After the 1977-78 seam GM Sam Pollock stepped down from his position with the Canadiens, Coach Scotty Bowman had believed that he was in line for the job but was passed over in favour of Irving Grundman. Furious after being slighted like that he left the team after the following season to become coach and GM of the Sabres. So my question is how would the history of the Habs have unfolded if Bowman had been GM through the 80s. Would he have kept the dynasty going or would the team still have slipped into mediocrity regardless? I also wonder if he would have given up coaching or held both positions at the same time...I think the only sort of coach that could live up to his standards would be someone like Mike Keenan, what a combo that would make running a club - Bowman/Keenan keeping armylike discpline and motivating the players to excel. Hopefully he would have made smarter trades and drafted better.
The decision to install Irving Grundman as GM, (he turned out to be a dude) was made by Sam Pollock and Jean Beliveau.
They rationalized that Bowman just wasn't GM material. Pollock witnessed many demands to trade different players after a bad game and do things while being in an irational zone. Hardly the cautious and thought-out traits necessary to succeed as a GM.