Montreal Canadiens: Hockey Stimulus Package

Camille HamelContributor IFebruary 12, 2009

In these dwindling economic times, a savior, a face of hope emerges in Barack Obama. 

In our hockey slump, is Bob Gainey the face of hope for Montreal?

A stoic and quiet gentleman—some say a "passive" GM, his method was praised and adored by the fanbase in general.

Why not, right?

A team last year that experts predicted to finish in the rutter (pun intended) of the East finishes first. A fire is now lit in the millions of Habs fans, Hab-aholics, and bandwagoners together, and hockey fever rapidly infects and contaminates the city of Montreal.

Now that reality has settled in, let's talk logistics here. Pierre Ladouceur writes in La Presse, "Pour le moment, le Canadien ne forme pas une équipe. C'est une bande d'individus qui porte le même chandail."

In English, this means the Canadiens do not form a team. They're a bunch of individuals wearing the same jersey. He could not be closer to the truth.

The Canadiens keep digging their hole deeper and deeper. If they lose their next game to a dismal Colorado Avalanche, I'm afraid they will have dug far enough to find their golf clubs and bury a centennial playoff berth.

Now, do desperate times call for desperate measures? The situation is extremely sensitive, and could snowball from bad to kill-me-now in less than a month if the right steps are not taken.

In Bob we trust? I have the utmost confidence in Bob Gainey. It's his colleague and peer in Carbonneau I am starting to question. Is he the right man for the job? Only time will tell.

This is his first real test as a coach. It is too early to abandon him and hang him out to dry. His methods are questionable, yes, but so is the team. He is doing the best he can with what he has. I hope that it works out because Carbonneau is a perfect fit in a close-knit Montreal system.

Now, just like a company with a substandard fiscal year in the midst of a depression, one must see what is mandatory to keep the company alive, and which assets are expendable. What will resuscitate the team from postmortem to the postseason?

Here is my take on it:

Gotta move: Kovalev, Plekanec, Komisarek, Kostitsyn x2, and Halak.

Gotta stay: Price, Koivu, Pacioretty, d'Agostini, Gorges, Hamerlik, Lang, Tanguay, Kostopoulous, and Latendresse.

Wait and see: Markov

My justifications for the gotta moves: Kovalev plays with no heart and no consistency. Plekanec can't produce or find chemistry with anyone on the team, and takes way too many bad penalties.

Komisarek wants to be either re-signed before the end of the season or traded, and since Bob has made it public he will not sign him before the end of the season, he has been playing with his head tucked in between his legs.

The Kostitsyn brothers could get us one big playmaker. They are too on/off, and are not producing what is requested from them. Halak, I really do like—but I think it's time to let him go. Carey, regardless of his play, right now is the future of this club, and the Habs will only win a Cup with Carey in net.

What Price needs is a veteran goalie who can help him with his technique and mental aspects of the game—mainly the latter.

This band of misfits needs a way to become a band of brothers. More to come soon.


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