Bob Gainey's secret weapon.....
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09-05-2008, 12:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Originally Posted by
This is something I was thinking about for a long time and I never read or heard about anything similar. I know I'll get insightfull comments here so here it is.
Have you wondered how come Markov and AKost signed contracts that were obviusly under their market value ? Home discount ? That hardly works with other teams in the league - and these guys are russian (and belorussian to be precise) not Montrealers. And let's not mention taxes...
Or why did Cristobal Huet and Michael Grabovski get traded for peanuts ? Many people saw the Huet trade as a GM failure, while in fact it was a stroke of genius - you will see later why.
Why Bob Gainey made so few trades involving roster/established players ? He always prefers offering picks and prospects.
Or why did the team backup 100% all of its players everytime they got attacked for one reason or another? O'Byrne's purse, Grabovski's plane, Kovalev's russian interview's, Koivu's french etc.
Or why did guys like Samsonov, Ryder and Grabovski get so many "second" chances ? To our exasperation?
The answer is simple - Bob Gainey is a nice guy and/or a brilliant psychologist. He knows (first hand) that unlike in NHL08, players are human beings that want to be treated as such.
Two weeks after the Huet trade I heard Pierre Boivin saying on CKAC "Cristobal did a lot for the Canadiens - We owed him this one". In other words, the Huet trade was done for Cristobal Huet's interest and not for the team (who got close to nothing in exchange). It was a "thank you" gesture - instead of keeping you as a second goalie behind Price and barely playing you for the rest of the season, we will put you in a position where you can actually earn a 1st goalie spot and raise your market value for the future contract. Seems it worked for him.
After the Grabovsky trade Gainey said (though it went unnoticed) that "Michael asked to be traded". And he was put in a team where he has a good chance of performing well. Like Mike Ribeiro, Theo and Rivet.
My interpretation of all this is that Gainey respects the players - he knows that what players hate the most is being treated as Pokemon cards (the reason for all the NTCs). He probably never trades an established player against his will. This explains a lot of "Gainey's inertia" at trade deadlines - the best trades are the one you do not do.
Even the failed Hossa trade gets another meaning now - Gainey could have got it by addng some 3rd-4th liner to the initial deal but the message he sent to his team by refusing to do that was "we respect you and we won't trade you like pieces of meat, even for someone like Hossa". A winner in the long run.
The real value of the Huet trade is seen in the Akost signing. And in the future signings (with important home discounts) of Komisarek, Higgins, Plekanec and others.
What looked like a failure at some moments from him as a GM was in fact a master move. When you join the Montreal Canadiens you do not need an NTC clause - you get a (verbal) one by default.
And this is why as habs fans we are lucky to have the best GM in hockey for years to come.
GO BOB GO!!!!!!!!
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