I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier. The Habs might still be playing if I did.
We’ve all seen how Dustin Byfuglien, all 6′, 4″, 257 lbs of him, is so important to the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s a force to be reckoned with, especially close in and along the boards where he’s a big, strong hombre who gives Chris Pronger and the rest of the Flyers fits. And he knows how to play the game on top of everything else.
Of course Montreal needs a guy like him, and I happen to believe they’re out there. More than one.
In the Canadian Football League.
Search the CFL far and wide and find a gigantic linebacker who played some sort of serious hockey in college, and sign him up. He’ll leave football in a heartbeat. It’s a matter of $60,000 there, or half a million to put skates on. Tell him to crash the net, take no prisoners, and score the odd goal. Nothing pretty. Everything Georges Laraque was supposed to do but didn’t.
He’s not expected to be Guy Lafleur. Just crush Scott Hartnell’s bones into powder, that’s all.
Many Canadian football players are known to have been hockey players at some point in their lives. We hear it all the time. “My first love is hockey” some say, “but I was never going to make a living at it and the Alouettes came calling.” So they’re already good skaters and can shoot the puck.
And as an extra point of reference to reinforce my argument, in the late 1950’s, Gerry James played for both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at basically the same time.
So just grab the best ex-college hockey-playing footballer who’s at least the size of Big Buff, buy out his CFL contract, teach him the system, and unleash his power.
I didn’t realize until now how simple it is.