Sunday, 23 March 2014

5 Worst Trades done by the Montreal Canadiens

  The trade deadline happened two and a half weeks ago. The Montreal Canadiens managed to acquire one of the best players out their in Thomas Vanek. While this deal is considered to be a success, the Habs have made some horrible trades over the years. Here are the five worst trades that the franchise has made in its 106 year history.

5) Trading quality for some garbage ice cream: The Canadiens had drafted Jyrki Lumme 57th overall back in 1986. However GM Serge Savard did not think much about him and dealt him to Vancouver for a second round pick in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft which was used to select Craig Darby. Lumme was a quality player for the Canucks and put up good offensive numbers for a defenceman while Darby spent the bulk of his career in the AHL.
4) Trading a prospect for a washed-up playmaker: Before Scott Gomez joined the New York Rangers, he was a terrific playmaker setting up his teammates for glorious chances. After signing that huge contract with New York before the 07-08 season, his performance went down considerably. So he was traded from New York to Montreal for prospect Ryan McDonagh. Gomez's performance went down even more to the point that it took him a full calendar year to score a goal while McDonagh has developed into a reliable defencemen for the Rangers.
3) Giving up a forward for a defencemen who only played half a year: Before the start of the 2006-2007 season, the Canadiens had a lack of depth on defence. This prompted GM Bob Gainey to trade Mike Ribeiro to Dallas for Janne Niinimaa. The Canadiens got that defencemen they wanted but it ended up being a mistake as Ribeiro became a terrific playmaker with the Stars and now with the Coyotes.
2) Trading a budding star: In the midst of a dismal 1994-1995 shortened season, GM Serge Savard traded John Leclair, Eric Desjardins and Gilbert Dionne to Philadelphia for Mark Recchi. Recchi had a couple of good years in Montreal but this trade is considered to be one of the worst the Habs made. The reason is because Leclair formed a deadly partnership with Eric Lindros and became the first American born player to score 50 goals in three consecutive seasons. Desjardins meanwhile proved to be a steady defencemen during his time with the Flyers.
1) Trading their star goaltender: After giving up nine goals in a game vs the Red Wings in December 1995, goaltender Patrick Roy felt frustrated that he was not pulled by Head Coach Mario Tremblay. When he finally got pulled, he walked up to President Ronald Corey and told him "it is my last game in Montreal". Four days later, Roy and Mike Keane were traded to the Colorado Avalanche for Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Rucinsky and Andrei Kovalenko. The aftermath of the deal was simple, Roy won two more Stanley Cups while Thibault, Rucinsky and Kovalenko left town within a few years and did not produce at the same rate that Roy did. Ever since "Le Trade" happened, the Canadiens have been mediocre by missing the playoffs on numerous occasions and winning only six playoffs series since.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Two GM's That Should be Fired

   When the Vancouver Canucks and Philadelphia Flyers hired Mike Gillis and Paul Holmgren to be their respective GM's, there was a great sense of optimism as they were fresh faces trying to rebuild struggling franchises. Holmgren got a lot accomplished in his first couple years acquiring players like Kimmo Timonen, Daniel Briere, Scott Hartnell, Jason Smith, Joffrey Lupul and Chris Pronger. Gillis meanwhile slowly build the Canucks by acquiring players like Mats Sundin, Manny Malhotra, Dan Hamhuis, Keith Ballard and Christian Erhoff. However things greatly changed over the years.
Holmgren built a good team in Philly but the only problem he had was goaltending. This was due to signing the majority of their core players to massive front loaded contracts. This led him to trading Mike Richards and Jeff Carter to make room for goaltender Ilya Bryzaglov. While the Flyers finally got a quality goalie, he decided to sign him to a nine year contract. Bryzgalov's time in Philadelphia was filled with inconsistent play which led to him being bought out last year. Another bad move on Holmgren's part was the Pronger signing. After trading for him during the 2009 NHL draft, Holmgren signed him to a seven year contract. The only problem with the signing is that the contract kicked in after the 09-10 season when he was 35 years old -- which meant that if he were to retire before the contract ended, it would count towards the salary cap. Unfortunately during the 2011-2012 season, Pronger suffered a season ending concussion and it is very unlikely that he will play again.
   Gillis meanwhile has made questionable decisions in the last couple of years. After being knocked out in the opening round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, it was greatly rumored that goalie Roberto Luongo would be traded due to poor play and the emergence of backup Corey Schneider. The only problem with that was a lot of teams did not want to inherit his huge 12 year contract. This goaltending controversy lasted up until the 2013 draft when Schneider was traded to the Devils for a draft pick that ended up being Bo Horvat. It was greatly implied that Luongo would stay in Vancouver but after not playing in the Heritage Classic on Sunday, he was finally traded back to the Florida Panthers for Shawn Mathias and goalie Jakub Markstromm. He could of gotten a lot more for Luongo but it would have been much better if the Canucks kept Schneider than having two unproven goalies in Markstrom and Eddie Lack. Another questionable move was trading Cody Hodgson for Zach Kassian back in 2012. Hodgson has emerged as a quality player in Buffalo while Kassian has not played up to expectations.
   What ever happens between now and the end of the year, if both teams fail to make significant progress (make the playoffs, have a successful run), management should really consider starting new by firing both men of their respective posts for their respective teams.