October 12, 2011


The pressure with playing for the Canadiens is no secret to any one to have ever set foot in the league or the city. The problem with playing here is not only the fans, but also the team itself. The Montreal Canadiens pride themselves on success. The problem is that the success that is ridden is from a minimum of 18 years ago, in the summer of 1993. The team celebrates continuously the past success of their team, and yet managemnt is quite okay with that. The Canadiens have not had a real superstar since 1989, when Larry Robinson left Montreal, and that’s a stretch. Look at teams such as Pittsburgh, Edmonton, and Chicago. These teams have all had a great past, winning a minimum of two Stanley Cups in each of the teams’ histories. But then each team had a downward spiral, in which they were not able to produce a winner. They sent out most of theyre “key players” but kept the core of their team. From there, the team drafted and traded for superstars. The Penguins now have Crosby (drafted 1st overall), Malkin (drafted 2nd overall) and Fleury (drafted 1st overall). The Oilers have Hall (drafted 1st overall), Nugent-Hopkins (drafted 1st overall), Eberle (drafted 22nd overall). Chicago’s two biggest stars have also come through the draft, with Toews and Kane being picked in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Look at the trades, and the best examples are James Neal and Patrick Sharp being traded to teams that are now Champions. Look around the league, and you’ll see tons of teams doing it. Ottawa’s in the middle of a rebuild, Washington did it to get Ovechkin and company, and even Toronto did it to get Phil Kessel (trade) and Bozak and Kadri (draft). The Canadiens have to open their eyes and realize that this is what works. Either having great GM’s that can pull off great deals come deadline (Bourke) or rebuild through the draft after a disastrous first half of the season. Its time that they out a contender on the ice if they want what the fans want: a Stanley Cup. Here’s how it works:

After a dismal first half to a season, the Canadiens would trade away scoring forwards to a team that has a decent 1st round pick. Then they trade away what looks to be their best forward (Cammalleri). Then comes the little trades that get you high draft picks (1st or 2nd round) and role players that are usually 2nd and 3rd line players on other teams. Perfect example is last years Senators. They were able to get draft picks and send away trouble players like Alexei Kovalev and Brian Elliot away to teams for very cheap. The Canadiens would then be left with a core group, who would be role models and lead the team through their success. Those players for Montreal would be Tomas Plekanec, Scott Gomez (contract too big to move), Brian Gionta, Josh Gorges, PK Subban and Carey Price. Through the next 3 years, the Habs would be drafting higher and higher in the league, and developing high quality players. The core of the team would stay the same, and talented players would be brought in. Even though most fans expect the team to be contenders every year, they have to realize that if the team starts losing a lot, this is what they should expect to happen.

Article by Noah Goren

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