Looks like Stu Cowan, Sports Editor at the Montreal Gazette, shares the same thoughts as I do (see below) on the Habs. Funny, I posted mine four days before him…hmmm.
Tag Archives: Hockey
With almost all of the Montreal Canadiens unrestricted free-agents gone to different franchises, some are questioning the decisions made by the team’s general manager. Bob Gainey shook things up on July 1 free-agent frenzy when he failed to re-sign captain Saku Koivu and fan favourite Alexei Kovalev—among many other staple Canadiens—and opened the floodgates to new players. Many are wondering whether this huge change in the line-up will make the difference or if the Canadiens will have another less-than-stellar season.
Looking back over the past 15 years, it isn’t hard to find players that prospered once traded from the Canadiens. This may reflect upon Montreal’s lack of faith in their players.
Everybody remembers goalie Patrick Roy’s temper tantrums and conniption fits on and off the ice, but when he was unceremoniously traded to the Colorado Avalanche for the 1996-97 season, he only got better. The Canadiens dumped him and he hit his career high in 2001-02 with an amazing GAA of 1.94 and a SV% of .925. He was awarded with the William M. Jennings Trophy that season for “the goalkeeper(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against.” Sure he may have had a bit of a temper but it obviously didn’t affect his game-playing, something the Canadiens management overlooked when they got rid of him.
The management started a long list of regretful trades with Roy. They lost faith quickly in a young Mark Recchi and traded him to the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1998-99 season. It turned out to be a bad move. Recchi actually doubled his statistics from his last season with the team, scoring 28 goals and 91 points.
That was then and this is now you say? Well, think again. Michael Ryder was a solid right-winger for the Canadiens for five years. He hit a bit of a snag in the 2007-08 season scoring only 14 goals and 31 points. The team dropped him faster than you can say‘ dry spell’ and didn’t re-sign his contract. He went to rivals the Boston Bruins and this past season scored 27 goals and 53 points, and was the key player in eliminating the Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs. Bad move.
Those are only three names that immediately come to mind. Don’t forget about Vincent Damphousse, Craig Rivet or Mike Ribeiro who all shined in the years proceeding their time in Montreal.
So will history repeat itself? Will Christopher Higgins, Alexei Kovalev, or Mike Komisarek post their best numbers next season with their new teams? I guess time will tell.