Montreal Canadiens: How Much Faith Does Geoff Molson Really Have?

Rosalyn RoyContributor IIIDecember 7, 2011

ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24:  Seventh overall pick Nathan Beaulieu by the Montreal Canadiens stands onstage for a photo with Director of Procurement and Player Development Trevor Timmins  and a member of the Montreal Canadiens organization during day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens are mired deep in mediocrity this season, with no apparent desire to climb out of that hole. How else is there to explain their recent performances against Columbus and Anaheim?

Geoff Molson has just gone on record as having faith in his management, his coach and his team. When he first bought the team, one of the things he said was that he was a fan and that he had run around the locker rooms when he was a kid, meeting all the legends. He said that, more than anything, he wanted to return the Cup to Montreal for a 25th time.

If there’s one thing the 'Habs are good at, it’s saying the right things. When it comes to execution, though, something is usually amiss. And it seems Molson is really good at this too.

After every game, the players perform a mea culpa and state what they need to correct, and then they skate out onto the ice for the next game and it’s the same old show. The very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Remember what happened shortly before Guy Carbonneau got the axe from Bob Gainey? Gainey had recently gone on record as backing his coach.

I’m not saying that Molson is just paying lip service, but he’s not a multi-millionaire because he prefers to run on faith and good karma. He’s a businessman first and foremost, and as it stands, this team cannot and will not contend for the Stanley Cup this year.

That translates into playoffs revenue, and that is no chump change.

Meanwhile, why is Pierre Gauthier not wheeling and dealing if he has the full faith and backing of his owner?

Last year, when the 'Habs' blueline got decimated by injuries, he traded for James Wisniewski. He cut deals that saw the team roll through almost a dozen defensemen.

This year, he and Molson are apparently both content to watch team struggle.

Some of it is due to injuries, but some of it is not. How else can one explain the performances to date of key role players like Michael Cammalleri and Brian Gionta?

The lines get shuffled so often that it strikes me as a tell-tale sign of complacency and panic on the part of the coaches. How can they not be feeling the heat at this point?

Whatever lip service Geoff Molson cares to pay to the press is completely irrelevant to me. A man in his position is not going to come out and say publicly that he’s about to gut his management team, even if he were actually thinking of doing it. But Molson can be the businessman and he can be the fan at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive. If the team succeeds, it will mean revenue and happy fans. It’s a total win-win.

Actions speak louder than words, and it’s time for Molson to take some.

If he is sincere and does have faith in this team’s management, its coaching staff and its players, then I hope it is compensation enough.

Speaking as a lifelong fan also, as Molson reports to be, I don’t see how it’s going to be good enough. And even from the business angle, I don’t see how missing all that postseason revenue is going to be good enough.

So, I choose to have a little faith of my own, that Geoff Molson is just paying lip service right now because publicly he can’t do anything else. Surely he won’t let it get so far as to watch this team continue its struggles and miss the playoffs this year, will he?