I’ve been pretty quiet lately. Perhaps a little too quiet?
While Habs fans have reached a panic mode rivaling the final scenes of Titanic, throwing everyone and anyone under the bus, I have remained calm. I have tried to see things through my own, ever optimistic eyes.
So quick everyone has been to place blame on Gomez, Price, Gauthier, Gainey, Cammalleri, the list goes on and on. I’m not so eager to do the same.
Every team hits a crossroads. There are ups and downs, peaks and valleys, highs and lows. It’s unavoidable. In a fan base as hungry and demanding as ours, these summits create a state of Euphoria. An invincibility that we no longer feel is earned, but owed. When we find ourselves spinning into the abyss that we are now in, we feel wronged. We feel cheated. Someone must be at fault for this, right?
I take us back a few short years. To the summer of 2009. This is where Bob Gainey, former GM of the Canadiens, found himself at this crossroads I speak of. He had an aging group of veterans. They had found marginal regular season success, but continually proved not to be contenders in the playoffs. It was time to make a decision.
With players like Alex Kovalev, Mike Komasarik and long time captain Saku Koivu becoming UFA’s, Gainey had a chance to step back and take a look at what he had, and what direction the team was heading. I have to tell you folks, he couldn’t have liked what he saw. This team had passed it’s apex. It was into the later years of it’s current lifespan and had begun its decent into the darkness that accompanies every GM’s biggest nightmare. A rebuild.
No assets to move for picks. No young studs under contract to build around. Nothing.
Gainey saw an opportunity. The free agent list that year showed something that could be magical. What would a team look like that had a Gomez/Gionta reunion? What would Cammalleri bring to this mix? It was an interesting thought. One that, if it worked, could put off that dreaded rebuild and give the team life again.
Most importantly, it could appease this rabid fanbase.
So this team was assembled. It even had some success. I think everyone can agree that playoff run was one of the more magical stories in this franchise’s bulging diary. So everything was grand. Even last year, the team showed improvement and looked to defeat the hated Bruins and maybe go on to another run. It was not meant to be.
In the background to all this, the rebuild remained. Forgotten, but growing in need. The cupboards were still somewhat bare. The Kostitsyn’s were failures. David Fischer was, well, David Fischer.
And so…the rebuild.
No one in this fan base is willing to sit through 5 – 10 years of bottom 5 finishes. Don’t try and pretend. You are lying.
We aren’t about to see a Gomez for Alex Ovechkin trade anytime soon either, so suck it up!
There are some quality pieces in this organization that need some time to grow. The underachieving team we are icing will allow this to happen.
Does anyone actually think Nail Yakupov or Mikhail Grigorenko is Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin? Get real! This is a very deep draft and any 1st or 2nd round pick could end up being gold.
What do the Habs need right now? How about a little patience and support from their fans? How about a vote of confidence? How about everyone takes a breath for a second, and sees the big picture? We’ll be alright. We have some very good pieces here now. It is not the time to panic.
Here is a gentle reminder.
- Carey Price
- PK Subban
- Eric Cole
- David Desharnais
- Max Pacioretty
- Louis LeBlanc
- Jarred Tinordi
- Nathan Beaulieu
- Lars Eller
- Tomas Plekanec
- Alexei Emelin
- Brendan Gallagher
Is this really a list worth panicking about? Quietly, Gainey and Gauthier have stocked the cupboards. We will be alright. Just chill out.