Scott Gomez is the cause of all of the Habs woes

Posted: February 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

Is Bob ‘What About Bob’ Gainey’s 2009 trade that brought Scott ‘Big Bucks = Loopy Grin’ Gomez to the Canadiens the worst trade in the history of the club? No. That would be the Rejean ‘Am I Really GM of the Habs?’ Houle’s bone-headed 1995 trade that sent Patrick Roy and Mike Keane to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a bag of pucks.

Okay that last part was made-up. If Peanut had gotten us a bag of pucks, that might’ve been a somewhat better deal. In reality, he got us B-list goalie Jocelyn Thibault and All-Stars – NOT! – Martin Rucinsky and Andrei ‘I Look Like Frankenstein’ Kovalenko. He should’ve got Joe Sakic or Peter Forsberg in return for the greatest goalie of the modern era. But instead Happy-Go-Lucky Houle was robbed blind by Colorado GM Pierre Lacroix.

When Houle offered him St. Patrick, Lacroix asked The Man Who Shouldn’t Be GM of the Habs if he wouldn’t mind throwing in the team’s captain too!! That would be Keane, one of my all-time favourite players, a guy with endless grit, heart and skill, traits that would help him become part of two Cup-winning teams after leaving Montreal. Any normal GM would hang up on Lacroix on the spot. But not our man Houle. No he happily threw in the Keaner. (How much do I like Mike Keane? I named my son after him. Well partly. Of course he’s also named after the famed 19th century actor Edmund Kean, considered the greatest thespian of his era!)

That Roy trade sent the Canadiens into a tailspin that they still haven’t recovered from. It’s a curse of almost Babe Ruth-like proportions. Don’t believe it? What have the Habs won since December, 1995? I rest my case. Worse, it was the ultimate panic trade – quick let’s get the best goalie in hockey out of Montreal ’cause he’s in a fight with an F-list coach who will never again coach an NHL team! Clearly Gainey and Pierre ‘Major Major’ Gauthier learned their trading style from this deal.

But I digress. On to this chap Gomez. Montreal picked him up in July, 2009, the fateful week that Bob ‘Elvis Has Not Left the Building’ Gainey was busy re-making the team (or is that dropping a Neutron Bomb on the team?). Like Lacroix before him, New York Rangers GM Glen Sather couldn’t believe his luck when the phone rang that morning.

Sather was desperate to unload the remainder of Gomez’s seven-year, $51-million contract and likely never believed he’d find anyone foolish enough to foot the bill for a player who was already on the down-and-down. (He had only 58 points that last season with the Blueshirts, though of course those would be great stats by the standards of Gomer’s Canadiens career.) And don’t even get me started on the fact Gainey also, in a Houle-like move, threw in Ryan McDonagh, who is now the Rangers top D-man.

In the space of one phone call, Gainey committed a huge chunk of the team’s cash to this underachiever and thus began the rebuilding of the team, with Gomez’s pal Brian Gionta and Michael Cammalleri arriving within a day or two. That plan, if you hadn’t noticed, was an utter and total failure.

Gionta has done alright, Cammalleri was a bust after one very good season (and is now out in Calgary) and Gomez…..well he hasn’t really been such a great acquisition. I jest. He’s been an effin nightmare. You may have heard. This weekend will mark the first anniversary of Gomez’s last goal. That’s right he last scored Feb. 5, 2011, against his former team, the Rangers.

His salary this season? $7.4 million. His production? No goals, seven assists and a +/- rating of Minus 3. He’s become the butt of so many jokes that I’m almost feeling sorry for him – almost. Worse he has two more years on his contract, both at $7.3 million.

As Gaz sports editor Stu Cowan points out, Gomer is averaging over 15 minutes of ice-time a night, so he can’t blame his lack of scoring on lack of time on the ice. He’s just incapable of scoring. In fact, he can’t even shoot. He can’t do anything. He races up and down the ice with much speed and finesse, but that’s about it. He was always touted as a great playmaker but I don’t need to tell you that seven assists in 21 games ain’t the sign of a Datsyuk-like playmaker. (He was injured for a good chunk of the first half.)

To have a guy making that much dough, getting that much ice-time and sucking it out every single night has to be demoralizing for his team-mates. That’s a given. So why doesn’t management do the right thing, mettre leur culottes and send Gomer down to the minors? Because they’re incapable of making the right decision, ever. Because they don’t have the cojones. In other words, for the same reasons they do the wrong thing at every other crucial moment.

Last night, a friend was saying he didn’t even think Gomez could score in Hamilton. Hah! He might be on to something. Maybe that’s why Ghost is not sending Gomez down to the sad-sack Bulldogs – because he fears Gomez’s loopy grin will sink the club in Hamilton just the way it has here in Montreal.

I can’t even enjoy the Gomez jokes anymore. I just keeping thinking – how the heck is it that the guy who pulled the trigger on this era-changing deal, that’s you Mr. Gainey, still works for the organization and is still sitting somewhere in the executives suites of the Bell Centre plotting how to further drive the Canadiens into the ground for the rest of this decade.

I’m not in the mood for laughing but here are a couple of Gomer knee-slappers for you.

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