Thread: Biggest Bust
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01-22-2013, 01:16 PM
  #70
HabsByTheBay
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In terms of just playing career, MS's post on Daniel Dore is pretty convincing.

But I'm going with Wickenheiser based on how his failure to excel (though he did become a good third liner with the Blues) really changed the course of the Canadiens and the league.

I think most of us know that Wickenheiser over Savard is one of the key moments in the downfall of the Canadiens. It gets mentioned every bit as often as Grundman over Bowman, Chelios for Savard (more on that later), the firing of Demers and Savard, Le Trade, Rejean Houle and all the other pivotal moments in the last 30+ years of Canadiens hockey.

Drafting an Prairie guy who stank over a Quebecois who had a Hall of Fame career arguably created the furor every time the Canadiens or Nordiques had a draft pick and didn't pick a Quebecois. Nationalism also had something to do with that, but is Doug Wickenheiser responsible for the selection of Daniel Dore, Jose Charbonneau and so on? Maybe he is! I don't know for certain if he created the pick-a-Quebecois pressure that always haunted the Habs and Nords, but there's absolutely no question the Wick pick drove it into the stratosphere.

Perhaps the resulting fallout helped install ultra-PR conscious Ron Corey as GM, who systematically ran off Canadiens captains in the 90s. Corey's a huge hand behind the scenes in trashing the Habs legacy, since he basically crossed paths with every player and coach who wasn't a saint like Jean Beliveau. You prove the Wick pick bought Corey to the presidency and you've got a murder case on your hands.

It definitely contributed to the worst trade the Habs ever made, dealing Chelios for Savard. Chelios was going anyway - he'd pissed off too many people in Montreal and the team (Corey) didn't stand up for him - but would they have made a better deal if not for the lure of bringing home Savoir-Faire? Probably.

Those are just a couple of knockon effects from the Wickenheiser pick that I can think of off the top of my head.

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