until we can beat teams like new jersey and boston, we're not fine. A win against a bad penguins team does nothing. this is our centennial year, and anything short of a cup should be rendered as a disappointment. there are many flaws with this team, and i wish gainey does something to address them.
There are two ways to manage your team in the NHL – the Fast and the Smart.
Fast way – tank a few years to get great picks. Think offense and talent. When the time seems right go and trade future for rentals to make one good PO run, maybe even win the cup. Then sign your top star players for huge bucks long term with NTCs to keep them here and happy. Lose the « middle group » because of cap issues. Start losing and not making the playoffs (though the star players will put up good numbers). Fire coach. Change management /ownership. Fire coach again. Implode. Get back to square 1.
Examples : Tampa, Senators, Penguins (others could be found too – I see the Caps going the same route soon enough).
Smart way – be a constant contender. Build based on good drafting and develloping in the minors. No rushing players. Take your time. Never overpay a player even if it means losing him. No huge salary primadona. Few if any trades/free agents, when they are well thought and they do not cost you much. Think defence – good system and hard work. Never panic, no matter how long the losing streak is.
Examples : Red wings, Devils.
It seems to me pretty obvious that the current Habs management wants to go the smart way taking Detroit and the Devils as models. And I really like it, especially since it means putting up with all the pressure to « win now! » they get.
What this means :
- Unless the opportunity is great (Tanguay, Rivet, Lang, Hammer) , Bob will not make a trade or signing
- He will never overpay a player just to keep him – see Souray and Streit. He will make a decent offer to all UFAs this summer and maybe some RFAs. If they won’t take them – so be it.
- Money can’t buy you loyalty – you have to build it by treating players with respect (I’m pretty shocked to see how loyal some great guys are to the NJ organisation : Pat Burns, Martin Brodeur, Larry Robinson). Players have to want to play here.
- No panic in any moment. Even if we get on the PO on the 7-8 slot we still have a good chance. And we will be better next year. Then next year.
- Solid defensive system that players have to buy or they are out.
- In general, stick with your principles. Bob’s principle for drafting is « take the highest one on your list available ». This got us Price. This got us Pacioretty, against all critics.
Most of the critics/whining/attacks the team gets here and elsewhere come from people who would actually prefer the fast way. Buy a big star (french speaking if possible). Score tons of goals and win this year ! And make it quick ! Sell the farm - there are too many there anyway...and so on.
The opposite of this thread is the reason why I'm never around when we lose. I don't need to shout my frustrations regarding the team. I tend to be positive in all aspects of life and rarely do I get into despair over a losing streak, which is not a given to the majority who rather go into panic mode quite easily, and makes for ridicule content on the board.
I will always believe, because life is all about cycles, and anyday now, any moment soon, it will be this team's time to shine like it hasn't shone in years.