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Why was Saku Koivu let go?

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Old
06-30-2011, 05:35 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by Roulin View Post
Yup, this makes sense.

Point being, lots of freaky good things happened in 07-08, lots of freaky bad things happened in 08-09. All of them were tangible, on-ice things. Intangible, captaincy related stuff did not sink the 08-09 season.
The Habs hit both extremes in the two seasons. First the best that could happen with no injuries and great scoring, then a bunch of injuries and no scoring.

Everyone overreacted, picked scapegoats, and that's that.

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06-30-2011, 06:08 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Roulin View Post
This post reflects the media view, but not the actual reasons for the 08-09 collapse.

In 07-08, when the Habs were 1st place in the eastern conference, the team was extraordinarily lucky, health-wise. This created unreasonable expectations for the next season.

In 08-09, Tanguay missed the second half of the season with a shoulder injury. Lang severed his achilles tendon and missed the second half and the playoffs. Markov missed the playoffs, after an injury in the last game of the season.

Of course, the team lost more than they won after these injuries. The media then went wild with the "room falling apart" narrative that they always go to during losing streaks - this time it was even more extreme - "the darkest day in Canadiens history."

Apparently fans still cling to that media narrative, even though the only one of the hyperbolic rumors that ever appeared to have any truth, was that the Kostitsyns and Hamrlik were friends with a gangster.
Interesting. Would you say Gainey should have kept kovy and koivu and rebuild the team around them?

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06-30-2011, 06:24 PM
  #53
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The Canadiens still haven't found the winger who could play on the first line i don't know what it is but at one point is was:

Zednik - Koivu - Higgins/Ryder/etc
Higgins - Koivu Latendresse/Ryder/etc
Tanguay - Koivu - Higgins/etc
Cammalleri - Plekanec - Kostitsyn/Halpern/etc

for some reason the just can't find a good winger to complete a full line.

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06-30-2011, 06:25 PM
  #54
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Because they had to keep only 1 centre. Mistake in my eyes. He should've been re-signed and retired as a Hab. He's all heart and puts up the points. But then again, they kept saying that Gomer was one of the reasons our current core signed here.

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06-30-2011, 06:29 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by HeShootsHeScores View Post
Interesting. Would you say Gainey should have kept kovy and koivu and rebuild the team around them?
No, they made the right choices. Both of those players are done now. I'm in LA now so I see Koivu quite a bit. He can do it for stretches of games, but then he's spent for awhile. Not nearly the same player he was.

Kovalev has fallen off the hockey map.

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06-30-2011, 06:35 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by ForeverAlone View Post
Yeah, and? Did that team achieve anything besides that?

That team was clearly not united and you could see a clear lack of leadership in it.

Edit: Surprised to notice that a lot of people still can't get the purpose of not signing Koivu after 2 years. Sad.
What has the team achieved since? got 1 round further 1 year and an early exit the next.

The team had bigger problems than Koivu not "uniting" the locker room, the team was missing NHL players, we had plugs and fillers to boot but no half-decent talent for years. We had/have the media scouring and nitpicking over every detail of the players lives on and off the ice, lack of NHL quality coaches, etc..

If Koivu had players with half the talent we have in the lineup today history would have told a much different story, instead of playing with the likes of Ryder, Ribeiro, Higgins, Dagenais, Samsonov, Ninnima and one-hit-wonder Theodore, to name a few.

The truth is that he was a convenient scapegoat and not re-signing him was a brain-fart on Gainey's behalf, right behind trading for Gomez, hiring Guy Carbonneu and Claude Julien as head coaches.

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06-30-2011, 06:38 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by tinyzombies View Post
No, they made the right choices. Both of those players are done now. I'm in LA now so I see Koivu quite a bit. He can do it for stretches of games, but then he's spent for awhile. Not nearly the same player he was.

Kovalev has fallen off the hockey map.
There you go. Koivu and kovy were not what the habs needed anymore, and the organization was too classy to rely koivu to bottom line duties and build stars over his head.

A good team is a team that can win without luck or with injuries. Koivu was too tired to make this competitive when unlucky things happened. It was not a panic move to get rid of koivu.

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06-30-2011, 07:16 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by Edgy View Post
What has the team achieved since? got 1 round further 1 year and an early exit the next.

The team had bigger problems than Koivu not "uniting" the locker room, the team was missing NHL players, we had plugs and fillers to boot but no half-decent talent for years. We had/have the media scouring and nitpicking over every detail of the players lives on and off the ice, lack of NHL quality coaches, etc..

If Koivu had players with half the talent we have in the lineup today history would have told a much different story, instead of playing with the likes of Ryder, Ribeiro, Higgins, Dagenais, Samsonov, Ninnima and one-hit-wonder Theodore, to name a few.

The truth is that he was a convenient scapegoat and not re-signing him was a brain-fart on Gainey's behalf, right behind trading for Gomez, hiring Guy Carbonneu and Claude Julien as head coaches.
You clearly don't understand anything in my post.

In fact, you took what I said about the team not being united and put it as if I said that Koivu was the only one to blame for it. The dressing room needed a drastic change, keeping Koivu would've countered that philosophy.

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06-30-2011, 07:22 PM
  #59
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It was time to move on. I found it gut wrenching, but what can you do? I just pray he wins the Cup one day.

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06-30-2011, 07:28 PM
  #60
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Put simply, he was paid a high salary to be a 2nd line center, almost always had under 20 goals a season. His contract was up and he'd have to have renegotiated a raise, and the organization decided to go another way.

Another possible reason is that, they wanted to go after a big name center to attract some superstar wingers (like Cammalieri and Gionta), but you couldn't have Koivu, Plekanec (who was clearly better) and Gomez..... that'd make Koivu a VERY expensive third liner.

Another reason, perhaps lost to most people, is that he had been captain of the team for 1 season less than Henri Richard. I suspect (and maybe i'm wrong here), that management felt that Koivu was not "great enough" to have earned breaking that record.

That may have played some part in the decision to let him go.
Why would he have negotiated a raise? He would've accepted 2-3 million like he got on open market.

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06-30-2011, 07:45 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by LyricalLyricist View Post
Why would he have negotiated a raise? He would've accepted 2-3 million like he got on open market.
Maybe the organization wanted to dodge a situation where they'd have to tell saku he was not worth much anymore. It might have been easier for saku to go in another team where he was seen as a stranger, instead of eventually becoming a stranger in the team he has played for so long.

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06-30-2011, 07:52 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by HeShootsHeScores View Post
Maybe the organization wanted to dodge a situation where they'd have to tell saku he was not worth much anymore. It might have been easier for saku to go in another team where he was seen as a stranger, instead of eventually becoming a stranger in the team he has played for so long.
I doubt it would be a problem, Koivu didn't mind being with the depth of Lang and Plek in Center position. He seemed to understand he can no longer attempt to carry the load and be the franchise player anymore.

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06-30-2011, 08:00 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by ForeverAlone View Post
Change the core of the team, rightfully so. It was rotten with flies all over it.
You do realize last season we finished eighth with 88 points? That was the worst season record we have posted in a decade. Funny how people seemingly forget how embarrassingly mediocre we were prior to our Cinderella run, which was almost completely due to Halak channeling Patrick Roy.

I honestly believe the reason Koivu was let go was because Gainey feared for his job. In our centennial season, we were awful, at least for a bubble team. With the contracts all coming up, there was a rare opportunity to clean house and he did precisely that. It is the only rationality I can fathom behind our acquisition of Scott Gomez, since in any other scenario resigning Koivu was the superior option. The fact Gainey bailed mid season when we were garbage puts credence in the argument. It was a near forgone conclusion if we missed the playoffs, he would have been fired, and we were doing a bang up job making it look like that would be the case. If by some miracle we made it to eighth, we were supposedly Washington fodder. No one expected Halak to glory run us to the Conference Finals.

Regardless, this is strictly my own opinion. I have never been fond of Gainey during his tenure. I will give him credit on signing Cammalleri and Gionta, who, while overpayment, were decent pick ups. I do not believe he was good for us though. Not when you consider how much a powerhouse we could have been if we retained Koivu, Tanguay, Kovalev, Higgins, McDonagh and still sign Cammalleri and Gionta. All by not trading for Gomez and signing Spacek. Hindsight is a dangerous thing I suppose.

Cammalleri - Koivu- Gionta
Tanguay - Plekanec - Kovalev
Higgins - Lapierre - Kostitsyn
?

Markov - Subban
Hamrlik - McDonagh /Weber
Gill - Gorges

Sorry, but that is much better line up than what we have now and hilariously it would have cost us less to ink it. Now I am not saying we necessarily would have kept Kovalev for instance but we had better alternative than Gomez and his albatross contract. I might also swap Koivu and Plekanec since the former lined so well with Tanguay and Kovalev however I would have loved to see our captain actually get proven snipers for a full season.

Edit: Notice how if Cammalleri was injured we could just move Kostitsyn up to fill in? No Moen on the first line. Ugh... now I hate Gomez more. >.>


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Old
06-30-2011, 08:03 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by ForeverAlone View Post
You clearly don't understand anything in my post.

In fact, you took what I said about the team not being united and put it as if I said that Koivu was the only one to blame for it. The dressing room needed a drastic change, keeping Koivu would've countered that philosophy.
Apparently, you're the one that's not getting it. Placing Koivu in the "part of the problem" category is completely absurd, as is saying that keeping him would have been counter productive. Getting rid of him was not a solution, it was another mistake to chalk up for management along with the ones mentioned previously.

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06-30-2011, 08:09 PM
  #65
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Apparently, you're the one that's not getting it. Placing Koivu in the "part of the problem" category is completely absurd, as is saying that keeping him would have been counter productive. Getting rid of him was not a solution, it was another mistake to chalk up for management along with the ones mentioned previously.
Whatever, let's agree to disagree. IMO, the mistake wasn't letting Koivu go.

What happens if instead of trading for Gomez, we would've traded for Eric Staal?

This thread wouldn't even exist.

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06-30-2011, 08:22 PM
  #66
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Originally Posted by Edgy View Post
Apparently, you're the one that's not getting it. Placing Koivu in the "part of the problem" category is completely absurd, as is saying that keeping him would have been counter productive. Getting rid of him was not a solution, it was another mistake to chalk up for management along with the ones mentioned previously.
Just to add fuel and bolster your argument

Saku Koivu
2008-09 || 65-16-34-50 || $3,250m
2009-10 || 71-19-33-52 || $2,500m
2010-11 || 75-15-30-45 || $2,500m

Scott Gomez
2008-09 || 77-16-42-58 || $7,357m
2009-10 || 78-12-47-59 || $7,357m
2010-11 || 80-7-31-38 || $7,357m

Hmm, we certainly went out and got an upgrade...

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06-30-2011, 08:26 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by Edgy View Post
What has the team achieved since? got 1 round further 1 year and an early exit the next.

The team had bigger problems than Koivu not "uniting" the locker room, the team was missing NHL players, we had plugs and fillers to boot but no half-decent talent for years. We had/have the media scouring and nitpicking over every detail of the players lives on and off the ice, lack of NHL quality coaches, etc..

If Koivu had players with half the talent we have in the lineup today history would have told a much different story, instead of playing with the likes of Ryder, Ribeiro, Higgins, Dagenais, Samsonov, Ninnima and one-hit-wonder Theodore, to name a few.

The truth is that he was a convenient scapegoat and not re-signing him was a brain-fart on Gainey's behalf, right behind trading for Gomez, hiring Guy Carbonneu and Claude Julien as head coaches.
I like you. I've given up trying to get people to see reason on that issue though, too many Gainey fanboys.

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07-01-2011, 01:12 AM
  #68
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Originally Posted by HeShootsHeScores View Post
Interesting. Would you say Gainey should have kept kovy and koivu and rebuild the team around them?
Not with Kovy, but maybe with Koivu? I don't know, Gainey was in a tough spot. Koivu was getting old, but there weren't (there never are) many top centers available, and the Habs didn't really have any center prospects at the time (Chipchura doesn't count). But, although his play was gradually declining, I don't think Koivu was as responsible for the team's failings as many claim.

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07-01-2011, 01:18 AM
  #69
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Not with Kovy, but maybe with Koivu? I don't know, Gainey was in a tough spot. Koivu was getting old, but there weren't (there never are) many top centers available, and the Habs didn't really have any center prospects at the time (Chipchura doesn't count). But, although his play was gradually declining, I don't think Koivu was as responsible for the team's failings as many claim.
I think its telling that in the time period between Gainey's great purge of 2009 and Holmgrem's great purge of 2011 the most significant centermen moved around to different teams are Jokinen, Lombardi and Morrison. Good centers almost never move because it leaves too big a hole in the team giving one up's lineup.

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07-01-2011, 01:49 AM
  #70
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Rofl @ Koivu taking nights off.

That must be a bad joke or something. The guy gave everything to this team and city, you're a disgrace to the CH for saying those words.
I don't think we need to be emotional about this. I loved Saku, but he frustrated me many a night with his failure to deliver the goods, and by that I mean individual performances that led to WINS. "Showing up" is more than just skating hard and burning calories. It's maintaining that mental edge and winner's mentality. I think toward the end, and a few seasons leading up to it, we saw a slower, less intense Saku. And I totally understand that. Who has the same vigor at 35 that they do at 25? But where guys like Lemieux, Sakic, Stevie Y, St. Louis, etc., had the pure skill to stay on top, Saku didn't, but he was still expected to be the Habs' best forward on the ice. Tall order for a guy who lives on his spunkiness.

I guess part of the blame goes to Habs' management for failing to find anything resembling a successor for many years leading up to his decline. The writing was on the wall, and they had many opportunities to find that guy, but they didn't get it done. There's no reason San Jose can get a Thornton, Tampa can get a St. Louis, etc., but the Habs can't get a single 90-point man in God knows how long.

Politics, that's what it was. The org. was drowning in it for too long. I have a feeling things are different now, though. Apart from the French coach/GM thing, which we all know about (and which is inconsequential anyway, IMO -- there's Franco talent in the NHL to burn), I get the sense now that their approach is cooler and less personality-driven. No more cliques or favorites. I like PG for this, and I was less than enthused about him taking over as GM.

I think he's going to surprise us.

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07-01-2011, 02:16 AM
  #71
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I'm the most pro-canadian fan of the team. I hate it when they surround the team with europeans, and all I want is canadians, canadians, canadians. but i got to say, that little finn had the biggest heart i've ever seen. It was a sad.....sad day, after all the memories he had given us, i wish we could have seen him hoist the cup here.
I just turnet 27, and started REALLY watching hockey and understanding it as an early teen... so right around when Saku came over to America and took over this team.

I have to say, over those more or less 15 years, no habs player won its place in my "favorites" like Saku...

Ryder's rookie season was phenomenal, Subban is on its way to become a superstar, Price has had some very high ups, Kovalev had an amazing year when he got 84 points... I remember Souray's 6 points game... I was in love with Bulis, thought he was the perfect fast skating 2nd liner... Theodore's hard/Vezina season was just stunning..

Yet, becaue of his hard work, his consistency, his battle with cancer, but mostly due to the fact that he did it all while playing with Mr. October Brian Savage and the likes (Petrov, Berezin, post-injury-Audette, Samsonov, Zednik, Czerkawski, etc etc) he is my favorite player ever. I will never forget how much of a warrior he was in the playoffs, how much he gave back to the city and community with all of his gifts to hospitals....

I still have a huge man-crush on Koivu.

Price might become a much more valuable player than him over time, but he doesn't have the personnality... The only current hab who could potentially take this spot over time, for me, in my heart, is Subban. We'll see what kindof man he can become.

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