What Gainey Has Done for the Habs
I can’t help but notice that everywhere in the internet community that most fas are very disappointed with the way that General Manage Bob Gainey handled the off-season. Does anyone remember last season? Does anyone remember anything else other than the fact that the team did not make the playoffs?
I think that as habs fans we should all remember that during the first half of the season, the team was fighting for 3rd spot in the conference and was even close to catching up with Buffalo at some point? Does anyone remember that the Habs were one of the very few teams that could play with the Sabres, at the same speed? In fact it seems to me that we are very quick to forget the good points of the season when the team fails to qualify for the playoffs.
Fortunately for all of us who are way too hasty to trade everyone away, Gainey remembers these points from the last season. He remembers that there really wasn’t much missing for the team to qualify for the playoffs and that one of the major issues – as explained by Gainey at the end of the season – was an imbabance within the team. Now, Gainey is much better placed than any of us to know what needed fixing to correct that problem. I believe that his off-season moves (and even his in-season move of trading Rivet) may all have been in the hopes of attempting to correct the imbalance problem. I think that the Rivet trade was an attempt to remove a body that took too much place in the room. I think that the not resigning Bonk and Johnson was a way to remove possible dissention within the ranks. I think that resinging Higgins, Komisarek, Plekanec to two year deals were Gainey’s way to tell these three that they are the core of hiw team for a long time to come (remember that Gainey is not a fan of the long term deals because he believes (rightly so) that they tend to always leave one side unhappy. I think that the signing of Hamrlik is nothing short of brilliant since Souray wasn’t coming back. I think that Smolinski will bring a nice amount of experience to the group of youngsters. And I think that bringing in Kostopoulos is going to bring a lot of positive energy in the room and on the ice (in fact you can ask Michel Therrien – the penguins’ coach – what he thinks of Kostopoulos having coached him in the Q and liking him so much to make him the team captain).
And more youngsters may be coming in this year. It is very exciting to see it happening people. In fact I see only one possible issue with this team right now and it is the coach. If Carbo doesn’t start talking to his players better, I’m araid that the same thing as last year could happen again. But I have faith that the genius of Gainey will prevail and that he’ll help his rookie coach get better and better.
The future is bright for Habs fans! Gainey has done a great job making this team a better one and while we may not have the big names like Briere and Smyth, I for one am much happier to see that Gainey is trying to build a team and not a powerhouse of 2 players witrh a supporting cast of 19 mediocre players.