Will Pierre Gauthier still be GM come Monday morning?

Posted: January 14, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

It’s not a crazy question. The Canadiens suit up Saturday night against the surprising Ottawa Senators who are 7-1-2 in their last ten games and are sitting comfortably in fifth place in the East. Then Sunday night, the Bell Centre guests are the Eastern Conference top dogs the New York Rangers. In short, the odds are against Montreal in both games.

If Montreal loses both games – which is entirely possible, with gusts up to probable – does Habs president Geoff Molson finally step up to the plate and give Ghost Gauthier his walking papers before he has to read another of Jack Todd’s withering Monday-morning columns?

Meanwhile Montreal languishes Saturday morning nine points out of playoff contention and mired in yet another controversy. It’s not so much the Michael Cammalleri trade as the way the trade happened – with Pierre ‘Major Major’ Gauthier firing the star winger between the second and third period of the game in Boston Thursday night.

Postmedia sports scribe Cam Cole has an inspired column, which was published in the Gaz Saturday, on the woes of the Habs, and it had me thinking maybe you need someone outside Montreal to tell the truth about the rot at the core of his organization.

Cole writes: “The GM, Pierre Gauthier, appears to have no vision or sense of what to do, apart from dropping bombshells from time to time and hoping that the team will respond to shock therapy.”

La Presse columnist Philippe Cantin also had a just-scathing piece Friday blasting Pierre ‘Panic Button’ Gauthier for the Cammalleri trade. One of Cantin’s points – which is right on the money – is that the trade was all about Gauthier’s protecting his man, Randy ‘Parley Vous’ Cunneyworth. Cammy took direct aim at Cunneyworth with his comments about how “We prepare for our games like losers.”

It’s hard to argue with Cammalleri. The Jacques ‘Mr. Personality’ Martin system was all about trying not to lose and Cunneyworth is a chip off the old block – he’s following his old boss’s philosophy hook-line-and-sinker.

It’s impossible to exaggerate the damage to the Habs being inflicted by years of improvisational management from Bob ‘What About Bob’ Gainey and now Ghost Gauthier (with Bob ‘Elvis Has Not Left the Building’ Gainey still pulling the puppet strings from beneath Gauthier’s desk). My son said the other day that he actually kind of likes the Leafs. A friend told me his neighbour – a pure laine franco who’s always lived-and-died by le bleu-blanc-et-rouge forever – said the other day – ‘Hey Les Leafs sont pas pire cette annee.

I keep running into people telling me they’re Bruins fans. A mother of one of the players on my son’s PeeWee team is a die-hard Blackhawks fans and when I asked her way why, she said it’s ’cause it’s exciting to watch the young, dynamic team led by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Yes folks here have always treated hockey like a religion and the Canadiens organization like the Vatican – but just remember what happened with Quebecers and Catholicism. As a priest said in a Denys Arcand film – Jesus de Montreal, I think – Quebec used to be one of the most Catholic countries in the world. Then one day in the mid-’60s, everyone just stood up and left the Churches. And they never came back.

Well the same thing could happen with the Habs. I met a guy yesterday at a sports store and his bitter comment was that all the Habs owners care about is selling beer. I believe he’s wrong. But as long as someone as cynical as Gauthier is pulling the levers – and defending his moves with that bizarre condescending style of his – there’s gonna be more and more Quebecers who agree with that fellow’s assessment of the situation. And you know what else I heard at the same sports store? Habs jerseys haven’t been selling for months now.


  1. Howard says:

    As happy as I am with the trade (yes, I do like it), and it looks like it is the start of a salary dumping wave (a shame no one will want an injured Gomez or Gionta or Markov), I can’t help but wonder if Cammy wasn’t the only shit-disturber, or bad apple, in the room.

    If you go back to the day that we inherited the “new blood” – Gomez, Gionta, Cammy, Gill, Spacek, Mara – the Habs went into that season sans Captain (Koivu having been let go). The problem started with the new guys all getting A’s, not the old Habs like Plekanec or Gorges or Hamrlik. That right there was the first no-no. Disrespect. So we play through the season, and we see Bob Gainey’s step-son Carey struggle in the nets (check back to when Jacques Martin had the balls to finally stop some bleeding and put Halak in the nets for 4 in a row, and we won all 4!). And the season progresses, but Carey Price-Gainey finds himself out of the #1 spot as the playoffs start.

    And we know what happens next.

    Halak perfoms brilliantly, exciting the whole Hab-hockey nation because Ovi and Sid are now gone from the playoffs. Carey who, at this point? Exactly. And Cammy pops in goals like a hot knife through butter, but it’s a committee of A’s and not a “C” in sight that is leading the team.

    Then come the Flyers. MA Beregron is struggling from the point. Halak has met his match, the dream season done. (One mistake I will point out, is why they used Gionta at 5’7″ on the PP to stand in front of Michael Leighton at 6’3″ to try and screen him is the stupidest hockey move ever! Hal Gill could have easily provided the screen job, put MA Bergeron at the half-boards, and load up the right side with another canon.)

    Okay, so playoffs are done. Crybaby Price says “Daddy, you said I would get to play hockey”, to which Step-daddy Bob says, “yes, son, I did, but I am the only one that likes you, and I can’t tell Uncle Pierre what to do (wink wink, nudge nudge)”.

    And so next we see that a little birdy has been telling Uncle Pete that it’s only right that Thoroughstud Carey get to play and he shouldn’t be around anyone else who threatens him. Message read and understood, like a CIA operative. Bye bye Jaro. The first of the new “me-firsts” has arrived full time. The second bomb shell is about to explode, and that happens when Cammy is disappointed in the schoolyard voting of most popular because he doesn’t get to be class president. Did anyone ever notice how quickly he removed all baseball caps from post-ice interviews? Ever notice him not wearing a Habs t-shirt? Hmmm … mopey mopey mopey. So now we have 1 unhappy child and one who gets to play with all the toys and doesn’t like to share. Are the rest of the children happy about this situation? Maybe only Brian Gionta because the kids liked him the best. Had it not been for Gorges getting knee surgery, I think the vote would have been different.

    So, my question is, was Cammy the only shit-disturber in the room? It’s unlikely that Carey Price-Gainey will change addresses, unless he actually moves out of daddy’s house into his own place. Did the Habs play better sans Cammy as the game progressed in the 3rd? I believe it did. By the way, Weber shot from approximately the same spot as Cammy does/did, and he scores a PP goal.

    I am looking forward to Rene “I have a french name and come from a french-named town but I only know how to say ‘poutine'” Bourque playing. At 6 inches taller and $3M lighter, I think this could be the start of something good.

  2. Anarky88 says:

    Howard…You have raised some interesting points which I do not always agreed with. I do agreed that assigning letters to the new blood did not help with the team bonding at all. I wondered whose decision that was? As for PG being out after this weekend. It is all academic. Montreal gained 3 of 4 points. PG lived for another week. Hopefully it will give Geoff Molson time to find a REAL unilingual / bilingual GM. A real GM whose credential cannot be denied.

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