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10-24-2011, 05:20 PM
Miller Time
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Originally Posted by 7th Player View Post
Really like your post!

My observations:

You refer to ''steeler brand'' of football. What would a ''Habs brand'' of hockey be? I have trouble answering that question. Think for the last decade and more, we've been trying to rely on hot goaltending and hot powerplay to get us through. This needs to change.
highly skilled/aggressive offensively (defense that can/does support the attack)
physically tough players sprinkled in lineup but NO pure goons
elite goaltending

i never got to watch the habs from the glory days, but the descriptions seem to point to a team that played aggressive hockey, so as a basis I'd personally like to see that emphasis returned.

it actually goes a bit against my personal team sports bias (i'm a "defense wins championships" guy at my core), but i think the great attacking teams actually end up strong defensively by virtue of the opposing teams playing on their heels.

in many ways, i think we have some strong organizational pieces to make that happen in a pretty short time.

Price (elite goaltending for the next 15 yrs assuming we don't mess up and watch him leave)

Subban, Markov, Weber* is a nice start on defense
(with Beaulieu, Tinordi, Bennett in the pipelines)

(*i actually believe Weber will top-out as a very solid, 30-40pt+ 2nd pairing dman once he hits his prime, i just hope it's with us)

MaxPac, Eller, Cammalleri, Pleks is a good base on offense
(with Leblanc, Bournival, Gallagher all looking to be well suited to be excellent complementary players who can skate/score)

if you take that group, and then had ~21M$ tied up in 3 more elite"ish" players (acquiring them is obviously the challenge, but, established elite players do become available often enough that if you were determined to make it happen, over the course of 2-3 seasons a schrewd GM would get it done)

gomez/gionta/spacek/cole = ~21M$

so the challenge is navigating the next few seasons in a way that you avoid tying up cap space on overpaid veterans, and work aggressively to reallocate that cap space towards truly elite players.

not an easy task, and would require some patience (i.e not wasting 4.5M$ on an Erik Cole, overpaying for "need" without actually making the team significantly better).

Originally Posted by 7th Player View Post
Regarding the organizational leadership point, I fully agree once more. I feel like Pierre Gauthier has no leadership qualities. He rarely expresses his opinions and concerns and I think that reflects on the players. There is no emotion shown to the media and therefore to the fans and I think people are sick of that.
absolutely agree...

I took some flack during the playoffs last year on the board for blasting PG's reaction after a loss in the series vs Boston. I contrasted his complete lack of emotion with the overflowing emotion seen from Neely/Chiarelli after each game.

I actually went as far as to say it disgusted me, and it did... If you don't have the passion for winning that is strong enough to pierce through an otherwise calm demeanor, that tells me you really aren't emotionally invested.
While it is a business, and a GM needs to manage his emotions, especially when it comes to making calculated roster decisions, to be completely stoic when your team losses a playoff game (and i think it was game 5, which put us on the brink of elimination instead of sending us home with a chance to win the series), at a time where you actually have a pretty limited role aside from supporting the coaching staff (and yes, to a degree making observations for on-going player evaluations...), is appalling imo.

By his reaction, you couldn't even tell if he was watching a sporting contest or a spelling bee... seriously, there was nothing, not even a hint of disapointment.

Stoic leadership has it's value, and it's place, but so does emotion. Too much can be a bad thing, but none at all is a terrible thing.

GM of the Montreal Canadiens NEEDS to care, deeply, about the franchise, it's history, it's importance to the community far beyond win's/losses, and needs to feel the burden of responsibility to live up to the tradition that made it the institution that it is.

GM of the Senators, the ducks, the yotes, bolts, blues and sharks is NOT the same, at least it shouldn't be.

Canadiens are a business, but to so many they are far more than that, and the organization needs to hire people who understand, and live that tradition.

I can't speculate about what's inside PG's heart and head, but his public displays do not inspire confidence that they are in the right place, and that is a problem imo.

Originally Posted by 7th Player View Post
The Steve Yzerman / Guy Boucher tandem would have been perfect in Montreal. Both are young, passionate and have great communication skills. While Gauthier and Martin have their qualities, I don't think they have what it takes anymore in their respectful positions in the NHL.

The future of this league is through youth. Time to realize this M. Molson.
Yup... i think people mistakenly believe that the regret over missing the Boucher/Yzerman boat were just reactionary, or just the usual "novelty" attraction.

they were not, at least in my case.

I read about as much sport reporting as I can get my hands on, and there was a fantastic article in the G&M on Boucher about a year ago...
without going into big details, it was the most compelling piece I've read in recent memory on an NHL coach (and I've read tons praising whomever was on a hot streak at the time). Everything about his meteoric rise in the coaching profession, the way his success has been achieved, and perhaps most importantly, the kinds of things his current/former players say about him (which, at least in that article, were more developped than the typical coach praise), all point to a guy who is a rare talent in his profession.

The "Mike Tomlin" type who steps in and has immense success right away, and the kind that will likely enjoy a long and remarkable career.

We had him, in our organization, and we let him slip away in favor of the epitome of "business as usual" (not a terrible thing, when talking about keeping a proven winner... disastrous when talking about a guy who has never won despite decades in the job).

As for Yzerman, my take on him was simple...

He BECAME* and excellent leader (on top of being a star) as a player for a franchise that was the cream of the crop for over a decade...
and then instead of quickly moving to a leadership role for some other franchise (which he likely could have navigated pretty soon), he had the humbleness and foresight to spend 5 years working under a GM he respected immensely so that he could truly "learn" the business.

( * i say became, because it's relatively well documented that Yzerman, despite always being driven & having a killer work ethic, was not a very good leader early in his career, and yet finished his career considered the epitome of leadership... not all talented players, especially at his elite level, have the mental/emotional make-up to make that kind of transition... and reflects the kind of "always learning/growing" attitude that people who success follows around almost always show).

not too mention working with Hockey Canada during that time, and serving as the "GM" for Team Canada's gold medal winning team... proving he could deliver results under immense pressure (and testing himself in the process).

So far from having "not enough experience" I'd argue that the guy had EXACTLY the kind of experience a GM for the habs needed, on top of having the pedigree and the winning spirit that this franchise was once synonymous with.

That he was available, and at a time where Gainey was ready to move on, makes it all that much worse that we didn't have the internal leadership that saw the opportunity and pounced on it...

I seriously doubt Yzerman would have hesitated one second to take over in Montreal, and if he had early enough, I bet there is no way he would have let Boucher walk, even if it meant taking the bold step of saying goodbye to a JM who was coming off of a conference finals appearance. No surprise that one of Yzerman's first moves was to target, and land, hockey's brightest coaching prospect.

Depressing really, opportunity like that doesn't come up often, and we missed the boat badly.

Even if PG/JM were to get canned now, or this summer, there really isn't anyone that I can think of that jumps out, the way these two did, as a "no-brainer"...

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