Wow, Elvis really has left the building. Bob ‘What About Bob’ Gainey has been hired as a consultant to Dallas Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk. Dallas is, of course, the place where Mr. Gainey actually had success as a GM, winning the Stanley Cup in 1999 with a little help from Nieuwendyk, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP that year.
The only hiccup is Gainey’s track record since. Obviously Nieuwendyk has fond memories of his old boss – it was Gainey who traded with Calgary to bring Joe down to Texas – but didn’t he notice how What About Bob and his sidekick Pierre ‘Major Major’ Gauthier drove the Canadiens into the ground? Apparently not.
When Gainey abruptly resigned as Habs GM in February, 2010, the team was, to be polite, struggling. Sure it had some limited success on his watch but he was the chief architect of the misguided (eds note: downright pathetic!) strive-for-mediocrity philosophy that came close to destroying the Habs. Making 8th place was always good enough for Bob.
And his fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants remake/remodel (eds. note: Isn’t that a Roxy Music album track?) of the team in July, 2009 was an absolute failure. The result of that little bit of electroshock therapy? Last place in the east this season. He made one of the three worst trades in franchise history – right up there with the Patrick Roy and Chris Chelios brain farts – by sending Chris Higgins and defence prospect Ryan McDonagh to the Rangers in return for taking Scott Gomez and his psychotic contract off of Glen Sather’s hands. That one worked out pretty well eh?
Gomez scored……ah forget it, I don’t even wanna go back down that nightmare on La Gauchetiere (eds. note: Ave. les Canadiens!). But the real killer is McDonagh. Have you been watching the terrific Rangers-Capitals series? McDonagh is on the ice whenever something’s on the line. Can you imagine how good he would’ve looked in the Habs line-up this season?
Cammie? He became Rene Bourque. Yeah that worked out well too. And the other big summer 09 pick-up Brian Gionta has been okay but no more.
Then there was the matter of Gainey refusing to vacate his Bell Centre office. He leaves in if not disgrace at least not with his head held high yet he keeps showing up for work every day. How do you spell ‘dysfunctional’? And was he still pulling the strings, the puppet-meister for Ghost Gauthier? Who knows.
Anyway, I’m happy to see Gainey getting some work in Texas. Richard Labbe from La Presse tweeted me to suggest maybe Gainey would try to get Gomez back – a brilliant idea Richard! Then someone else on Twitter weighed in to say Chatterbox Gainey might also try to trade for Kaberle and, why not, Rene Bourque. Then we all came to the conclusion that he could also bring Pierre ‘Chuckles’ Gauthier, whoopee cushion in hand, down to Dallas to provide a little levity in the Stars’ executive suites. He could be put in charge of handing out one cookie a-piece to the media hacks before games.
I like it. Clearly it’s just a matter of months before the Cup makes its triumphant return to Dallas.