Thursday, 29 March 2012

The end of a circus like era, and who should be handed the keys to manage the prestigious franchise

  When I last wrote which was a couple of weeks ago, the topic of interest was when the Toronto Maple Leafs fired head coach Ron Wilson and replaced him with Randy Carlyle. Well just a couple of weeks later, a similar topic comes to interest which comes as no surprise to people in the hockey world. As the 2011-2012 season dwindles down and sitting dead last in the Eastern Conference, the Montreal Canadiens fired General Manager Pierre Gauthier and the Special Adviser to the GM Bob Gainey.
  As we look back to his brief tenure as GM, we can honestly say that he was running the team like a circus. Apart from making a few good draft choices with Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu and signing Erik Cole, it is the way that he handled certain situations that really stand out. The first one was with firing of respective coaches. In late October, he decided to fire assistant coach Perry Pearn only 1hr before a game vs the Flyers. The timing of the fire did not seem right because it does not make sense to fire a coach only a hour before. It had given them a little spark but it quickly faded. He once again tried the same strategy by firing Head Coach Jacques Martin during the morning skate while they were preparing for a game vs the New Jersey Devils. At the time of his firing, the Canadiens were tied for the 8th and final playoff spot in the East. That quickly went away due to the fact that his replacement Randy Cunneyworth was under emormous scrutiny due to his inability to speak french.
  Then of course came the trades. There were two trades that people in the hockey world cannot seem to figure out. The first one happened on December 9th, 2011. This move was made out of desperation. As their powerplay was struggling mightily they decided to trade Jaroslav Spacek to the Canes for Tomas Kaberle. It seemed right at first but it didn't work out for them because of his poor play and his contract. The second trade raised even more eyebrows. During a game vs the Boston Bruins on January 12th, Michael Cammaleri left midway through. The majority of fans thought he was injured but in reality he was traded to the Calgary Flames for Rene Bourque. This trade was another disappointment because what has Bourque done in his two month stay? 5 goals and a -17 rating.
  So who should be the new GM? Rumors are surfacing that Pierre Mcguire would be a great fit but is he going to leave NBC sports to take on the challenge? This sounds like a longshot but the Montreal Canadiens should consider hiring Avalanche President Pierre Lacroix. He has lots of experience as he was the GM of the Colorado Avalanche for 12 years. During that time he made worthy trades such as acquiring goaltender Patrick Roy during the 1995-1996 season and acquiring both defensemen Ray Bourque in 2000 and Rob Blake the year after. Both theses trades parlayed into Colorado winning both their cups in their history. As well, he is one of the few executives in the NHL who can speak french which seems to be a huge issue here in Montreal. Should owner Geoff Molson decide to speak and should Lacroix accept, well the organization will have a good GM for the first time in quite a while.