Habs need to look to the future….not to the past

Posted: December 22, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Can I just make one small simple point here? Thanks. The Montreal Canadiens brain trust need to get their heads out of the sand – see I’m being polite here! – and end this psychotic obsession with the team’s storied history.

That’s a big – maybe the biggest – part of the quest-for-mediocrity approach of the past two decades. When in doubt, reach back to the great Habs teams of eras past and bring these old-timers back into the fold to somehow magically transform the hapless 2011-2012 Hab-nots into the 1976-1977 Habs. That’s called delusional thinking.

François Gagnon has just the most absurd column in La Presse Thursday – titled ‘Ramener Savard, embaucher Damphousse’. The problem is that La Presse has enormous influence in franco circles and so already everyone in the media is yapping about this idea this morning. So let’s just stop this nonsense right now.

Savard? The best response to that non-starter came from former La Presse scribe Réjean Tremblay who now collects a pay-cheque from Quebecor, arch-rival of La Presse (and the Canadiens organization). Tremblay was chuckling when 98.5 morning-man Paul Arcand asked him about this rumour.

Tremblay basically said ‘Umm there’s one problem here. Savard is already being pretty actively courted by another guy who’s about to get an NHL team, nudge-nudge wink-wink.’ That’s right, Tremblay’s boss Pierre Karl Péladeau is in tight with Savard to have him play a major role in bringing the Nordiques back to Quebec City.

When I heard that Thursday morning, a lightbulb went on in my addled brain – that Péladeau must just be loving this sorry spectacle this week! Take it from me, Quebecor will get its team in Quebec, sooner rather than later, and Péladeau – who knows all about wrapping himself in the Fleur-de-Lys – is going to go all-Quebecois-all-the-way with the Nords and he’ll take every opportunity to underline the lack of local flavour to the Molson-led Habs. Remember the Nordiques’s jersey? That’s right, the Fleur-de-Lys. I can already see the big smile on Pauline Marois’s mug.

Earlier in the week, Savard was talking about how when he was with the Canadiens, they had a much more Québécois team and organization. He said they did that because they feared the Nordiques would be able to win over the hearts of franco Quebec. His argument is that since the disappearance of the Nords, the Habs have not bothered to play to the franco faithful.

Why do we have no local stars on the team, English or French? That’s just wrong.

So anyhow, that’s why Geoff Molson ain’t getting Savard. And if I was Molson, I’d be very afraid of the notion of a Péladeau-Savard-led team stealing my thunder.

On to the idea of Vincent Damphousse as GM of the Habs. I mean, c’mon Francois, this is just goofy. Gagnon says he met Damphousse on the set of L’Antichambre this week and Vinnie said he was interested. Ben oui! Of course he is. But he has absolutely no NHL management and/or coaching experience. And he’s in the midst of an ugly divorce case. And he’s been going around saying the coach does NOT have to be bilingual. And he tells Gagnon that he likes both Patrick Roy and Guy Carbonneau as potential head-coach candidates.

I rest my case. Earth to Gagnon/Damphouse – it’s 2011. Forget about the old Habs. Forget the anniversary celebrations. Forget the endless Bell Centre tributes to old Habs. Forget the improbable 1971 playoff run (yes I’m talking to you Red!).

Let’s get radical here. Let’s go get the best GM and coach available anywhere in the world. Not the best GM and coach who played with les Canadiens in the ’70s and ’80s. (And we’ll hire the best French tutors at the same time!)

  1. Steve says:

    You’re right! Peladeau must be loving this implosion and foaming at the mouth. It’s all about the ‘paper’ my friend and the Nordiques are going to need the biggest ‘little market’ they can get. Geoff should be worried! One thing is sure: You’ll be buying a Labatt product at games in Quebec City!

    Of course Damphousse is interested in the GM position, so am I! Can I apply Geoff? [Club de hockey Canadiens], the blind leading the blind! Wow, is George Gillette a soothsayer or what! Amazing deal-making abilities. So Sad!

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