Early 90's - Habs could have had Hawerchuk, LaFontaine & Gartner
Thought this was pretty interesting. I'm currently reading an old issue of THN's spinoff publication "Inside Hockey" where they discuss Serge Savard's pros and cons as Habs GM. Here are some notes:
"Fans and media alike harangued GM Savard at the end of the 89=90 season to trade for a high profile, offensive center. Two were available: Chicago's Savard and Winnipeg's Hawerchuk. Hawerchuk, deemed too slow a skater by the Montreal GM, went to Buffalo where he outscored Savard by 58 points over two seasons. But Savard stands by the trade."
"Savard is also guilty of not making several deals which could have reaped huge dividends. He could have acquired Pat LaFontaine from the Islanders for Shayne Corson and another player but was talked out of it by advisers. Savard also turned down acquiring Mike Gartner from Minnesota for Mark Pederson and Andrew Cassels, both of whom have since been traded."
Just for fun, how do you think this would have changed things?
The Gartner trade would have helped us a lot. Largely since we ended up giving Cassels and Pederson away for virtually nothing, IIRC.
OTOH, though, Corson was the centerpiece for the Damphousse deal.
If we get LaFontaine then we don't get Damphousse... and we also probably don't end up trading Richer for Muller (since LaFontaine would have solved the No. 1 center issue that Muller was brought in to fix)
Would LaFontaine/Richer had as good a playoffs for us as Muller/Damphousse did in 1992-93?
I'm actually not that sure of that.
However, getting Gartner would have helped in so many ways. The big thing is that having his added offense would likely have made us better in 1995, which in turn would have spared us from the
With the Gartner deal, we could have had a mini-dynasty in the mid-90s.
IMO would of loved to see Gardner in a HABS jersey. He was (still is) all class, just like our organization. LaFontaine, I am thinking didn't want to play for us, the Cnd dollar was hurting also.
I would of so enjoyed a mini-dynasty but we did pretty go with the players we had.
Muller was a HUGE piece of our success.
Wouldn't have setup much of a dynasty, really. The biggest reason for the decline of the '90's clubs was losing Roy and the league's economics. Otherwise they had a pretty good lineup in the mid '90's: Turgeon, Recchi, Damphousse, Koivu, etc... even in the late 90's Recchi, Corson, Koivu were a dynamite line (before being crippled by injuries and trades) along w. Vinny.
If you look at performance after 92-93 Cup, Turgeon was better than Lafointaine. Hawerchuk would have contributed more than Savard, but he still declined big time in a couple of years. Gartner wouldn't have done all that much, it may have prevented the Recchi trade, maybe not.
The one non-trade involving Savard that might have actually saved the franchise from the disastrous late '90's was what he was finalizing before being fired. Owen Nolan and Stephane Fiset for Patrick Roy. Yes, terrible to see Roy go, but Nolan alone would have been a huge help to the club, tremendously better than Rucinsky/Kovalenko/Thibault. He would have replaced LeClair, anyway.