If I were Bob Gainey, GM of the Montreal Canadiens…..

If I were Bob Gainey, GM of the Montreal Canadiens I would…….

1. Hire Guy Carbonneau to coach. This guy would seem like the perfect fit to coach the Habs as he was a former player and employee there and is a respected French Canadian. If anything he would bring some type of system for the player to play in and that alone would make this a better team. Just look at Minnesota. They certainly dont have the most talent but by playing a certain way as per orders from their coach Jacques Lemaire, has made them one of the leagues most difficult teams to play against. Montreal would be that with Carbo as coach and likely a tight checking system he would bring.

2. Trade Jose Theodore. He is too much of a distraction. His big contract that so far he has not lived up to and his legal problems with his father and the possibility of him being mixed up with that make him not the guy to lead this team to the promise land. There are really only 2 teams that could trade for him. The Colorado Avalanche or the New York Rangers. I say trade him with Yanic Perreault to New York for Anson Carter, Petr Nedved and a first round pick. And replace his spot in goal by signing Felix Potvin. The first round pick should be decent since the Rangers will find a way to miss the playoffs again. They will probably add to their forwards by trading Mike Dunham away so losing Carter and Nedved wont hurt them much. Carter and Nedved would fit in with the Habs. They definitely have what the Habs need. Scoring ability up front and much needed depth. The big contract of Theodore’s would be offset by the contracts coming in for Carter and Nedved so moneywise it’s a wash. Potvin is a solid veteran, who happens to be French Canadian and who would help bring along Mathieu Garon.

3. Move out Patrice Brisebois. I think Patrice’s time with the Habs is over. After his hiatus mid season due to stress and going to France in the middle of it, is just enough to finally cut ties with this guy. He is still a good player. He is a fine powerplay QB but just needs a new lease on life. Trade him and a 2nd Round pick to Anaheim for Vitali Vishnevski. Brisebois would be what they need. An offensive defenceman to go with their new firepower that they have just added in Sergei Fedorov and Vaclav Prospal. Vishnevski is a young player that could still develop into a top 4 defenceman. He has the skills to do it, I guess he just needs the chance to prove himself. He can do just a bit of everything and has a bit of a physical edge to his game which the Habs needs dearly. And the key for a team like Montreal, he is young and cheap.

4. Add more grit. The Habs are still not that gritty up front but maybe trading Joe Juneau to San Jose for Todd Harvey would help, as would signing Pascal Rheaume. Rheaume would be a solid checking centre that the Habs need to play against the other teams best lines. Harvey is a fearless, tough, gritty competitor who would quickly become a fan favorite with his heart and desire. Maybe not the fastest and most skilled but certainly a hard worker who would rub off on his teammates.

5. Remove dead weight. Mariusz Czerkawski, Randy McKay are already gone but why stop there? Karl Dykhuis, Patrick Traverse, Andy Dackell and Donald Audette could also be moved out as well. if any team would take one of them for a draft pick or something then that would be an added bonus, but that would be unlikely. But otherwise just get rid of them all together. They in a word are useless.

So with all these changes the Habs would look something like this:

Bulis-Koivu-Carter

Hossa-Nedved-Zednik

Sundstrom-Rheaume-Ward

Kilger-Ribeiro-Harvey

Markov-Rivet

Vishnevski-Komisarek

Hainsey-Souray

Potvin-Garon

For depth there would be: Forwards:Daigenais, Ryder, Perezhogin, Balej, Gratton, Dwyer, Higgins, Defence: Bouillon, Quintal, Dyment, Goalie: Damphousse

The top line would be just awesome. Lots of speed and size to play with Koivu. Bulis and Carter would be more than willing and able to go into the traffic areas and battle for the puck and allow Koivu to work his magic.

The second line would be no slouch either. Kind of a Czech/Slovak line that may find some good chemistry. A key is that they are all very skilled and all have decent size to fight for pucks as well. Zednik is fearless and having a guy like Nedved feeding the puck could make him more dangerous.

The third and fourth lines add a bit of checking with some grit, some youth and a bit of scoring. A decent mix. If given the chance some of these young player may be able to actually do something and contribute. Ribeiro might be a good player if given a certain role rather than thrown in to be one of the top centres on the team. Less pressure may make him a better player.

The defence is young but bigger, tougher and could grow together being one of the best for years. Hainsey and Markov could be top offensive defencemen for a while. Markov has shown it so far while Hainsey could soon become that type of Defenceman. Souray and Rivet add that veteran leadership and toughness. Those two are fearless and lead by example playing with injuries and through pain. Vishnevski and Komisarek have the potential to be an all round threat. they are young and still learning but may soon become top defenceman in this league. I think they just need a chance. Komisarek could be the real deal and eventually the star back there for a long time.

In goal they are solid with Potvin and Garon. They may make a good tandem somewhat like what Minnesota has with Dwayne Roloson and Manny Fernandez, and we have seen how well that works. And with a good checking system in place, there would be less pressure on the goalie to face 40 shots a night which is what Montreal goalies these days have to face daily.

It is almost 99% certain that none of this will happen due to economics among other things, but we can dream can’t we? It is only my opinion as to what I would do. And it would be great to see that happen as its is nice to have the Canadian teams be competitive and successful.

So tell me what you think??


37 Responses to If I were Bob Gainey, GM of the Montreal Canadiens…..

  1. EdBelfour20 says:

    I agree Potvin would be a perfect fit for he Canadiens!

  2. fatsat says:

    You have pulled your opinions right out of my mouth. How did you do that?

    If they ever let Gainey go, you should apply.

  3. PeterPuck says:

    Why change coaches so fast? Nedved? come on…if the habs get him i will burn the Bell Centre!!!!!!!!

  4. Rico1975 says:

    It’s true now that the Gainey Era in Montreal has started there is a new sense of Optimisim that wasn’t there before….I mean Gaineys Track record is great and he rarely got fleeced..compared to Rejean Houle who of course never won a trade.

    If we want to eat a huge salary that would look good in Montreal why not trade Zednik,Dackell and Brisebois to Washington for Jagr and Gonchar?

    I also think they should potentially put Koivu on the block and see what they could pull in for him, even though Saku being the most popular player in Montreal right now and the heart and soul of the Canadiens has never stopped a Habs GM from trading that player before (the Curse of the C).

    Good trade idea’s Nordiques!

  5. jon95616 says:

    Ducks arent giving u Vishnevski…pick someone else

  6. Rico1975 says:

    Why switch coaches so fast? We’re never going to win with a rookie coach, Julien did well in the AHL with the Hamilton Bulldogs..I could have coached the Bulldogs by myself without any staff and managed to win with that team.

    Julien is going to be the next Therrien..can succeed at the AHL Level with the Citadels but when given the shot at the big time totally screw it up, the guy couldn’t install a system of play in Montreal…and I’m fearing that Julien is also going to be the same way.

    Carbonneau could be the next Jacques Lemaire, or at his very worst the next Jacques Martin…if either of those guys were available (and Lemaire would coach in Montreal) we’d be rallying to have Julien fired and one of those guys running the show.

    Gainey has only ever had to hire one coach in his career and I think he did a pretty good selection with Ken Hitchcock..I just hope he can manage to get Carbo over from Dallas.

  7. Patonboy says:

    Maybe Colin White from New Jersey? He’s rock-solid defensively and the Devils were interested in Briesbois at the trade deadline last season.

  8. big_booty says:

    You seem to be getting ahead of yourself here. A full-scale makeover isn’t what this team needs, just a few cosmetic highlights.

    Don’t go charging in and change coaches just yet. Claude Julien just got the job, give him a chance to do his own thing and see if it works. Carbonneau isn’t a guaranteed quick fix, even if he is the choice of the vox populi. Guy’s never been a head coach, and is only a couple of seasons removed from the game. Would he be better than Tony Granato? I think so, but Carbonneau’s not coaching six of the best forwards in the league.

    Trading Theodore is a mistake. Right now, he is your best player. He needs to step up and start earning his money, but don’t let him do it elsewhere, you might regret it. Garon may have loads of potential but he is still a question mark. Potvin is definitely on a downslope, he would be a huge step backwards. If Theodore doesn’t regain his form, then consider moving him at the deadline when you can bend some team over the barrel and get a better return, but not now, not right away. As for his off-the-ice issues, that is his family, not him. Should I be locked up because my dad robbed someone blind? No. Just let that situation play itself out. It might be tough love for him, but he’s got to get through it.

    You can say you want to move Brisebois, but it’s easier said than done. The trouble with ol’ Breeze-by is that no one in the league wants him. Anaheim? They play a tight defensive system. The two go together like oil and water. Why would Anaheim give up a young developing blueliner for a joke of a defenseman whom no one else will take on? Best thing to do here is to just cut him loose. Let him go back to France, or let the Rangers pick him up on waivers – he would be a perfect fit on Broadway. Overpaid, plays no defense, huge ego, etc. A Sather player if I ever saw one.

    Juneau is another player at the tail end of his career, and getting Harvey for him is a pipe dream. Ron Wilson coached him in Washington so there is some history there, but if you asked Wilson right now who he’d rather have Harvey. Besides, the Sharks already have a Juneau-like player in Vincent Damphousse.

    Why does it seem that the majority of hockey dead weight lie in Montreal and Toronto? Karl Dykhuis, Patrick Traverse, Andy Dackell and Donald Audette for the Habs, and Aki Berg, Robert Reichel, Mikael Renberg, Wade Belak, Tom Fitzgerald, and Travis Green for the Leafs? It boggles the mind.

  9. Dylan says:

    Why trade Theodore just because he’s a “distraction.” He is 26 and bound to sort this out in the future. I could just see the hads trade him for someone like Nedved(reminds me alot of Rucinsky) and screw everything up. We’re still trying to get over the effects of the Roy trade so trading Theo is not an option.

    By the way, Chris Dyment got traded to Minnesota last season.

  10. defenestrate says:

    Move to Iowa and change my name to Jimmy Thudpucker……

  11. Patonboy says:

    You are very realistic in your opinions, however I don’t think the Canadiens should trade Jose Theodore. Theodore’s past 4 seasons have been up and down with a GAA of 2.10, 2.57, 2.11 and most recently 2.90, it doesn’t say much about his consistency but Theodore is not a fluke and he will prove that this season.

    I don’t beleive the Canadiens will make any quality signings during the free-agent season, but if they do I would like to see Ray Whitney or former Hab, Martin Rucinsky sign with Montreal. Rucinsky struggled previous to being traded away during his past stint with the Canadiens but he can still score goals, something I think the Canadiens are going to struggle to do this season. Chris Simon may be a huge sleeper pick if the Canadiens want to add some size. Simon has scored 29 goals in a season as recently as 99-00, however 10-15 goals is more in his range.

    Also I would like to see what Claude Julien can do when he begins the regular season with the Candiens before I have any negative opinions of him. Besides the Canadiens have so much of their young talent they would like to move into the starting line up, and who better to bring them along then the same coach who did a great job with the same young talent in Hamilton last season.

  12. defenestrate says:

    Seriously, wouldn’t it be hilarious if they traded J.T. to Colorado, and he won The Cup his first year here?

    As Lou Christie said, “Lightning striking again”……

    c’est la guerre…..

  13. habsoverserver says:

    A very nice article, but, as you stated, most of these moves are unlikely. I think there are several questions about the starting line-up as it is.

    Hossa, Ribiero and Ward are all competing for a spot on the first or second line. It is doubtful that more than two of these players will be given sufficient ice time on a top line or powerplay. Hossa has not shown the ability to play at a high level for more than a few games. He lacked stamina in the past two seasons. This is the make or break year for Ribiero. He either become a scorer or his career is over in Habland. Ward played well in limited time last year. I agree that the only way to play all three youngsters is to move some veterans for draft picks.

    A similar decision has to be made about Hainsey and Komo on defence. Can both play 15 minutes plus per night? Further complicating matters will be the status of Sourray. In my opinion, Sourray’s size and willingness to fight was the major ingredient missing in the Habs’ last season. If Sourray cannot return at 100% the Habs should focus quickly on replacing him. I am tired of the defencemen playing half the game backing up until they hit their own end boards.

    My suggestion, if the Habs could get rid of Juneau or Dackell, would be to sign Mike Keane to a one year deal and with an assistant coach option when he retires. Keane could teach the younger players how to play two way hockey and be a better reminder of past glory.

  14. habsoverserver says:

    If the Habs sent you Theo they would also have to send the team captain to complete the Keane part of the deja vu. Problem is, I don’t think the Av’s have enough crappy players to send in return – where is Kovalenko when you need him?

  15. B-man says:

    Shut the hell up u stupid canadian fan. U think the rangers would trade Carter AND NEDVED for a crappy player perrault and theodore. LMAO. That was a good one. Shows how desperate canadian fans are. And ill be laughing in ur face when the rangers make the playoffs this year and ur team doesn’t.

  16. RangerSteve says:

    Theodore’s contract is too big? WHy on earth would you want both Carter and Nedved? The total for their contracts would land in the 9mil range as is especially since Carter is going to be heading to arbitration. I don’t thik Slats would be stupid enough to pick up Theodore considering how teh Rangers are set in net with Dunham and Markannen(Blackburn going to Hartford this year).

  17. jofa says:

    Yeah, I agree with some of what you are saying, but not all of it…

    Claude Julien is a great coach and should be given a chance. I don’t know what Carbonneau is doing right now, but if he is not with the team, work him in as an assistant coach or something. It doesn’t make sense how they rush players into coaching roles. Let him learn the role by working with a professional like Julien.

    Theodore. Tough call, but I’d probably agree that it might be a good call to trade him if the return was good enough. He is a high $$ goalie for the Canadiens, so he could be moved for good return, and also free up some cash for other signings. But Carter and Nedved are not the answer. Nedved’s game is deteriorating, and Carter is inconsistent at best. Aim younger and grittier…

    Finally, work in the youth that is knocking at the door. Hainsey and Komisarek need to start cracking the defensive lineup, which means moving some of the older players ahead of them. Brisebois needs to start over in another city. I think Mtl has a good farm system, with guys like Jason Ward who also deserve a chance.

    Montreal is on the verge of being a great team, but I agree, some changes are necessary to cut dead weight and add strength/grit/youth… A lot of the talent is in the system already, so it might just require working some of these guys into the big team…

  18. gms711 says:

    I like the way you think about bringing in Carbonneau but I think you are giving away Theo and Yanic for too little, I think we could get a better offer from the avalanche. Keep the Habs articles coming.

  19. defenestrate says:

    How’s this – McAllister, Willsie, DJ Smith, and Steve Brule for Theodore? I’ll throw in Hinote if you add the team captain (is it Koivu?)

  20. Slovakiaz says:

    Why the Rangers would give up their best player of past season … Nedved … for Theodore who’s not that better of Dunham. And Carter for Perrault ???

    Juneau for Harvey ??? Come on, wake up !

    Only thing you’re right is signing of Potvin … get rid of Breeze-by (impossible), Audette,Dackell, Dykhuis and Traverse.

  21. PeterPuck says:

    Wow, your crystal ball is working overtime, you should be able to retire for making such bold statements. Have you ever coached? I have, for the last 14 years at Junior A level here in BC and let me tell you that having a great team doesn’t mean that you can put anyone in to coach, ie Rangers… to say Julien will never win in the NHL is premature, and also to claim Carbo will be a big hit is also premature, how many ex NHL’s have coach with no experience and done shitty jobs, Cashman, Trottier, etc just to name a few. Julien is an excellent choice, why? because he teaches and he is great with the young kids, just ask them, The habs are going with youth and he will be good for the growing pains, they will be a different team come sept , Julien will get a true crack, if he fails, then bring in Carbo,, you are so incorrect to say that Lemaire would coach in Montreal, ha ha, after is 1st stint he begged to get out of there, he has no interest in coaching in Hab Land. Your statements are based on what? Pure shit……..do you play the game? or are you just a couch player, either way, it appears to me that you dream in a haze…..

  22. Dylan says:

    Last week I ran into Sheldon Souray at a local restaurant and asked him how his wrist was doing. He said it was great and he’s ready to play next year.

  23. Sunnyg says:

    I personally don’t agree with all of your proposed changes. First of all, Julien deserves a chance to start off the season as coach. let him implement his own system and at least have a training camp to mold the team together…then we’ll see what happens.

    trade theodore now? that’s crazy. you don’t dump a player when his public image is taking a beating…that will automatically put you into a situation where you will be on the losing end of a trade. let’s get a grip here….theodore had one off year…but he is 26 years old, has played at a very high level before and has been a budding star for a few years now…if you dump him for a “quick fix” such as potvin, you will live to regret it. give him a chance to rebound from an off-year!

    as for trading theodore AND perreault for nedved and carter….i think that you are greatly underestimating perreault’s value to the team. he is a solid defensive center who wins crucial faceoffs and can pop in 20-25 goals per year. that is a great asset, especially if injuries occur on the top line and he is needed to step up offensively.

    carter is great, but nedved has been inconsistent for his entire career.

    i would love to dump brisebois…but please find me a taker…no way that anaheim would agree to that deal, especially since breeze-by makes $4M/year.

    i also think that you are underestimating the value of some depth players. sure the habs have some dead weight, but having some depth is what keeps you afloat when injuries occur. that is when veterans such as juneau and dackell are most valuable…these guys have experience, can play sound defensively, win faceoffs etc…

  24. jofa says:

    Friendly…

    I agree, Carter and Nedved for Theodore and Perreault is lopsided, but its Mtl that is giving up too much in this deal. Perreault is one of the best face off centers in the game, and Theo is one of the best young goalies out there. Carter and Nedved are overpriced second liners. But arguing this trade is pretty academic, as it would never happen anyway…

  25. Stuv_Dogg says:

    B-man:

    Your wit and charisma are what makes this site such a joy sometimes. That was just sarcasm, just in case you didn’t get it. I really think that you are an ignorant idiot and can only hope that your computer shortly dies. Given your current earnings (I can assume minimum wage at McDonald’s), a new PC would be well beyond your means and that would be the end of your insight.

    Now, onto business. If you think that this trade is lopsided in Montreal’s favour then you really must be on crack. As someone else already noted, you have one of the best faceoff men in the game and one of the best young goalies (sure he had a bad season, but do you forget the season before?) going one way, whilst a washed up Nedved and a solid Anson Carter going the other way. If Theodore was guaranteed to be an average goalie for the next 10 years, then I would say the trade would be pretty even, but given Theodore’s potential, I would say Slats would and should make this move in a heartbeat.

    You mention the desperation of this Canadiens fan. On a side note, please notice the ‘e’ in Canadiens. If we are talking about, for example, the Canadian Olympic team (like the one that won the gold medal at the last Olympics), then you would be correct with your use of Canadian. However, we are not, and thus you are grossly incorrect. Back to talking about desperation. You, my friend, are in no position to talk about desperation. At least the Canadiens don’t go out and blow countless millions of dollars signing everybody with a pulse and trading their future away just for a chance to (wait for it) make the playoffs. Desperation and the NY Rangers are almost synonymous. Montreal has a core of good young players, solid management with Gainey on board, and a bright future. The same is not true for your beloved Rangers.

    And you’ll be laughing in nordique100’s face when the Rangers make the playoffs? Oh give me a break. The highest payroll in the league and you’ll be overjoyed by making the playoffs? Are you such a dolt? Has your teams annual losing lowered the Rangers fan-base standards so much that making the playoffs would be a measure of outstanding accomplishment? It must be rough times in NY.

    That’s all. You could do us all a favour and not submit any more posts or comments. Leave this site to true hockey fans who have a clue about what is going on in the world. For people like you, I am sure there are X-rated fetish sites and such.

    To other Ranger fans, I’m not trying to take a hit at your team. As a Leaf fan, I’d really like to see my team kick some ass, too. I’m sorry that you have to share this association with this guy.

  26. jofa says:

    I disagree with you on one point. While it may be minimum wage at McDonald’s, it surely isn’t his computer. I’m thinking mom and dad’s PC in the family computer room. Just remember to keep clearing the history so they don’t find out about those “other” sites you’ve been visiting…

  27. fatsat says:

    Think again. Or just think. Theo’s contract is not too big for the HABS, it is too big for him. Keep Carter and by all means keep the floater Nedved, he has NEVER amounted to anything.

  28. fatsat says:

    You’re theory on Theodore is correct. That is why Boivin said that they will not trade him. This loansharking episode is a blessing in disguise. Savard made a big boo boo when signing Theo to that large lengthly contract, this is our way outl.

    Potvin might be finished but he can carry the mail until Garon flourishes. With the savings of Theo’s 5-6 million a year and Breeze-By’s 4.3 a year…..just imagine what Gainey could do with the extra 10 million. I’m a betting man, and I say that Gainey would be able to get much more for the 10 million than Thoe and Breezy. Patrick Reverse would be good to dump as well, but just to get him off the ice.

  29. habsoverserver says:

    Awesome, the Habs need a heavyweight on the blue line.

  30. DohCanada says:

    How about Brisebois to the Paris Puffballs for a bag of croissants?

    Seriously though, good article. But as others have mentioned, I would not trade Theo – i do believe he is going to be a great goalie. And I’d love to see Carbo back on the staff, but as assistant to Julien. And get rid of that moron Charon!

    As for players I’d like to see moved – Breeze, Traverse, Lindsay, Dackell, Dykhuis – I agree with them all – but easier said than done.

    As I said, the problem with the D can be solved by replacing Charon with Carbo (or even Robinson if Carbo is unwilling to return).

  31. defenestrate says:

    Stuv Dogg – that was beautiful. There’s nothing I can add to that, except perhaps that now we know why China limits childbirth, and why they are edging closer to enforced eugenics.

  32. defenestrate says:

    The Avalanche offer McAllister, DJ Smith, andd a boatload of cash we’re borrowing from Theo’s dad……

  33. defenestrate says:

    “and” – I meant to say “and” – now i have to write it on the board 100 times (darn nuns!)

  34. habsoverserver says:

    darning a nun – is that the act of removing their hol(e)yness? (i leave the next comment about sewing a nun’s hole to you)

  35. habsoverserver says:

    the best solution to Briser is to keep booing every time he touches the puck until he agrees to quit

  36. DG says:

    You can say that nicer.

    -DG (Vice-Admin)

  37. bubbakazoo says:

    First of all, Dyment was traded a year ago to the Black Hawks for a draft pick. The Habs also have Fichaud and Michaud in Hamilton. Beauchemin is on the depth chart in Dyment’s place, and Archer is another OHL junior prospect on D. Duncan Milroy is one to watch, mark my words, he has the potential to be a really good two-way third line right winger, who will one day average 20-25 goals and 50-60 points, plus he’ll rack up over a hundred PM and hopefully be a plus player. Michael Ryder, Marcel Hossa and Jason Ward will also contribute. Ward will finally be a player- I look for 65 GP, 15 goals, and hopefully 40 something points and over a hundred PM.

    Hossa needs to become a reliable second line winger, who plays 15 minutes, gets 25-30 goals and 50-60 points. He needs to consistently apply himself to his work.

    Really, Montreal looks better because Gainey, Savard, Gauthier, Madden and Timmins are a great scouting team, and no one will slack with old number 23 in charge. Remember the ’79 playoffs when Gainey was MVP against the Rangers? Two separated shoulders, and still he was able to put away the Rangers. The “Right Stuff”, and here’s hoping it rubs off on the Habs.

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