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Interesting read Sam Pollock

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Old
12-01-2011, 09:54 AM
  #1
TheRedKnight
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Interesting read Sam Pollock

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...00/1/index.htm

So with all this talk of firing the coach and GM, I wanted to know if one of the most successful GM's in Canadiens history spoke french. The answer to that question is yes, but in reading this article, it was clear that the previous powerhouse teams were built on drafting and trading for prospects.


<A gruff high school dropout who bears little resemblance to the sort of glad-handing boulevardier you might expect to be running the dashing Canadiens, Pollock is a paunchy 5'6�", with slitted eyes and a viselike mouth. Although he speaks French as well as English, he says so little for publication in either language that reporters invariably write about his mannerisms rather than his words.>

<Pollock prefers to build his juggernauts gradually. "There's a temptation in sports to try to buy instant success," he says. "You keep reading where teams make trades to help them this season. We hardly ever do that. We make deals that will help us three or four years from now.">

<Pollock also waited out the two years—1974 and 1975—that the Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup. Philadelphia-style intimidation became all the rage in the NHL during that period, and some Montreal sportswriters second-guessed Pollock for not following suit. Anguished by the Flyer success, Pollock nevertheless stuck to the Canadiens' traditional skating game, refusing to transform the Flying Frenchmen into the St. Catherine Street Bullies. "You've got to have a plan and stick to it," he says. "It's like building a house." Pollock was vindicated last year when Montreal skated to a 58-11-11 record, the best in NHL history, then won 12 of 13 playoff games, including a four-game sweep of Philadelphia in the finals.>

<Examples of Pollock's craftiness abound. Want a promising young player? The Oakland Seals did in 1970 and Pollock dealt them Left Wing Ernie Hicke, a pretty good rookie. But wait. As part of the deal Pollock got Oakland's 1971 first-round choice, and when that turned out to be the first pick overall, he drafted Guy Lafleur, now the two-time NHL scoring leader and the game's best all-round player. Sly, too, was the way Pollock kept archrival Boston from drafting amateur Goalie John Davidson in 1973. Pollock owned the draft pick just ahead of the Bruins and he dealt it to less-menacing St. Louis, which grabbed Davidson.>

These are some excerpts and it makes you think when was the last time we had a shrewd general manager ready to wheel and deal for the future?

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12-01-2011, 10:05 AM
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MasterDecoy
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so... that's what i've basically been saying all along: patience.

too bad habs fans in general have none.

if pollock was the GM today, people would still be calling for his head

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12-01-2011, 10:07 AM
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He also dealt Backstrom in 71 to the Kings to keep them from sliding down letting Oakland move ahead...thus keeping the 1st overall pick that year and guaranteeing Lafleur wore the blue blanc rouge.

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12-01-2011, 10:08 AM
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Well it's not like those Habs weren't tough either

Comparing the late 70's Habs to the current cute midgets roster?



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12-01-2011, 10:10 AM
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Karl Pilkington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterDecoy View Post
so... that's what i've basically been saying all along: patience.

too bad habs fans in general have none.

if pollock was the GM today, people would still be calling for his head
Pollock versus Gauthier... really? Camonnnnnnnnn'!!!!

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12-01-2011, 10:13 AM
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MasterDecoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Pilkington View Post
Pollock versus Gauthier... really? Camonnnnnnnnn'!!!!
wa?

where did i say that?

of course pollock is better. but knowing habs fan (and being one myself), people would still be calling for his head.

were just made that way...

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12-01-2011, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterDecoy View Post
so... that's what i've basically been saying all along: patience.

too bad habs fans in general have none.

if pollock was the GM today, people would still be calling for his head
I think the fans would be patient if at least the games were half entertaining.

We waited 5 years with Gainey's plan, which never lead to anything.

I don't see how this new plan's going.

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12-01-2011, 10:14 AM
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Karl Pilkington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halifaxhab View Post
He also dealt Backstrom in 71 to the Kings to keep them from sliding down letting Oakland move ahead...thus keeping the 1st overall pick that year and guaranteeing Lafleur wore the blue blanc rouge.
The team culture now is to honour the past.. to stay in the past.. to not move forward. During the centennial we heard all those greats talk about now how its time to pass on the torch and for this current version of the habs to do something different.. not with this culture and attitude where we are stuck in the past. It makes the team too slow to react. It takes too long to make decisions and by the time a decision is made the opportunity has past.

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12-01-2011, 10:31 AM
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Oh to have Pollock steering the ship. The closest to him would seriously be Scotty Bowman and I can't see him coming out of so called retirement.

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12-01-2011, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Seb View Post
I think the fans would be patient if at least the games were half entertaining.

We waited 5 years with Gainey's plan, which never lead to anything.

I don't see how this new plan's going.
Which plan the top 10 in the league? Wait 7-8 years at least ....

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12-01-2011, 10:45 AM
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Karl Pilkington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterDecoy View Post
wa?

where did i say that?

of course pollock is better. but knowing habs fan (and being one myself), people would still be calling for his head.

were just made that way...
Yeah you are probably right.. in this day and age anyway (I say that sentence and I'm 25..) when everyone puts such weight in their opinion.. make love to their opinion at night.. In the past it wasn't this way, so while Pollock was definitely questioned there was a certain respect for people in positions of authority because they did things to earn that respect. Gauthier's style of secrecy and control is not in line with his level of success.. he acts that way all out of ego.. if he had developed into that over the course of putting winning teams together he'd have my respect for being that way.. but he hasn't and he doesn't.

Gainey did.. as much as he was secretive and all that he had the right intentions and wasn't afraid to make moves when he had to. Like firing Carbo, like dismantling a group that was never going anywhere. He made some mistakes but he wasn't afraid to act in order to win.

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Old
12-01-2011, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSorleyStick View Post
Well it's not like those Habs weren't tough either

Comparing the late 70's Habs to the current cute midgets roster?


Maybe a turning point in the Habs/Flyers balance of power was the time Big Bird stepped to Dave Schultz and showed that the Nova Scoita V's have arrived. (I also remember the Sens team stepping to the TML (who owned them in the play-offs) and just showing them - things are going to be different.

As much as we give credit to the GM's/coaches for foresight planning and strategy they don't play the games and can't effect mental circmustances like that.

its all opinions and I'm not trying to usurp the thread to be a toughness one but there is something to that... imho.

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12-01-2011, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSorleyStick View Post
Well it's not like those Habs weren't tough either

Comparing the late 70's Habs to the current cute midgets roster?


The best Habs teams always had a certain element of toughness, at least a few guys who could hold their own and defend their teammates.

But, and someone older than me could correct me if I'm wrong, the Habs were never considered an intimidating team, were they? I know a turning point against the Bullies was when Robinson beat them at their own game, and the Habs of the 70s were never intimidated by the Bruins or Flyers, but they stuck to their identity of being a speed team. I never heard anyone who praises the 70s Habs talk about how tough they were the way Boston and Philly fans always do, certain players yes, but the team no.

Likewise this current team has followed a similar path, addressing the need for big, physical players who also fit into the transition game - White and Pacioretty last year, Cole and Emelin this year.

Anyway the point is that this team needs to find its own identity, not try to copy other teams to try and find a winning formula. I feel like some people on this forum want us to be the Bruins.

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12-01-2011, 11:28 AM
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Not to downplay Pollock's achievements, but the reason he was able to do stuff like that was because back then, it was a completely different game. Other GM's didn't have the tools and the money they do today for scouting, development, etc. The business of hockey is a lot more serious now and you can't take advantage of other GM's like you could once do if you were much more informed (Pollock was ahead of his time in that way, and could potentially do quite well in this day and age - but even if he was GM in his prime now, you couldn't expect to win a Stanley Cup every other year. (Also there are now 30 teams in the league!)

With the extra parity and the way drafting is set up, no matter how good of a GM you are, you'll likely never get dynasties like the Habs of old.

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12-01-2011, 11:33 AM
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yeah, but could Pollock speak french?

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12-01-2011, 11:41 AM
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One of my favourite hockey stories ever:

From Wikipedia:

Quote:
Among one of his shrewdest moves, was a series of trades in which the Canadiens obtained the first overall pick in the 1971 NHL Entry Draft, the year in which Guy Lafleur would be eligible. It appeared as if the first overall selection would be held by the California Golden Seals so he persuaded Seals owner Charlie Finley to trade the Seals' pick and François Lacombe in return for Montreal's first round pick and a veteran Ernie Hicke. However, during the 1970-71 season, the Los Angeles Kings were playing even more poorly than the hapless California Seals. The Kings were in danger of "beating" the Seals out for last place, and if this happened Pollock would lose his first overall pick. Pollock cleverly traded the aging but still valuable Ralph Backstrom to the Kings for two insignificant players. Backstrom's presence lifted the Kings out of last place, the Seals finished at the bottom, granting the Habs the first pick. Pollock hesitated between Lafleur and Marcel Dionne, but chose Lafleur with his overall no.1 pick.

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12-01-2011, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterDecoy View Post
so... that's what i've basically been saying all along: patience.

too bad habs fans in general have none.

if pollock was the GM today, people would still be calling for his head
patience is useless without a clear plan in place... yet to see Gauthier's.


also painfully missing from the equation, is shrewdness. Without that, patience is nothing more than hesitation, which is what PG seems more endowed with.

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12-01-2011, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Pilkington View Post
The team culture now is to honour the past.. to stay in the past.. to not move forward. During the centennial we heard all those greats talk about now how its time to pass on the torch and for this current version of the habs to do something different.. not with this culture and attitude where we are stuck in the past. It makes the team too slow to react. It takes too long to make decisions and by the time a decision is made the opportunity has past.
This team isn't exactly stuck in the past. Americans and Europeans playing system hockey isn't quite the almost entirely Canadian team of the 1970s who played a speedy, offensive game (while remaining defensively responsible).

I always took it to mean "Yo jerkbags, win some Cups like we did and stop looking for your next contract."

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12-01-2011, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by MasterDecoy View Post
so... that's what i've basically been saying all along: patience.

too bad habs fans in general have none.

if pollock was the GM today, people would still be calling for his head
?????

Management has done the complete opposite of what Polloch did.

Polloch traded away vets for picks and prospects. We do not do this. We let guys walk for zero and invest in mediocre free agents. Even worse we've dealt away one of our best prospects for small short term gains. And it's really funny that you bring up the word patience because that's exactly what management is not. Instead of patiently rebuilding we go out and stack the team with guys like Gomez, Cammy, Gionta and Cole... decent hockey players individually but collectively not a team that will take you anywhere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fufonzo View Post
Not to downplay Pollock's achievements, but the reason he was able to do stuff like that was because back then, it was a completely different game. Other GM's didn't have the tools and the money they do today for scouting, development, etc. The business of hockey is a lot more serious now and you can't take advantage of other GM's like you could once do if you were much more informed (Pollock was ahead of his time in that way, and could potentially do quite well in this day and age - but even if he was GM in his prime now, you couldn't expect to win a Stanley Cup every other year. (Also there are now 30 teams in the league!)

With the extra parity and the way drafting is set up, no matter how good of a GM you are, you'll likely never get dynasties like the Habs of old.
There's definitely some truth to this but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if he were the GM of this team we'd have seen a rebuild long ago. Mr. Polloch understood the value of the draft and did everything he could to get as many top picks as he could. It didn't always work (he tried to get Potvin from Bill Torrey but he wouldn't budge) but he was a visionary in that he would deal players who were over the hill for future value. Those principles still hold true today and I'm sure we'd be much better off with him at the helm.

Just too bad he's not available. Maybe JoJo Savard can step in and conjure up his wisdom for us. I'm sure she'd make a great GM if she could channel his moves.

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12-01-2011, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
?????

Management has done the complete opposite of what Polloch did.

Polloch traded away vets for picks and prospects. We do not do this. We let guys walk for zero and invest in mediocre free agents. Even worse we've dealt away one of our best prospects for small short term gains. And it's really funny that you bring up the word patience because that's exactly what management is not.
Exactly!!!
Letting players walk for nothing is horrible asset management.

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12-01-2011, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafleurs Guy View Post
?????

Management has done the complete opposite of what Polloch did.

Polloch traded away vets for picks and prospects. We do not do this. We let guys walk for zero and invest in mediocre free agents.
True. I have always felt badly that over the past few years we let a lot of guys go to free agency for nothing but to make the playoffs. Souray we kept, and we did not make the playoffs that year. Streit. Then in 09 we had Koivu, Kovalev, Komi, etc. Koivu and Kovalev could have fetched a decent return during the deadline scramble.

In Gauthier's defense though, he has not been in that situation. But there were a lot of missed opportunities with Gainey, who was too slow to pull the trigger for years, until
he really had to.

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12-01-2011, 11:49 PM
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Great hit there.

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12-01-2011, 11:50 PM
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Wrong thread lol.

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12-02-2011, 12:16 AM
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MasterDecoy
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yeah, but could Pollock speak french?
... ... ... yes

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12-02-2011, 07:26 AM
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All 30 GM's want to be a Sam Pollock type of guy now...he was way ahead of his time...

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