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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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The Chicoutimi Cucumber last won the day on December 1

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    Price. All-time favourites: Roy, Subban, Koivu.

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  1. League's best offence v.s. league's worst defence! This should go well.
  2. Yeah, if this and Commandant’s interpretation is correct, then Madden would be the no-brainer choice IMHO - IF he is interested. Coming to Montreal as second banana may not be all that much of an upgrade over his current role.
  3. I cannot imagine that DD will be coach next season. His team has little structure, erratic work ethic (and that's being polite), and zero accountability. Many of his players are producing well below their career norms. The D coverage is chaos. In the radio broadcast for the Vancouver game, colour commentator Corey Hirsch observed at one point in the third period: 'This Montreal team does not work.' That is a damning indictment. Apart from one great playoff run - which one strongly suspects had more to do with veterans taking charge than adept coaching - he has been a disaster.
  4. Commandant as president and Habs29 as GM! It would be the Habsworld Dream Team. Plus, imagine the epic front-office arguments…
  5. Well, if that’s the case, then he definitely should be the guy.
  6. All the names being mooted are under-cooked except Madden, who actually has the profile of a guy who might be ready to be GM in the traditional sense. The trouble is, his actual track record suggests no particular gifts - more that he’s just another generic member in good standing of the NHL old boys’ club. Anyway, maybe the best thing for this role is that we NOT hire a “GM in the traditional sense.” If the guy is a tyro, that will eliminate any question about who the Alpha Manager is - Gorton - and postpone the danger of in-fighting and power struggles. So what we really want is an inexperienced guy with a sharp, promising hockey mind who can be mentored by Gorton and hopefully develop long-term loyalty to him, eventually succeeding him as Michael Corleone succeeded Vito. And seen in that light, it’d be a judgement call between the other names being mooted. (I have a good feeling about Luongo, myself, but the fact that Darche was scooped up by Tampa is probably a good sign).
  7. I come to praise Molson, not to bury him. Having stupidly left the President position open for a decade, he has cleverly leveraged that vacancy to cut the Gordian knot created by the language “requirement.” This was a strategy many on this board had called for, but the way it’s arranged allows the “GM” the necessary fig leaf of dignity. Similarly, he leveraged the “specialness” of the Montreal market to argue that managing the Habs is too much for any one man - another well-calculated claim designed to appeal to the vanity of the francophone media and a fan base conditioned to this of the Habs as “special.” And, he went out and got a guy in Gorton who ticks all the boxes. Experienced at different levels. Understands a rebuild. Universally respected. Good call. You know what this means, right? Molson has engineered a workaround that allows the Habs to be run by a unilingual Anglo. That is a very valuable precedent. He has shown the way. In his stated intention to prioritize diversity and mental health - and in citing insufficient support for player thriving in Montreal as one of his criticisms of the old regime - he is also showing good sense. That both Price and Drouin had to take leaves of absence is a flashing yellow light, suggesting that our players are not being adequately supported. If we’re going to ask players to assume the pressures and responsibilities of being Habs, we have to offer them state-of-the-art mental wellness supports. I applaud all of this. My one concern is how sustainable the two-heading managerial monster will turn out to be. For a while, everything will be fine. But if we hire a Luongo - French-speaking and charismatic - and he starts to feel his oats eventually, we risk setting up a power struggle between the two as they vie for Molson’s ear, with the francophone guy using his loyalists in the French press to control the message. If Molson is smart, he will create ground rules, e.g., no major hockey matters get discussed without both President and GM in the room. If he creates a system where the two are using separate channels of communication to speak with him, he will compound the “power struggle” dynamic. Making this work in the longer term will require some adroit executive management by Molson.
  8. I'm not sure Suzuki won't become a legit #1C. But I am less sanguine about a 70-80-point Suzuki being followed by Dvorak as #2C. That doesn't seem like a recipe for a contender to me. So, we need one top-6 C. We need a #1 D. With Petry 33 years old, we also need a #2 D, or will need one within the next 1-3 seasons. (The way Petry is playing right now, he is more like a #4-5). We will also need a legitimate #1G within the next 2-3 seasons. So: At least one top-6 C Two top-pairing d-men A #1G Conversely, the situation at W is acceptable and probably will remain so over the next 3-4 seasons. Is this a rebuild situation? Considering that we will probably have to move a couple of the W to get the assets we need, it may well be.
  9. Bergevin inherited a strong hand, a team that, with minimal changes to the inherited core, went to the semi-Finals in 2014 and was 2nd overall in 2015. That is the complicating element here. Once Pleks and Markov aged out, roughly 2016-17, we saw little more than drift and suckage (which these stats bear out). The team stunk and, as I kept saying even when some folks chose to buy into the 2018 “retool” narrative that great young players would have us emerging as contenders right about now, there are zero replacements for the elderly Price/Weber in the system. MB’s inability to draft and develop is the reason that we’re looking at this organization and not seeing a pathway forward to contending. His brilliant offseason moves in 2020 helped to paper over that hole and allowed the aging core to reach the Finals - he deserves praise for that - but it was not a substitute for proper drafting and development. The organization has been largely rotting from within since 2016. This analysis is, I believe, consistent with alfredo’s numbers.
  10. You may be right, but is “roughly league average” good enough - ? Shouldn’t we be demanding excellence?
  11. A canny analysis. It helps to explain the oddity of a clear-cut GM candidate not actually being our GM. A very good situation for Gorton, really, since whomever he hires will be both a spokesperson and a potential scapegoat, i.e., someone he can fire when things get bad. And meanwhile, we have a seasoned de facto GM and a promising rookie.
  12. If the GM manages to find a taker for Price, that will be a sign that he is some sort of managerial wizard. I believe #31 will retire a Hab. And probably get his jersey retired - appropriately, IMHO, since he is the only authentically all-time great player we have had in the post-Cup era.
  13. Yep. It’s like a prime minister…they come in full of hope, they gradually build a record in office, they do some good things and some bad things, but eventually the government rots out under them and needs to be replaced. The 2009 team collapsed under some combination of key injuries (Markov and Lang), a player rebellion against Carbo, a clutch uncommitted players who were checking out mentally in the final year of their contracts, and - most importantly - the fact that those guys just weren’t good enough. The high water mark organizationally since Houle occurred when Gainey Rebuild 2.0 (really a “retool”) came to fruition in 2014 and ‘15. Unfortunately that could not be sustained, due to injuries to Price and the ageing out of Pleks and Markov. The other high water mark was last spring when the old core (Price, Weber, Petry, Danault) came together for one last hurrah. But that was a short-term sugar-high, not a sign of a fundamentally strong organization. Indeed, ironically, it was just the reverse.
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