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More belated Gainey credit


Colin
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From TSN.ca

They did a candid players poll (no names) about some of the bigger NHL questions, and the one that caught my attention was this:

Best NHL franchise: Detroit.

#2 Pit.

#3? Montreal.

Remember where we were a decade ago? Full credit to Savard, Gillett and, I believe mostly, Gainey, for putting us back into the respectable area.

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I'd imagine anyone who picked Montreal would be basing it off of the franchise's history. Surely no one in their right mind would endorse them as the top organization in the league right now. Don't think it has much to do with Gainey.

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Before Gainey came along I wonder how many of us could fathom the miraculous development that we could sign Ryan Smyth as a UFA. Before that development I would have believed in pink elephants first before I'd ever be able to fathom that.

Nonetheless, Smitty was Montreal bound and much of that had to do with Gainey being at the helm. It's obvious that Smitty was negotiating with Gainey. It's not BOb's fault that Sakic talked him into going to Colorado! This was not rumour. Ryan said it himself publically

When we signed Cammalleri I was shocked. I didn't think the Habs ever had a chance at such a prized signing. Also, Cammalleri was one of the highest prized July 1st players available.

I love this subject. It's facts (Smitty) such as these that get overlooked when evaluating Gainey. I find that most of the 10 major criticisms against him I can blow holes in at least half of them!

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I think without saying Gainey left this franchise in better shape than what he inherited. No GM is perfect, people talk about Pens/Caps being good franchises and well GMed? How hard is it to finish last for 5 years and get top 3 draft picks? To be fair, those here on the forums that hate the fervor for Gainey seemed to have that same fervour when he was a current GM, so it's not exactly cheap shots at someone who's gone, but still...the difference between this team currently and last year is so drastic. You may point out they are struggling to make the playoffs same as last year, well look at Detroit, they had less injuries than us, yet everyone universally cuts them slack, I don't understand that double standard, but that's a different topic altogether.

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Ribeiro has to be one of his biggest mistakes. Hainsey was frustrating too. I'm sure there are sevral different complaints. Tanguay, Grabovski and Lang and selling picks I'm sure annoy other fans.

One of those arguments is Francois Beauchemin. I admit that when he left I was disappointed. But it took him 2 to 3 years to get his game going after he left. But what people forget is that he ended up in Syracuse after he was moved. Gainey, Doug Maclean and Burke all told him he was out of shape and he wouldn't go anywhere without a change of attitude. He figured it out after about four years.

This makes me think of the movie "Rocky 3". Apollo, Paulie, Rocky and Adrian are touring Apollo's old training gym in LA when Paulie gets a little hostile and mouthy. Rocky says to Apollo: "It takes six years to get to know him" and Apollo responds: "I ain't got six years!"

It takes Beauchemin four years to get going. Well, Gainey ain't got four years!"

We may not like it but there is also the real day to day world of running a club. I don't think you can be too harsh for not having a functional crystal ball.

Edited by Athlétique.Canadien
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Being a GM is all about give and take, Gorges turning into a respectable D man for a throw in, in the Rivet trade, is an example of a small move at the time which turned out for the better. You can break down a lot of moves and dissect them. The one thing is, you'll never know for sure how things will turn out in different situations...will Riberio ever turn out like he is if he stayed in Montreal?

Edited by bar
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From TSN.ca

They did a candid players poll (no names) about some of the bigger NHL questions, and the one that caught my attention was this:

Best NHL franchise: Detroit.

#2 Pit.

#3? Montreal.

Remember where we were a decade ago? Full credit to Savard, Gillett and, I believe mostly, Gainey, for putting us back into the respectable area.

:clap:

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Before Gainey came along I wonder how many of us could fathom the miraculous development that we could sign Ryan Smyth as a UFA. Before that development I would have believed in pink elephants first before I'd ever be able to fathom that.

Nonetheless, Smitty was Montreal bound and much of that had to do with Gainey being at the helm. It's obvious that Smitty was negotiating with Gainey. It's not BOb's fault that Sakic talked him into going to Colorado! This was not rumour. Ryan said it himself publically

When we signed Cammalleri I was shocked. I didn't think the Habs ever had a chance at such a prized signing. Also, Cammalleri was one of the highest prized July 1st players available.

I love this subject. It's facts (Smitty) such as these that get overlooked when evaluating Gainey. I find that most of the 10 major criticisms against him I can blow holes in at least half of them!

D'accord.

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Are you referring to the ESPN survey where they polled 50 out of 700 NHL players -- roughly 7% of the league's players?

still a valid sample the error rate is just a bit bigger.

do you question the validity of a poll of 1000 person over 300M Americans? yet, their error rate is usually +/- 1%

of course, it wasn't done as "scientifically"... but 50 out of 700 is a good sample and I'd say that the error rate is surely not so big as to put the habs lower than 5-7th (bold guess/ speculation)... which is still way way way way way higher than in 2003 when Gainey took the team or 2000 when Savard took the team.

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Are you referring to the ESPN survey where they polled 50 out of 700 NHL players -- roughly 7% of the league's players?

Are you going to actually say that the franchise isn't in better shape than it was a decade ago? Are you really going to say that, even if you didn't like his style, Gainey didn't bring a measure of class, consistency and competence that we hadn't seen in the GM position in a very long time? Is your hate for Gainey so much that you can't see at least some of the positive he brought to the organization?

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Are you going to actually say that the franchise isn't in better shape than it was a decade ago? Are you really going to say that, even if you didn't like his style, Gainey didn't bring a measure of class, consistency and competence that we hadn't seen in the GM position in a very long time? Is your hate for Gainey so much that you can't see at least some of the positive he brought to the organization?

You cant compare to a decade ago. Now we have a salary cap, back then we didnt. If we had this team back in the no salary cap days Id be thrilled, right now I see a team that barely will make the playoffs and that because of lack of capspace wont improve for next season.

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I'm still waiting for some negative stuff so I can blow holes in it. :P I guess I'll throw one out there. I do recall not too many fans were happy about this:

1 Pittsburgh Marc-Andre Fleury

2 Carolina Eric Staal

3 Florida Nathan Horton

4 Columbus Nikolai Zherdev

5 Buffalo Thomas Vanek

6 San Jose Milan Michalek

7 Nashville Ryan Suter

8 Atlanta Braydon Coburn

9 Calgary Dion Phaneuf

10 Mtl. Canadiens Andrei Kostitsyn

11 Philadelphia Jeff Carter

17 New Jersey Zach Parise

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You cant compare to a decade ago. Now we have a salary cap, back then we didnt. If we had this team back in the no salary cap days Id be thrilled, right now I see a team that barely will make the playoffs and that because of lack of capspace wont improve for next season.

?

I'm not talking about that kind of stuff. I'm talking about the respectability of the franchise. The cap doesn't alter the perception of a given franchise because every team is under the same rule. I'm talking about these new findings that say Montreal is the third best franchise in the NHL. That implies, to me anyhow, that players think Montreal has a high level of class, respect, and is actually a place worth playing, rather than the hole it found itself in from the Houle era.

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I'm still waiting for some negative stuff so I can blow holes in it. :P I guess I'll throw one out there. I do recall not too many fans were happy about this:

1 Pittsburgh Marc-Andre Fleury

2 Carolina Eric Staal

3 Florida Nathan Horton

4 Columbus Nikolai Zherdev

5 Buffalo Thomas Vanek

6 San Jose Milan Michalek

7 Nashville Ryan Suter

8 Atlanta Braydon Coburn

9 Calgary Dion Phaneuf

10 Mtl. Canadiens Andrei Kostitsyn

11 Philadelphia Jeff Carter

17 New Jersey Zach Parise

I hate to blow holes in your holes, but Savard still ran the draft in 03.

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AC, I believe Smyth actually chose Colorado over Montreal because he took them more seriously as an organization (I forget what his words were) even though the two teams were coming off of pretty similar seasons.

I also don't think almost getting Ryan Smyth is much of an accomplishment. Any one of us can get (or almost get) a good player if we throw money at him. We offered to pay Smyth more than he's worth - of course, he's going to consider us. In the end he was lured by the image of the Avalanche franchise which was, at that time, more attractive than ours.

Are you going to actually say that the franchise isn't in better shape than it was a decade ago? Are you really going to say that, even if you didn't like his style, Gainey didn't bring a measure of class, consistency and competence that we hadn't seen in the GM position in a very long time? Is your hate for Gainey so much that you can't see at least some of the positive he brought to the organization?

The team improved over the past 5 years but what does this poll have to do with that?

Does the poll give you the entire rankings? I'm guessing Toronto also finished quite high on the list even though they're the second to worst team in the league. The worst team, Edmonton, might also have placed high because of their history.

I don't get what Gainey has to do with the poll.

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AC, I believe Smyth actually chose Colorado over Montreal because he took them more seriously as an organization (I forget what his words were) even though the two teams were coming off of pretty similar seasons.

I also don't think almost getting Ryan Smyth is much of an accomplishment. Any one of us can get (or almost get) a good player if we throw money at him. We offered to pay Smyth more than he's worth - of course, he's going to consider us. In the end he was lured by the image of the Avalanche franchise which was, at that time, more attractive than ours.

The team improved over the past 5 years but what does this poll have to do with that?

Does the poll give you the entire rankings? I'm guessing Toronto also finished quite high on the list even though they're the second to worst team in the league. The worst team, Edmonton, might also have placed high because of their history.

I don't get what Gainey has to do with the poll.

This poll or subject about Bob Gainey is about as believable as a political polls, those who like Bob Gainey will find reasons to like him and those who did not like Bob Gainey will find reasons not to like him. A waste of time just like reading political polls.

Edited by thib46
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Are you going to actually say that the franchise isn't in better shape than it was a decade ago? Are you really going to say that, even if you didn't like his style, Gainey didn't bring a measure of class, consistency and competence that we hadn't seen in the GM position in a very long time? Is your hate for Gainey so much that you can't see at least some of the positive he brought to the organization?

I'm going to say that a franchise's long-term health is based mostly on it's drafting and player development's quality. Trading comes second, and Gainey's trading overall record is 50-50, at best. Signing UFAs is the least telling element of a GMs work. It's like trying to assert if kid X or Y is a good student based on the shopping he does with daddy's credit card. If the only positive you can list in favor of Gainey is how classy he was and how he got this and that free agent to consider coming here, then you mistakingly assume that a GM's responsibilities boils down to being nothing more than a PR job.

Not surprised that some fans have short, selective memories. They quickly forgot how Gainey kept striking out on almost every UFA until a couple of years ago. It's the surprising winning season of 2007-2008 that change Montreal's reputation amongst players, not Gainey. The team started to win, the city light up and the fans showed their enthusiasm. Players around the league took notice. After that players wanted to sign with the Habs; and they mostly say it's because of the ambiance here.

It's a big part of the team's reputation turn around. The other part nobody sees is the work done by the real top brass. Gillette poured money in the team, Boivin and the guys in suit did the business/PR work with the sponsors and government and business communities to shine up the Habs corporate brand and etc. To pin it all down to "Gainey has class" is extremely short-sighted and dismissive of every unknown face working in the organization.

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Not surprised that some fans have short, selective memories.

For you and BTH (and anyone else who misunderstands, including those who think I'm saying Gainey was a terrific GM:

I don't believe this has nearly as much to do with the on-ice product as it has to do with the fact that Montreal was a Mickey Mouse organization from the top down during the Houle era, and only turned a corner when first Savard, then Gillett and Gainey brought respectability back to the franchise as a whole. Repeat: this is not about Gainey's moves at GM, more about him making the franchise respectable rather than a laughing stock.

Oh, and Koz, I think you need a little more short-term memory. ;) Seems he lured Cammalleri here this past summer, and Cammi was one of the highest rated players available. So, while he struck out earlier in his tenure, he succeeded at the end - and I think that further proves the point that Montreal went from joke franchise to what it is today.

BTH, as to the Leafs, I'm not sure players would call the franchise great - better than it was a few years ago with Burke in charge, but not great. I feel Burke will bring a level of respectability that franchise has been missing in the last while. JF Jr. 'Nuff said there.

Anyhow, I know how this board feels the need to be contrary to everything posted rather than actually saying, yeah, that could very well be a good point. I will assume that, deep down, in places you don't care to admit exist, BTH and Koz both agree that Gainey did bring more respectability to this franchise. Because honestly, if you don't think that, then I think you're both on some drugs that I want no part of. ;):P

EDIT: I erased the end bracket on the quote. Oops.

Edited by Colin
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For you and BTH (and anyone else who misunderstands, including those who think I'm saying Gainey was a terrific GM:

I don't believe this has nearly as much to do with the on-ice product as it has to do with the fact that Montreal was a Mickey Mouse organization from the top down during the Houle era, and only turned a corner when first Savard, then Gillett and Gainey brought respectability back to the franchise as a whole. Repeat: this is not about Gainey's moves at GM, more about him making the franchise respectable rather than a laughing stock.

Oh, and Koz, I think you need a little more short-term memory. ;) Seems he lured Cammalleri here this past summer, and Cammi was one of the highest rated players available. So, while he struck out earlier in his tenure, he succeeded at the end - and I think that further proves the point that Montreal went from joke franchise to what it is today.

BTH, as to the Leafs, I'm not sure players would call the franchise great - better than it was a few years ago with Burke in charge, but not great. I feel Burke will bring a level of respectability that franchise has been missing in the last while. JF Jr. 'Nuff said there.

Anyhow, I know how this board feels the need to be contrary to everything posted rather than actually saying, yeah, that could very well be a good point. I will assume that, deep down, in places you don't care to admit exist, BTH and Koz both agree that Gainey did bring more respectability to this franchise. Because honestly, if you don't think that, then I think you're both on some drugs that I want no part of. ;):P

EDIT: I erased the end bracket on the quote. Oops.

Bob Gainey is a class act and , he made the Habs a class act again. May we fans be half as good at being fans as he was as GM and half as classy as this man among men.

God bless Bob Gainey.

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A lot of the debate here is a bit bizarre. It seems blazingly clear to me that Bob Gainey was an integral part of the process of moving this franchise from a place where it was bottom of the barrel in every way, from on-ice to off-ice performance, to one of the crown jewels of the NHL as an overall operation. UFAs absolutely flocked here en masse last summer. Much of the poisonous air of mediocrity that enveloped this franchise in the past has dissipated (and yes, the 2007 season went a long way toward helping that; but of course Gainey was the builder of that particular team). For that matter, a GM left his job elsewhere to simply be our *coach.* You can argue this or that point, but the Habs are now a strong and respected franchise on ice and off. Gainey deserves a lot (not all) of the credit for that.

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You'll never nor will Gainey be able to please ALL Canadiens fans. Fact is, we are the most demanding and greedy fans in the NHL. And, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Seriously, which other team has Dr. Jekyll (glass half full) and Mr. Hyde (half empty) fans and some also in the middle as much as we do?

Gainey could walk on water and that still wouldn't be enough.

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You'll never nor will Gainey be able to please ALL Canadiens fans. Fact is, we are the most demanding and greedy fans in the NHL. And, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Seriously, which other team has Dr. Jekyll (glass half full) and Mr. Hyde (half empty) fans and some also in the middle as much as we do?

Gainey could walk on water and that still wouldn't be enough.

He is the man. They don't make them any more respected by everybody.

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Ribeiro has to be one of his biggest mistakes. Hainsey was frustrating too. I'm sure there are sevral different complaints. Tanguay, Grabovski and Lang and selling picks I'm sure annoy other fans.

One of those arguments is Francois Beauchemin. I admit that when he left I was disappointed. But it took him 2 to 3 years to get his game going after he left. But what people forget is that he ended up in Syracuse after he was moved. Gainey, Doug Maclean and Burke all told him he was out of shape and he wouldn't go anywhere without a change of attitude. He figured it out after about four years.

This makes me think of the movie "Rocky 3". Apollo, Paulie, Rocky and Adrian are touring Apollo's old training gym in LA when Paulie gets a little hostile and mouthy. Rocky says to Apollo: "It takes six years to get to know him" and Apollo responds: "I ain't got six years!"

It takes Beauchemin four years to get going. Well, Gainey ain't got four years!"

We may not like it but there is also the real day to day world of running a club. I don't think you can be too harsh for not having a functional crystal ball.

Gainey didn't need 4 more years, nor did Beauchemin.

He was claimed in Sept 2004 and the ONLY reason he went to Syracuse first was because of the lockout.

As soon as the NHL resumed he never played another game in the AHL.

At that point Gainey obviously thought he would be better off going forward with Markov, Souray, Rivet, Komisarek, Hainsey and Boullion.

(He allowed Breezer, Dykhuis and Quintal to walk)

So he decided to keep Boullion over Beauchemin, hindsight shows that it was the wrong choice. In the Fall of 2004 with a patchwork

team in the early stages of rebuilding I think it is fair to deem it a mistake to keep a 29 year old Boullion over Beauchemin who was bigger and had

a larger upside. When the Habs matured into the contender that was promised 4 years later, they would have been better served with Beauchemin

on the backend over Cube.

Edited by Wamsley01
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