Great interview by Tony with Blair MacKasey. I liked him before, but if the guy is not a candidate, Molson is an idiot.
The Wild have made some pretty astute moves in the last few years:
Pouliot for Latendresse, I think we will all agree.
Picking Brodziak off the scrap heap, putting him in a role he excels at.
It's early, but I really like the Schultz for Gilbert trade for the Wild.
It's hard to judge Havlat/Burns/2nd for Heatley/Setoguchi/Coyle/1st until we know what kind of pro Coyle turns into... but these trades were made possible by the Wild picking up Havlat as a UFA on a good value contract.
Deciding O'Sullivan was expendable in the Demitra trade looks great in hindsight.
They are clearly in a rebuilding phase, and some years they didn't have the budget to match teams like Calgary and Vancouver, but IMO a lot of their decision making has been positive. I think the Habs could do worse than MacKasey.
Long term vision towards continuously building through the draft, and acquisition of young promising players, and a keen eye towards when his own assets are over-valued by the market, and when others are undervalued.
Whoever that is, we need to find them and let them do their work.
What I do not want is a "results now" GM. I want a GM with a vision towards a dynasty, a perennial powerhouse, a team that is feared, and respected.
none of this veterans get preferential treatment humbug
has to want the team to play tough
have the team playing proactive and not reactive
great motivator that can light a fire under the whole teams ass
does not play players outside their comfort and within what they are good
1) Clear vision to create Montreal into a long term contender and a realistic plan on how to do it.
2) Media-savvy. Someone who can not only handle the inevitable pestering of the Montreal media but can deflect some of the pressure from the players. It would also be nice if we had someone who could use our media when drumming up interest for players on the block. When a media figure tries to create controversy, don't deflect, reflect.
3) Professional mentality. None of this, firing on game-day, traded in-game or feeding an interim coach to the wolves. The organization is a team and those in leadership positions have to remember that. Former Red Wing players and staff always praise how that organization treated everyone respectfully and like adults. We need to emulate that. If a media figure is trying to create a soap opera for more readers/viewers then they are the enemy.
Im going to back it up a step, we need the right owner and this is where we see if Molson is it. Doesnt matter how good the GM and Coach are, if Molson tells the GM the priority is to make the play-offs this year, we are in trouble because the GM will make short term patchwork moves and the Coach will have no patience with players, and the young guys will mostly suffer. Molson must let the GM develop at least a 3 year plan and give him that time. In turn, the GM must assure the Coach he will have a few years behind the bench, like Burke supports Wilson ( though Wilson appears to suck ) so that the Coach is patient with the young guys and tries to develop them. Will also be telling if Molson is willing to send Gomez to the minors or at least buy him out to get that albatross contract off the GM. If Gillett was the owner Im sure all the answers would be the right ones, he was the right owner because he was willing to spend even when he was losing money because he wanted a winner, it remains to be seen with Molson.
The GM must be professional as said in an earlier post and must treat the players with respect. The GM must also be front and centre protecting his coach, like Burke, and players, like Gainey did with Brisbois when he told the boo-birds to shut-up or stay home as they were not wanted at the games. Obviously the GM must be sharp and be a good assessor of talent and absolutely believe that true success will be found only in good drafting and player development. We cant keep losing on trades where we slowly diminish our assets, such as Tender, SK, Dags and we cant afford megablunders like Ribs ( lost a top 2 centre for 0 return or that Gomez fiasco ). The GM must view trading as a last resort. While the GM must let the Coach coach, it must be the right Coach and the Coach must appreciate that he must use the players he has and develop them because the GM will not just throw away the players in trades , like JM caused PG to do. GM must be patient with the temperment and immaturity of youngsters and make sure the Coach is like that as well.
The Coach. I have already pointed out alot about the Coach I want through the GM part in terms of player treatment. The Coach must not be an ass, I really didnt like some of the snide stuff that came out of JMs mouth ie AK playing well, contract year he said. The Coach needs to look out for his players and communicate with them. I want a Coach who will assess the players he has as individuals and try to maximize their abilities as opposed to having a system that he tries to force players into regardless of the nature of the player, JM with his rigid defensive system and RC with this dump and chase stuff. I want a Coach who wants to utilize our size ( yes, size ) and speed to play a more aggressive style of play. The Coach must be smart enough to be able to adapt.
Thats about it.
What exactly qualifies him to be a GM? He's been out of the league for almost 10 years. That hire would make no sense. GMs need to be on the pulse of the league 24/7 to be successful. Even a guy like McGuire would be more qualified than him considering he does a lot of games and talks to a lot of people.