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Bob Gainey: Or Why He's A Good GM

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Old
03-07-2009, 10:35 AM
  #1
Lucius
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Bob Gainey: Or Why He's A Good GM

It seems the new whipping boy on HF has become Bob Gainey, the GM. I read all sorts of things, including one hilarious thread that suggests Roy is somehow more qualified.

Well, here is why, to me, Bob Gainey is a very good GM. Let me take you backwards to the 2002-03 season. Montreal finished 30-35-8, missing the playoffs by 6 points. In May, we hired a new GM. Bob Gainey.

Let me run you down the roster when he took over. This is organized by points scored in 2002-03, the last season before Gainey took over.

CENTER:
-Koivu
-Perreault
-Bulis
-Juneau
-Ribeiro
-Kilger

LEFT WING:
-Zednik
-Marcel Hossa
-Gordie Dwyer
-Sylvain Blouin

RIGHT WING:
-Dackell
-Audette
-McKay
-Sundstrom
-Czerkawski
-Jason Ward
-Bill Lindsay

DEFENSE:
-Markov
-Brisebois
-Rivet
-Traverse
-Quintal
-Dykhuis
-Bouillon
-Komisarek
-Beauchemin
-Hainsey

GOALIE:
-Theodore
-Garon

Now, let me run down our top prospects according to HF at the time:

-Garon (FYI, he cleared waivers in Nov 2002)
-Eric Choinard
-Jason Ward
-Komisarek
-Plekanec
-Balej
-Marcel Hossa
-Beauchemin
-Thinel
-Ryder
-Jarome Marois
-Christian Larrivee
-Milroy
-Olivier Michaud
-Michael Lambert
-Ferland
-Andre Deveaux
-Archer
-Eric Himelfarb
-Tomas Linhart
-Chris Higgins
-Matt Shasby
-Scott Selig
-Ryan Glenn
-Alexander Buturlin
-Perezhogin
-Korneev
-Joni Puurula
-Johan Eneqvist
-Victor Ujcik
-Vadim Tarasov
-Timo Vertala
-Martti Jarventie
-Niklas Anger
-Ilkka Mikkola

Now... fast forward to 2009.

Anyone who can look at the above and conclude that clearly Bob Gainey is a man without a plan or who hasn't improved this team...

You're both reactionary and delusional.

Teams need stability from management and too many blow everything up, fire everyone and change direction after every slump. Gainey is not perfect, but the lists above show that he's definitely not an idiot.

Under his watch, we've developed a few really good players and gone from a team with a pretty bare cupboard and a glorified AHL team on the ice to a pretty decent team, this slump not withstanding, who has one of the best collections of prospects and young NHLers in the league.

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03-07-2009, 10:39 AM
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Timmins.

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03-07-2009, 10:40 AM
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Slew Foots
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Bob Gainey can be given some of the credit, but we have to admit he definitely reaped many rewards from Savard and Timmins laying lots of the groundwork.

I posted this in another thread, but it would be more appriopriate here:

Gainey inherited a number of talented young players from former GM Andre Savard. Trevor Timmins has also made Gainey look good due to his drafting genius. That's not to say that Gainey brings nothing to the table:
- Excellent communicator
- Calming presence
- Well-respected and well-liked

In an ideal world, Bob Gainey would be the coach of the Montreal Canadiens, not the GM. As a GM, most of his moves have been questionable (to say the least), although here are a few moves he's made that have been good:

- Signed Markov to a great contract
- Trading Rivet for Gorges and a 1st (I'll give Timmins the credit for drafting Pacioretty)
- Signing young RFAs to reasonable short-term contracts (e.g.: Kostitsyn), which is a solid strategy in a cap world (oddly, he tends to overpay for his grinders/4th liners/depth defencemen)

At best, I would rank Gainey as an average GM. Timmins and Savard have definitely made him look better than he really is, but to his credit, he has kept his faith in the team's youth. However, his 5-year plan has not yielded much, in my opinion. One could easily argue that we would be at least as good a team had Andre Savard remained as GM all these years (we might still have Julien as coach instead of the clueless Carbo).

Now, back to the thread title: Patrick Roy as GM? I don't think so - being a Hab great doesn't automatically qualify someone for an NHL coaching or GM job (history clearly corroborates this). The Habs need to bring someone in with NHL experience. I have a feeling some NHL teams will be looking at poaching Trevor Timmins away, which would be a huge blow to the organization long-term. Let's just say if the Habs miss the playoffs this year, I would definitely not mind seeing Timmins take over the Habs GM job...

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03-07-2009, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGoalJudge View Post
Timmins.
General Manager

Bob Gainey is his boss.

If the Secretary of the Treasury in the US has a good idea and fixes the US Economy, I think Obama gets credit. And rightly so.

Gainey is responsible for everyone he hires, which includes Timmins and yes Carboneau.

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03-07-2009, 10:47 AM
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Slew Foots
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucius View Post
General Manager

Bob Gainey is his boss.

If the Secretary of the Treasury in the US has a good idea and fixes the US Economy, I think Obama gets credit. And rightly so.

Gainey is responsible for everyone he hires, which includes Timmins and yes Carboneau.
Get your facts straight, bud.

Timmins was hired in 2001, i.e. before Gainey's arrival.

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03-07-2009, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
Get your facts straight, bud.

Timmins was hired in 2001, i.e. before Gainey's arrival.
Did I say anywhere that Gainey hired him?

And while we're getting our facts straight, feel free to look up who promoted him to his current position. Google Timmins. Numerous media reports say that the first draft he actually ran for Montreal (he was a scout when hired) was 2003.

Basically, Gainey got hired and Timmins got promoted.

And I'd also add, has managed to keep him employed by Montreal all these years.

There is more to being a general... and let me emphasize this again... MANAGER... than drafting.

But yeah, maybe I should have said... if the Secretary of Defense fixes the War in Iraq? Since you know, Obama didn't hire him. Same logic still applies.

Gainey detractors are using insanely hilarious selective reasoning.

On one hand, everything good he's done to rebuild the franchise is explained away by saying Timmins did it. On the other hand, he's also blamed for hiring Carbo.

...truth is, he's responsible for everyone employed by the organization. The good and the bad.

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03-07-2009, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
Get your facts straight, bud.

Timmins was hired in 2001, i.e. before Gainey's arrival.
Gainey's still Timmins boss...

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Old
03-07-2009, 10:51 AM
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Slew Foots
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucius View Post
General Manager

Bob Gainey is his boss.

If the Secretary of the Treasury in the US has a good idea and fixes the US Economy, I think Obama gets credit. And rightly so.

Gainey is responsible for everyone he hires, which includes Timmins and yes Carboneau.
You said Gainey "hired" Timmins, not the same as "promoted". But whatever.

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03-07-2009, 10:53 AM
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The person who let's Timmins do his magic is Gainey. If we had a GM who left Timmins with no draft picks to work with he wouldn't come off as looking so good. Gainey deserves as much credit as Timmins for our recent good drafting.

And wasn't it Gainey who made the call to pick Price over Staal?

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03-07-2009, 10:54 AM
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You still need a GM ready to listen to your top recruiter in chief.
Look no further than 2005. It enraged Andre Savard but Gainey went with Carey Price with a top 5 pick. If he didn't listen to Timmins and had the balls to piss off every single fan (including myself), we wouldn't be where we are. If your GM trades your prospects and your picks, even a top recruiter like Timmins wouldn't be able to do crap.

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03-07-2009, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
You said Gainey "hired" Timmins, not the same as "promoted". But whatever.
Haha, OK I did say hired. Mistype, my bad.

Nonetheless, the point remains intact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ncrdrg View Post
You still need a GM ready to listen to your top recruiter in chief.
Look no further than 2005. It enraged Andre Savard but Gainey went with Carey Price with a top 5 pick. If he didn't listen to Timmins and had the balls to piss off every single fan (including myself), we wouldn't be where we are. If your GM trades your prospects and your picks, even a top recruiter like Timmins wouldn't be able to do crap.
This is also a key component of a GM, especially in Montreal.

You need a strong minded GM who will trust himself and not listen to outside pressure. The media is pretty loud here, in case anyone didn't notice, and if you get a GM who reacts everytime there's a "crisis" the entire team will be traded every week.

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03-07-2009, 10:57 AM
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Slew Foots
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECWHSWI View Post
Gainey's still Timmins boss...
Yes, I'm aware. When did I say otherwise?

Logical fallacies abound here, I gather.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucius View Post
Haha, OK I did say hired. Mistype, my bad.

Nonetheless, the point remains intact.
Apology accepted


Last edited by Habs10Habs: 03-07-2009 at 06:25 PM.
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03-07-2009, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
Yes, I'm aware. When did I say otherwise?

Logical fallacies abound here, I gather.
You didn't, but do you not agree Gainey gets some of the credit for promoting, employing, trusting and retaining Timmins?

A good manager identifies and promotes key staff. More importantly, they also make sure that person is happy and retained within the company. A bad GM would have let Timmins go somewhere else by now.

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03-07-2009, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Lucius View Post
You didn't, but do you not agree Gainey gets some of the credit for promoting, employing, trusting and retaining Timmins?

A good manager identifies and promotes key staff. More importantly, they also make sure that person is happy and retained within the company. A bad GM would have let Timmins go somewhere else by now.
Those are great qualities, and I agree with you 100% there.

In my first post, I never said Gainey was a bad GM. I basically say he is an average GM, and I imply that Timmins has the potential to be a better GM.

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03-07-2009, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
Those are great qualities, and I agree with you 100% there.

In my first post, I never said Gainey was a bad GM. I basically say he is an average GM, and I imply that Timmins has the potential to be a better GM.
Fair enough.

To me though, while I have no evidence to say he won't be a good GM, I also feel there is no evidence to say he will be a good one.

All we know is that he has a good eye for young talent. That's it.

We have no idea how he manages people. We have no idea what kind of a pro scout he is. We don't know how he'd deal with the media. We don't know if he has the respect of the staff. I can go out on a limb and say he definitely wouldn't have the same respect from the players that Gainey does, based on their resumes.

Now, I am not saying he's bad, but short of working inside the organization, these qualities are hard to define.

If Timmins is a great drafter, I don't see why he shouldn't be kept as such. There is the Peter Principle to consider.

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03-07-2009, 11:10 AM
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Gainey helped rebuild our team and get better depth by missing the playoffs only once. Even then we had the 7th best winning percentage in the East. Five year plan did not involve tanking for a couple of seasons, it involved staying competitive and rebuilding through the draft. He followed this to a T. He helped get us the best regular season we've seen since our last cup. This season isn't over either and we should finish with close to 100 points. He assembled great group of people to surround him.

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03-07-2009, 11:12 AM
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He has done a good job with Montreal but the team just hasn't made the leap to being a true contender. We saw a fleeting glimpse last season and were expecting it again this year, but it hasn't worked out this way.

You said in your original post that before Gainey was hired Montreal missed the playoffs by 6 pts. Well, as of right now, in this centennial season 6 years later, Montreal is 2 pts away from missing the playoffs. That's not a ridiculously good improvement over 6 years.

Certainly the organization is in much better shape. We have plenty of good young players, but it's questionable whether some of them have been rushed (Price, SK being sent back down).

Ultimately though, it's the on-ice product that counts and the current core just isn't getting it done. Objectively I bet even he would admit that this season has not gone according to what he expected - the team he built hasn't shown that it is good enough.

I like his management in general, but it is ridiculous to simply excuse his mistakes and pretend like he can never get anything wrong. A lot of people on HF fall into the two categories - either Gainey is god, or he's got to be fired. It's actually somewhere in between. He's a good GM, but the team he put together for this season just isn't playing like it good enough. Is it coaching? Is it the players themselves? Either way, he has some responsibility for it.

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03-07-2009, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucius View Post
...If Timmins is a great drafter, I don't see why he shouldn't be kept as such. There is the Peter Principle to consider.
I've never spoken to Trevor, but I can only assume that he has greater ambitions than to remain in his current position until retirement.

I am assuming that that he has aspirations of one day becoming GM, and I am assuming that there are NHL teams out there ready to take a gamble on a guy like him.

You're right in saying that good drafting doesn't necessarily mean he would be a good GM, but the risk of losing him to another organization sooner rather than later is sufficient to at least warrant the consideration of his promotion to GM.

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03-07-2009, 11:20 AM
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Lucius
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I like his management in general, but it is ridiculous to simply excuse his mistakes and pretend like he can never get anything wrong. A lot of people on HF fall into the two categories - either Gainey is god, or he's got to be fired. It's actually somewhere in between. He's a good GM, but the team he put together for this season just isn't playing like it good enough. Is it coaching? Is it the players themselves? Either way, he has some responsibility for it.
I agree, and I don't think he's perfect. There are lots of things wrong with this team and those are on Gainey just as other things he did right are also on him.

I do not think, though, that given the entirety of his work he's earned a pink slip. That's the core point. When you compare 02-03 to 08-09, I think it's clear that he's a good to above average GM. Miracle worker? No, but few are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NRG87 View Post
I've never spoken to Trevor, but I can only assume that he has greater ambitions than to remain in his current position until retirement.

I am assuming that that he has aspirations of one day becoming GM, and I am assuming that there are NHL teams out there ready to take a gamble on a guy like him.

You're right in saying that good drafting doesn't necessarily mean he would be a good GM, but the risk of losing him to another organization sooner rather than later is sufficient to at least warrant the consideration of his promotion to GM.
I agree, but I don't see why you should fire a perfectly good GM when you already have him running your draft table.

Bob Gainey is 55 years old. Even if he's the best GM on the planet, I assume he's probably going to retire in the next 5-7 years. The guy essentially retired from Dallas years ago already.

If Timmins leaves to be a GM somewhere, god bless him. Gainey has done a good job so far keeping him in the fold. I mean, he could have left to be an Assistant GM, but hasn't.

If Timmins is still here when Gainey retires or is let go, then yes, I agree he should be a candidate. But you don't fire a proven GM just because there is someone in the organization who MIGHT do a good job.

Gainey should be retained or let go based solely on Bob Gainey's performance. There is only one person on the planet that I'd say justifies letting someone go to get them into the fold and that's Ken Holland. And he's not available

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03-07-2009, 11:34 AM
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plain old bad luck

Its a getting bit tiresome to hear all the complaints against Bob Gainey.

Had Robert Lang's achilles tendon not been sliced in a freak play... I would bet these conversations would not be taking place.

btw, he will fire Carbo if he has to...

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03-07-2009, 03:13 PM
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Bob Gainey can be given some of the credit, but we have to admit he definitely reaped many rewards from Savard and Timmins laying lots of the groundwork.

I posted this in another thread, but it would be more appriopriate here:

Gainey inherited a number of talented young players from former GM Andre Savard. Trevor Timmins has also made Gainey look good due to his drafting genius. That's not to say that Gainey brings nothing to the table:
- Excellent communicator
- Calming presence
- Well-respected and well-liked

In an ideal world, Bob Gainey would be the coach of the Montreal Canadiens, not the GM. As a GM, most of his moves have been questionable (to say the least), although here are a few moves he's made that have been good:

- Signed Markov to a great contract
- Trading Rivet for Gorges and a 1st (I'll give Timmins the credit for drafting Pacioretty)
- Signing young RFAs to reasonable short-term contracts (e.g.: Kostitsyn), which is a solid strategy in a cap world (oddly, he tends to overpay for his grinders/4th liners/depth defencemen)

At best, I would rank Gainey as an average GM. Timmins and Savard have definitely made him look better than he really is, but to his credit, he has kept his faith in the team's youth. However, his 5-year plan has not yielded much, in my opinion. One could easily argue that we would be at least as good a team had Andre Savard remained as GM all these years (we might still have Julien as coach instead of the clueless Carbo).

Now, back to the thread title: Patrick Roy as GM? I don't think so - being a Hab great doesn't automatically qualify someone for an NHL coaching or GM job (history clearly corroborates this). The Habs need to bring someone in with NHL experience. I have a feeling some NHL teams will be looking at poaching Trevor Timmins away, which would be a huge blow to the organization long-term. Let's just say if the Habs miss the playoffs this year, I would definitely not mind seeing Timmins take over the Habs GM job...

Good post....I agree 90%. Gainey inherited a lot of players he gets credit for. Timmins has drafted well.

Here's my take problems with Habs...I think he needs to dump Pierre Gauthier, the guy has failed everywhere he has been ie. Ottawa, Anaheim. Why would he be Gainey's right hand man? It's beyond me. Rollie Melanson doesn't have a clue about the mental aspects of goaltending, costs us goalies in past and excelled recent struggles of Price. Carbo cannot handle the dressing room, poor coach that way. Also rumours of him and handling of Russian players. Our star player is hot and cold and prone to bouts of laziness. Should never hold position on team that he does. The team needs a big center down the middle, Gainey has tried numerous times to fix problem but does not appear to be able to handle situation.

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03-07-2009, 03:18 PM
  #22
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So.. who's the BAWSE?

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03-07-2009, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citylife View Post
Its a getting bit tiresome to hear all the complaints against Bob Gainey.

Had Robert Lang's achilles tendon not been sliced in a freak play... I would bet these conversations would not be taking place.

btw, he will fire Carbo if he has to...
This team has had defensive, disciplinary and motivational issues all year long, even while winning during the early part, IMO. Who people choose to blame for that is up to them and differs a lot, but I think people are deluding themselves if they think that Lang's injury is the reason the team's a mess right now.

I think Gainey's done some good things as GM and some not so good things, so I'd agree with what another poster said as an evaluation: average. Maybe above average. But as a GM he has to accept some responsibility if a team he has controlled for some years is in a dogfight for the playoffs, might actually miss the playoffs, and whose star players are underperforming on a nightly basis.

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03-07-2009, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Habitant#1 View Post
The person who let's Timmins do his magic is Gainey. If we had a GM who left Timmins with no draft picks to work with he wouldn't come off as looking so good. Gainey deserves as much credit as Timmins for our recent good drafting.

And wasn't it Gainey who made the call to pick Price over Staal?
So, because a GM doesn't trade picks it makes him a good GM? Seriously...in the 5 years Gainey has taken over the team, not much has happened. Savard is pretty much behind the core of the team (higgins, pleks, komi, markov, etc.). Like that other dude says, with Savard we would be AT LEAST as good of a team. I would think that we'd be a much better team for the simple fact that Savard would admit his mistake and fire Carbonneau (just an example). Also, I really hate the fact that Gainey is as classy as he is. Good GMs like Lamorellio, they find loopholes... They also don't mind sending down (AHL) veterans who don't perform to their abilities instead of buying them out (which does nothing for our cap).

Quote:
Originally Posted by citylife View Post
Its a getting bit tiresome to hear all the complaints against Bob Gainey.

Had Robert Lang's achilles tendon not been sliced in a freak play... I would bet these conversations would not be taking place.

btw, he will fire Carbo if he has to...
Number 1) No he won't

Number 2) What did Gainey do to replace Lang (which he knew was a big part of our team?) He added a ''depth'' centerman in metropolit.

Bringing in Lang was a good move, no doubt...But not finding a suitable replacement is a big mistake that will bite us in the ass.

We all know that we aren't going to make it past the 1st round, so why not trade Kovalev for a pick?


Last edited by Habs10Habs: 03-07-2009 at 06:26 PM.
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03-07-2009, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Shabutie View Post
Savard is pretty much behind the core of the team (higgins, pleks, komi, markov, etc.). Like that other dude says, with Savard we would be AT LEAST as good of a team.
Yeah but in five years, if there's nother GM in place here, we may very well be saying the same thing based on Pacioretty, D'Ago, Subban, McDonagh, etc. The drafting's been good, although it's wait-and-see. But some of Gainey's decisions elsewhere have been ****.


Last edited by Habs10Habs: 03-07-2009 at 06:27 PM. Reason: Don't circumvent the profanity filter.
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