he has better long term potential, but it is puzzling to me why Diaz is held in such low regard, while Emelin is called by many here an “untouchable” and a part of the “core”.

    When they start awarding points for bodychecks, Emelin gets the nod over Diaz, hands down.

    Otherwise, I don`t get it.

    Steve O.

    • Say Ash says:

      ‘Cause we already have too many guys that play like Diaz. Emelin? Not so much.

    • mark_ID says:

      Well said sir!

      But i think everyone would agree, that this team is in need of some much needed aggresiveness on the back end.

      “Step off George”

    • aemarchand11 says:

      Diaz had PP time with Gill, which would boost anyones stats.

      • SteverenO says:

        Gill was overated , even on the PK.
        His average is one PP goal scored against for every 14 minutes of short-handed time on the ice. Exact same as Josh Georges.

        PK Subban averages one GA for every 19 minutes of short- handed time. Diaz 40 minutes is “off the chart”

        To say that his average was so good because he played with Gill is nonsense. If anything Gill`s average improved because of the time he played alongside Diaz. It is patently obvious that the opponents PP did not score very often while Diaz was on the ice.

        Likewise. an argument that the physical play of Emelin somehow makes him more effective than Diaz who doesn’t hit does not hold water. While Emelin is on the ice the other team scores a goal every 18 minutes despite his body checking prowess. While Diaz is on the ice (even strength) the other team scores only one goal every 24 minutes. With Emelin its one goal every 18 minutes. Of you prefer to give up more goals, just so you can hand out some physical punishment to the opposing team, than Emelin is your man. If, on the other hand you want your team to to allow fewer goals against then you have to give the nod to Diaz. (based on this years performance) .

        Its simple mathematics, and its really not that close.

        regards,

        Steve O.

    • Mattyleg says:

      Well, bodychecks do have a big impact (don’t pardon the pun; puns are unpardonable) on the game.
      It’s important for defencemen to play physically to throw opponents off their game.
      Hits?
      Emelin has 230 to Diaz’s 40.
      I don’t know how it breaks down to checks per game, but I have a feeling Emelin’s well in the lead there.

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • mark_ID says:

      Not to mention, although Emelin hasn’t put up many points at all…….I think he shows definate spurts of offensive flair, not sure if I’m the only one who thinks so.

      He seems to have a knack to jump into the rush. Especially while short handed.

      And some beauty set up attempts.

      “Step off George”

      • SteverenO says:

        see above: The team scores one goal every 27 minutes that Emelin is on the ice. Its not very good, but granted, it’s marginally better better than Diaz’s record of one goal every 29 minutes.

        In comparison The team scores once every 21 minutes with Subban, even strength, and every 22 minutes while Gorges is on the ice.
        Oh just for the heck of it, the team averages one goal scored every 26 minutes while Mr Kaberle is on the ice (even strength). They also allow one goal every 17 minutes with Kaberle.

        regards,

        Steve O.

    • Cal says:

      Diaz in his last 10 games or so was afraid to go into the corners after opposition wingers to get the puck. He and Weber and St.Denis have to go, especially if Kaberle is there for 2 more years. 2 good-sized stay-at-home hitting Dmen as 6 and 7 is needed to shore them up.

      • mark_ID says:

        I agree, we need big bodies( a la Mara) to shore up the 5,6,7 d positions.

        At least we have been getting bigger and tougher up front…now hopefully we can shore up the back end during the offseason.

        “Step off George”

      • Mr_MacDougall says:

        Exactly, Emelin and Subban are the only D in the Habs system that can provide physicality in the NHL. In an Ideal situation, the Habs would have Four physical defense-men.

        Markov + Physical (Subban)
        Gorges + Physical (UFA Bryan Allen??)
        Kaberle + Physical (Emelin)

        Spares: Physical (Gill or another UFA) and puck mover (Diaz).

        Hopefully when Kaberle’s deal is finished he can be swapped out for a solid D to play with Gorges.

        • GrimJim says:

          I think you might be better served with Kaberle/Allen, Markov/Emelin and Gorges/Subban. Subban is a physical presence but also an offensive one. With your lineup, you concentrate the scoring threat on two lines. This alternative has a offensive presence on all three pairings.

  21. huge_polar_bear says:

    Now for something unrelated…

    Vote for PK or Plecs for the cover of NHL 13…

    http://covervote.nhl.com/:b=firefox11/#/ballot

  22. LafleurGuy says:

    Serge Savard could enlist the egotist Donald Trump, and create “The Apprentice, Habs Version.”

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  23. Thomas Le Fan says:

    Yep! Fire Martin so he can’t drag a bunch of underachievers into the playoffs, grab a high draft choice and then bring him back! Does that make any sense at all? Only in Montreal?
    I can’t believe anyone is seriously considering Pierre McGuire, for any position with this team. Yesterday’s man is better off in the broadcasting booth where I can turn him off or turn the channel.
    As a G.M., Savard did a fine job in retrospect, why not just let him continue as interim G.M. for a few years?

  24. LafleurGuy says:

    As an old hockey fan, I’m still a learner when it comes to the nuances of this game. I’m astounded by how difficult is for smaller stature players to play defence. Personally, I think both Diaz and Campoli have superior skills, but they often looked overmatched. Same goes for the Leafies’ John Michael Liles. These players may be versions of the “tweener” players in the NBA, and the NFL. They’re usually an athletic player that just is the wrong size for any of the standard positions. Jacques Martin could identify the superior skills of undersized Raphael Diaz. A few months back, there was a Gazette article of four Swiss fans who trekked here mostly to watch Diaz who had legendary status in the Swiss Hockey League. hosts of the Spengler Cup, and where a HIO favourite, Glen Metropolit plies his craft.

    “May you live in interesting times.”

  25. sprague cleghorn says:

    Dale Talon. Sure, he’s under contract in Florida, but if M. Molson is really willing to do anything to win…

  26. 69HABS says:

    “Celebrity Habs GM”
    Now that a great reality TV Show ….

  27. boing007 says:

    Pat Hickey wants JM back. Non, merci.

    Richard R

  28. stevieray says:

    So JM is giving his opinion of the team …and the so called “key” elements …Give me a break …please !!!!!
    He basically ” skulled ” Eller and leblanc this year ..but what really makes me ” chuckle” is his inclusion of Daiz ..inhis “key” element comments ….
    JM as GM ….intervview ….give your head a shake man …
    it’s not April Fools day yet is it !!!!
    Someone …please….take the mic outta his hand

    • theox_8 says:

      hey now diaz is the next streit havent ya heard!!

      • HabFab says:

        News flash here, Diaz did better in his first year then Streit did in his and Diaz was two years younger to boot. If he does as well as Streit going forward, million dollar question?

        • stevieray says:

          Enough new flashes for me Habbby….but here’s one for ya …the Isles aren’t in the play offs either .
          I haven’t seen Diaz on the PP for quite a while ..but I will admit I see some similarites with Streit…so lets hope so ….but didn’t we get Kraperle to improve our PP….we know how that worked eh !

          • HabFab says:

            Who knows, I see a smart player but don’t know if he is strong enough. I certainly don’t see the need or how we can even afford 3-4 of his type but if we are keeping just one…he would be my choice.

        • theox_8 says:

          how about diaz,weber(yanick) , kaberle,campoli,subban, and gorges for our d lineup next year?

      • stevieray says:

        You pullin’ my saddlebags Partner ?

  29. LafleurGuy says:

    We need another reality show, “Canadiens GM Idol,” and the winner can sing his way into the job.

    “May you live in interesting times.”


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