Tag Archives: Pierre Gauthier

Into Habsland

We’ve been in Montreal for more than four hours and I still haven’t seen Jean Beliveau.

Yes, Montreal. Finally back after only 26 years. I see the trees are bigger now.

It was straight to a hotel in Brossard, where we’ll set up shop for a few days while we find a place to live. And we did it even with the GPS voice blowing his brains out a few times and having us all over the place. He’s about to be fired.

I prefer the nice soothing voice of the Australian lady. If I wasn’t married, I’d like her to bear my children.

Being in Montreal now is slightly overwhelming, but I like to be overwhelmed. Otherwise I’d just get old and shrivel up. Now we’re here, in Habsland, 6500 kilometres from where we started, and I’m pretty darn happy about it.

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I see that Tomas Kaberle has been bought out and it only cost the Habs three million to do so. The stench of Pierre Gauthier lingers.

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We’re going for a drive to see the Bell Centre. Maybe Mr. Beliveau will be somewhere around there.

I’ll be back later.

Kaberle Kaput

It’s been reported that Tomas Kaberle has been placed on waivers, and is there anyone out there who might be surprised by this?

Kaberle was a decent player when he was a Toronto Maple Leaf, where he spent 12 seasons, and whether or not Boston and Carolina fans were happy with him, I’m not sure. All I know is that Habs fans sure weren’t, at least most of us anyway.

Kaberle came to Montreal in 2011 in a trade with the Hurricanes for Jaroslav Spacek, and signed on the dotted line for three years worth a ridiculous 4.25 million per. Four and a quarter million for a defenceman who avoided the heavy-hitting the way Sonny Liston avoided Cassius Clay.

It was just a big mistake all-round, and it’s nice that the Kaberle chapter has come to a close. We need guys who enjoy the heavy-going, not ballerinas.

The TSN report can be seen here.

And this is what I said when the guy came over in the first place. Kaberle In, Spacek Out

Gun Shy About Size

Take your mind back, back to the summer of 2009, when Bob Gainey ruined our team?

June and July of that year were when Montreal traded for Scott Gomez and brought in UFA’s Brian Gionta and Mike Cammalleri. I was excited at the time, mainly because the Canadiens needed fresh blood, and I’ve been an optimistic bugger for pretty well every move the Habs have ever made, beginning when I was a kid. I’m always so hopeful, and maybe because I’m a Libra, I come up with all kinds of positives.

I thought fire-wagon hockey was back. I figured it would be a lightning-fast team of new Henri Richards and Ralph Backstroms, swirling around the ice and causing many a headache for lumbering forwards and defencemen of other teams. I was so hopeful

Did these three, who were immediately coined “The Smurfs,” improve the team a great deal? Hah! Montreal, in the blink of an eye, got smaller, became the laughing stock of the league, were mentioned everywhere by everyone as too small (I got so sick of that), and got pushed around in the playoffs like a grade one kid playing with grade fivers. We can only thank Jaroslav Halak for that beautiful run in the 2010 post-season against Washington and Pittsburgh.

We know how Gomez has turned out and I don’t want to get into it now. I’ve just eaten. Gionta and Cammalleri had their moments, Cammalleri shone at times, especially in those Caps and Pens games when he was a gunner-extraordinaire, and Gionta, although talented, is way too small at 5’7′ and his best days are behind him. Even more unfortunately, his best days were with New Jersey, not Montreal.

I hated that Montreal had gotten so small almost overnight. I cringed when I saw teams like Boston manhandle them. I knew that to win a Stanley Cup, it helps to be big and strong.

I say all this because I’m feeling bad. In the 1970s and 80s, I was one of Bob Gainey’s biggest fans. I loved his work ethic, his strong skating, his quiet and intelligent demeanor, his leadership, his penalty killing, his goals, his huge role in all those Montreal Stanley Cups. Never in a million years would I think I’d be joking about him, calling him down, and almost ridiculing him for what I think was basically destroying the team instead of improving it.

But I find myself doing these very things now. What was he thinking? Not just taking on the sinful Gomez contract, but making the team so small in almost one fell swoop. He played against tough Bruins squads, and the Broad St. Bullies. He knew muscle is usually needed to succeed. He learned under people like Scotty Bowman and Sam Pollock, who envisioned the proper mix of muscle and skill. But he turned the club into a laughing stock, Pierre Gauthier coming in turned the county fair into a circus, and Montreal every year remains the favourite team for predictors, along with the Leafs, to not make the playoffs.

Hopefully the black cloud is beginning to move away, everyone has woken up, and the team is now being gradually corrected under Marc Bergevin and the other new leadership boys. I know that whenever I hear that someone small, like Brendan Gallagher, is on the cusp of making the team, my heart sinks a little. Gainey has made me gun shy for the little guys, and I know I’m not right.

I admired Gainey so much as a player, and when he became management, I remember, when others were beginning to question him, my stock answer would be, “In Bob we trust.” And I did trust him. I trusted him as a player and from what I heard from him in interviews, and I saw no other reason not to when he took the reins. So I guess it comes down to two questions. What was he thinking? And what was I thinking?

The BIG Story Of 2012

There goes 2012. Maybe it’s a good thing.

The Habs were disturbingly mediocre in 2012, finishing 15/15 in the Eastern Division, one point behind 14th place Islanders and two behind the Leafs. I still feel nauseous.

Along the way, Hal Gill and Andrei Kostitysn were shipped to Nashville and I miss Hal. The other guy – not so much. Mike Cammalleri was given a one-way ticket to Calgary after saying publicly that his team was quite pitiful, and that was all well and good except for the fact that the Canadiens got Rene Bourque in return. We’re still not sure if Bourque is dead or alive or just really stoned on valium.

Habs’ brass Pierre Gauthier and Bob Gainey were dismissed after doing quite a lousy job for way too long, and interim coach Randy Cunneyworth and assistant Randy Ladouceur were let go when the season ended, with Michel Therrien announced later on as Cunneyworth’s replacement. It wouldn’t have mattered if Cunneyworth learned to speak French without a trace of an accent. He was on his way out and he and everyone else knew it. Finishing in the basement didn’t help matters either.

Alex Galchenyuk was chosen third overall by the Habs in the 2012 entry draft, thus allowing us to dream that the young fellow will blossom into a Guy Lafleur-type superstar. If we’re going to dream, we might as well dream big, don’t you think?

The Summer Olympics took place in London and I’m still regretting not training to be a gymnast for these games. Judging by the more than 150,000 condoms that organizers gave out to athletes, it seems like I missed an excellent party. And September of 2012 marked the 45th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series, a series which catapulted Paul Henderson from normal, everyday NHL player to monumental icon, and a series which allows me tell everyone how I was a bartender in Sudbury at the time.

And of course 2012 saw the L.A. Kings win the Stanley Cup, once again the Vancouver Canucks collapsed when it counted, a lockout began, and the world didn’t end like it was supposed to.

But none of this can match the BIG story of the year. The story destined to become a movie, a story to tell grandkids and at parties and around the supper table for years to come.

February 9, 2012. The night, while playing against the New York Islanders, when Scott Gomez scored a goal.

It was a mighty feat, his first in more than a year, and it was the winner to boot in the Habs’ 4-2 decision over the Isles. The puck came out to him and although it seems impossible, he shot it right into the net. He did. It’s in the video below if you don’t believe me.

Yes, the biggest story of 2012. Can it get any better than that?

Oh, and Happy New Year. May great things happen to you over the next 12 months.

Gauthier Moves To Windy City

Pierre Gauthier has been hired by the Chicago Blackhawks as director of player personnel, and all I can say mostly say about this is simply repeat what someone commented on the CBC story pertaining to the news. He or she wrote that “I’m not a Chicago fan, but they don’t deserve THIS.”

It’s not a big deal for Chicago to have a silent, grouchy, bland type in their organization. Bob Pulford, who was a coach and executive with the team for 30 years, was very much that. Chicago fans are used to it.

Now they have party animal Pierre, who is not only a wild and crazy guy, but who also possesses a fine eye for talent. Like Tomas Kaberle and Rene Bourque, two superstar impact players he brought to Montreal to fix things, and who basically got them for a song. (Bourque – $3 million plus,  Kaberle – $4 million plus. Per season).

Sorry, Hawks fans.

 

Finally….A New GM

The Canadiens took their time, talked to more than a few, including the high-profile Patrick Roy and Pierre McGuire, and finally made their choice. Marc Bergevin, a Montrealer, just 46 years old, former assistant general manager in Chicago, and a guy who most certainly watched the turmoil unfold in Montreal and decided that he can do the job and do it well.

Bergevin was a player, as many NHL executives once were, and he wasn’t exactly a game-breaker. Thirty-six goals in 1191 games won’t see him in the Hall of Fame anytime soon, but who knows, maybe he’ll be inducted another way – as general manager of the Montreal Canadiens, as the man who led the team out of the depths of hell, back to where they belong, as an elite winner, a team that pushes for a Cup every year, a team that racks up number 25 and 26 and then beyond.

That’s Bergevin’s mandate and he’s fully aware of it. Bring the team back to the winner’s circle. Shape them into a force to be reckoned with. Get them out of the humiliating basement and onwards and upwards. See how Pierre Gauthier and Bob Gainey did it and do the opposite.

The new guy has to get Carey Price and PK Subban signed, and if he needs money, I’ll work overtime and send him what I can. These two need to be on the dotted line. As far as Scott Gomez is concerned, I’m sure general managers around the league have tossed ideas around during the regular season while sitting in the hotel rooms watching Sports Centre and the name Gomez came up on the screen. Bergevin probably has it already figured out and has for some time now.

He needs to select the best possible youngster with the 3rd pick in the June draft, and it’s in his hands to do the absolute right thing here, for the team and for the fans. There can be no mistake made in choosing. He needs to make sure the kid knows what it means to put the sweater on, to wear the CH, and to have some sort of idea of the history of the franchise. There can be no player picked who floats for four games, plays for one. No player who longs the old country when his ice time decreases. No player who wishes he played in a city where nobody knows him.

A high and mighty draft pick, one who will become a star in Montreal, has to be the end result of the crapshoot. But maybe, like the Gomez situation, Bergevin also has this figured out too.

And of course we need a coach. Now a whole new set of names will be flying around.

I’m excited about our new guy. The pin was pulled on Pierre Gauthier, and now we go to Act 2 with new blood in place. It’s the second big step on the road to recovery.

I can’t wait to see how he handles the job. And until he does something nutty, which hopefully will never occur, I’m as optimistic as anyone on the Habs planet. We’ve hit rock bottom and we’re working our way back out, beginning now.

Is Cammalleri’s Jersey Worth $1250.00 or $12.50?

Pierre Gauthier must have been some pissed off with Mike Cammalleri after the over-paid, underachieving rich kid called out the team in the waning hours before being sent packing to the wild west.

First, it was Cammalleri being dealt to Calgary midway through a game. Then it was Gauthier not telling the guy right away where he was going. And now we find out Gauthier wanted to charge Cammalleri $1250.00 for the jersey after the player asked if he could have it for sentimental reasons.

I’m of two minds about this. Gauthier refuses to leave the building, weeks after being let go. At least in spirit anyway. Maybe he’s a downright spiteful and immature type. Or possibly just has several screws loose, which many of us have suspected for quite some time.

On the other hand, Cammalleri wasn’t exactly Rocket Richard when it came time for intensity and fire, and doesn’t deserve a free jersey. He seemed overly-concerned with lookin’ good, except where it counted most – on the ice. He seemed to be all about his outside ventures, his brands, his image. When I watched him closely during the Flames-Canucks game not long ago, he scored a goal but also refused to get closer than two feet of opposing players. He played on the perimeter, waiting to be set up. And he performed over-extended fancy sweeps around the boards after whistles so fans could ooh and aah.

I would have dealt him too. Maybe in a slightly different way, though. And in hindsight, it certainly wouldn’t have been for Rene Bourque, which has absolutely nothing to do with Jerseygate but I thought I’d throw it in anyway.

In the last few hours I’ve been trying to figure out Gauthier’s thinking behind the $1250.00 figure. Why so much? Was this jersey going to bring in similar dollars in auction for charity? Did it need the world’s most expensive dry cleaning job? Cammalleri has ten letters in the name and was Gauthier hoping to recoup the dollars spent on such a long name on the back of the jersey? Or was it simply a case of Gauthier being quite an asshole?

And we also must remember this. For a six million dollar guy like Cammalleri, $1250 is chump change he drops in the ashtray when he comes home from the movies. It’s nothing, like a buck and a half for you and me.

So really, it’s come down to this for me. Gauthier is a mental case and Cammalleri, if he wanted the jersey badly enough, simply had to buy it and it wouldn’t have put the slightest dent in his wallet. I’m not taking sides either way here. Neither of them helped my team, and that’s a sin if I ever saw one.

Side note: A few years ago I chatted on the phone with Terry Harper, the old rearguard for the Canadiens in the 1960’s, and I asked him if he still had any of his old Habs sweaters from his playing days. Not a chance, he said. No one was allowed to leave the dressing room with a sweater and it was watched like a hawk by the trainers.

 

Habs Vi-Tone Leafs To Close it Off

The Canadiens ended the season in fine fashion, winning 4-1 over the Toronto Maple Komisareks, and I’m sad as I sit in a Travelodge motel in Langley, BC, after watching the game at the Murrayville Town Pub which included several pints and a plate of onion rings which has lined my stomach with a grease that may take until next season to dissolve.

I’m sad because of what could have been. Tonight again, Erik Cole and Max Pacioretty bulged the twine like they should and would, Tomas Plekanec scored on a breakaway during a 5 on 3 power play for the Komisareks, which he should and did, and PK Subban again skated miles like he did and does.

I feel proud of the team, even though they’re done. They deserved better. They didn’t ask for injuries, and they didn’t ask for Pierre Gauthier. And either did we. They’re done but they’re better than their record showed.

Excuse me but I have to say this…………Fuck.

Random Notes:

It’s obvious how well-liked Brad Staubitz is. He scored an empty-netter, and the team was so happy for him it made my heart soar like a pelagoris.

Shots on goal…Montreal 27, Komisareks 31.

Carey Price, decked out in black, with black cowboy hat and watch chain dangling from his vest pocket, looked magnificent and should be a shoo-in for the next Bat Masterson movie.

Next game – a golf course near you.  &$%#^&

Gauthier Gonzo

Our wild and crazy Montreal Canadiens have an opening for a new general manager after Pierre Gauthier has been sacked, and rightly so. Gauthier can now slither back to his pad in Vermont and do whatever he does. I dunno, what do ghosts do anyway?

Finally an excorcism from this season from hell. The first big step on the road to recovery. So long to the guy who brought us Tomas Kaberle, who fired assistant coach Perry Pearn on game day, who traded Mike Cammalleri midway through a game and gave us the ghastly Rene Bourque, and who hired a non-French-speaking Randy Cunneyworth, a virgin big league coach, to replace the fired Jacques Martin.

Gone is the man without personality, the man who led our team to the basement, and who gave us embarrassment beyond words. How could you do that to us, Mr. Gauthier? Your name will forever be associated with failure. Such a legacy.

Now who will replace him? Will it be Patrick Roy?

We’ll know soon enough. And next on the list? What to do with Scott Gomez.

 

 

Habs Sign A D-Man

Canadiens sign Greg Pateryn

PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL (March 28, 2012) – Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier announced Wednesday the signing of defenseman Greg Pateryn to a two-year contract (2012-13 and 2013-14). As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Pateryn tallied 15 points (2 goals, 13 assists) in 41 games this season with the CCHA’s Michigan Wolverines. The 6’02’’ and 212 lbs defenseman served 65 penalty minutes. He played one game in the 2012 NCAA Frozen Four, presenting a +1 differential and three shots on goal.

A native of Sterling Heights, Michigan, Pateryn, 21, recorded 43 points (6 goals and 37 assists) and 143 penalty minutes in 142 games since his college debut with Michigan in 2008-09. He was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth round, 128th overall at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Pateryn was acquired from the Maple Leafs on July 3, 2008 with a second round draft pick in 2010, in return for Mikhail Grabovski.

From Canadiens.com