Geoff Molson defends the Hab-nots

Posted: December 6, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Canadiens president Geoff Molson talked to the Montreal media this week and, in spite of his team’s lackluster performance in recent days, the newish Habs boss had nothing but positive things to say about his team. In Le Journal de Montréal, Molson notes that with two or three more wins, the team would be in fourth place. And in a piece in La Presse by Francois Gagnon, Molson says he has confidence in Scott Gomez – ?!! – Andrei Markov’s knee and the Habs’ chances of making the playoffs.

Marc De Foy asks in his blog whether Canadiens fans are as optimistic as the team head honcho. My hunch? Not so much. But what else do you expect Molson to say this week? That he agrees with our new nickname for Gauthier – Major Major – because it perfectly captures the GM’s tendency to hide under his desk whenever he sniffs even a scent of trouble in the air (just like the military ‘leader’ in Joseph Heller’s classic satirical novel Catch 22)? That he agrees with the critics that Bob Gainey erred in tragic fashion by taking over the absurd Gomez contract negotiated by Rangers GM Glen Sather? That he knows full well this uninspired Habs squad will NOT be making the playoffs this year?

Of course he’s not going to say any of these things. Why should he? The one truth of corporate life is the bosses never say they’re going to fire someone or close down a department – until they fire the guy or shut-down the division. There is simply no upside to tipping your hand ahead of time.

Should Molson be worried? Of course he should and I’m convinced he is. If this team doesn’t make the playoffs, someone’s gonna pay the price. An early start on the golf-green for the Habs means millions lost for Molson and his financial backers and no one is going to be happy with that state of affairs.

Here’s what Molson told La Presse’s Gagnon about the team’s playoff hopes.

“When you look at all the injuries we’ve had to deal with, it’s a very good thing to be battling for eighth place like we are. Once the injured players are back, with an excellent core of veteran forwards, with a great goalie like Carey and a defence that’s gaining experience, we should be able to move up the standings.”

Yeah and I SHOULD be a millionaire! “An excellent core of veteran fowards”? Would that be Cammalleri and Gionta who’re firing blanks and Gomer who is an outright disaster? The less said about the Markov-less D the better. The one thing even this Halak fan can agree with Molson on is that we do have one of the best goalies in the league in Carey Price.

Here’s Molson’s take on the Andrei Markov soap opera – the latest episode being the news that he underwent arthroscopic surgery Monday in Florida and won’t be back with the team until sometime in January at the earliest.

“We did our homework in this dossier. We had guarantees from the doctors that the (knee) surgery (nearly a year ago) was a success and that his knee was as strong as it was before. It’s too bad what’s happened. But Andrei is in great shape and his knee is solid. Once this latest problem is dealt with, I’m convinced that he’ll help us move back up the standings so we can meet our objectives.”

Again, what else is he going to say? That Markov will never be 100-percent again?

You know what I find most depressing in all of this? Listening to Molson, I keep hearing the voice of Bob Gainey, who used to maintain a similar discourse. It’s what I like to call the quest for mediocrity. Let’s all be happy that we’re battling for eighth place. I mean can you imagine a Habs executive saying that in the 50s? Or 60s? Or 70s? Or even 80s. Oh my, how the mighty have fallen.



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