Was Gauthier’s Decision On The Goalies Also Gainey’s Decision?


I’m sure there’s not a lot that hasn’t already been said in the Bob Gainey saga which unfolded yesterday in Montreal. He’s stepping down as General Manager of the Canadiens, to be replaced by Pierre Gauthier.

You know this. I just wrote it to fill up space.

The question for me is, was it office politics that raised its ugly head or was it just time for all concerned? Did Gainey call it quits because he wants to hang out at the cottage more, or did he quit because there was pressure from within to do so because everyone wasn’t quite on the same page?

Maybe the question has already been tossed around, I don’t know. I haven’t been reading the papers. But one thing in particular jumped out at me when I read and heard the official statement from Pierre Gauthier.

Gauthier stressed that both Jaroslav Halak and Carey Price would remain on the team. Period.

This goes against everything we’ve heard for three months now. We’ve heard, almost on a daily basis, that one goalie will be moved, one goalie must be moved, and which goalie will it be? Who will give the better return in a deal, Halak or Price? Every analyst, reporter, blogger, and eight million Habs fans around the world have all tossed this around.

It was decided that Price has more value, even though Halak has played much better. It was concluded that Halak would fetch a top-six forward in a trade. It was the voice of many that maybe Price isn’t the young miracle worker everyone thought he’d be and should be traded now for someone who might jumpstart the struggling Habs into the playoffs.

Speculation ran rampant, and Bob Gainey said nothing to dispel the rumours.

And now, minutes into being the new GM, Gauthier made the point of saying they are keeping both goaltenders. He said it before the microphone had a chance to get warm. It’s like Gauthier wanted this all along, but Gainey didn’t. Price and Halak will continue to wear the pads in Montreal. End of story.

Why didn’t Gainey say this earlier? Like about a month ago? Was he keeping his options open? Then why isn’t Gauthier keeping his options open now? What if a dazzling offer came in for Price tomorrow?  But Gauthier has put the whole thing to bed with just a couple of sentences, and I’m happy about it and agree with the decision. I thought they should keep both all along. It isn’t rocket science. One has a hot hand, the other may grow into a superstar. And every team carries two goalies, even though the price tag for these two will be a little higher than they’d like.

It seems like it’s two men with two different philosophies. And it looks like Gauthier’s philosophy won.

And maybe Jean Beliveau has a furnished suite in his house that Price can move in to for a year ot two.

13 thoughts on “Was Gauthier’s Decision On The Goalies Also Gainey’s Decision?”

  1. Dennis, would it be wild speculation to think maybe the stage is being set for Jacques Martin to become the next GM of the Habs? He held the job in Florida and has a four-year deal with Montreal. As well, he has one of the main qualifications required for the job.

    At yesterday’s press conference, Pierre Boivin underscored the importance of language as a job criterion.

    “You bet it’s important,” the team president said. “French is the language spoken by 2/3, 3/4 of our fans and clients. It’s a matter of respect and sensitivity to the reality of Quebec.”

    Could it be the die was cast months ago when Martin was hired?

    Stay tuned to find out.

  2. Hey Dennis;Just because Gauthier says that neither of the two goalies will be traded,doesn’t make it true.Remember Serge savard saying that Eric Dejardins was the only untouchable on his team ,then promptly traded him to Phildelphia.I think that anything can happen now,the new guy is in and will make “his” team.I don’t think Bob wanted to trade his goalies,butg laeft before being forced into it.

  3. What a horrible situation.
    We need more offense, but goaltending is an issue.
    What to do, what to do.
    Neither Halak or Price have the ability to play 60+ games if one of them gets traded, which would probably result into them shooting themselves in the brain, from all the pressure.

    March 3rd will be an interesting day, plentiful of speculation.

  4. Actually, here is a comment from Gainey awhile back….””They’re not [playoff]experienced but they are quality players … It was a very clear and distinct decision to allow our goaltending net to be available to what we feel are two premier young goalies.

    “We definitely see our future in goal being with one of these two goalies, and maybe both of them in some tandem aspect.

    “Will they develop like Andrei Kostitsyn has this year? Like Tomas Plekanec has this year? That’s the risk.”

    Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2008/02/26/gainey-canadiens-roundup.html#ixzz0fABkNt8C

    So in fact i don’t think the philosophies differ at all. Gainey had said it before and he probably didn’t feel the need to repeat it ad nauseum to the press.

  5. Thanks, Geoff. There’s the key half way in, “We definitely see our future in goal being with one of these two goalies, and maybe both of them in some tandem aspect.” Gainey doesn’t really say both are staying for sure in this phrase. At least that’s how I read it. But Gauthier said it in black and white, “both will stay.”
    Also, Gainey said hey are two quality goaltenders “and our future in goal being with ONE of these two, and maybe in some tandem aspect.” It just sounds to me that Gainey maybe would keep both both, but maybe not,

  6. Dennis, it’s true that Pierre Gauthier does have the qualifications, but this is just an interim measure. We all have to wait for the other shoe to drop.

  7. Dennis, that is exactly how i read it but what i was trying to point out is that Gainey was leaving his options open. At the time that was written i’m sure Gainey thought that Price was going to pan out and so he would possible end up moving Halak. He left the door open in the event that it didn’t work out as expected. As we now know Carey has been hot/cold and so he no longer would have the luxury to rely only on Price and in fact with Halak outplaying Carey the tables have turned and so now it is in their best interest to keep both of them and let Price mature behind Halak. After watching tonights game you see flashes of brilliance but it appears Carey seems have lapses in concentration as a couple of the goals (last 2) were a little suspect. Maybe nerves maybe not but it’s obvious he isn’t consistent yet and so they have to ride both goalies as far as i’m concerned.

  8. I hear what you’re saying, Geoff. It makes sense. We just don’t know what Price will be like in the future. Bobby Clarke tonight said he thought both goalies are only average and I really disagree with this. Halak has been outstanding lately. I’m just trying to find a reason for the timing of Gainey stepping down and I thought the goalie thing was a possibility. I really feel one thing is certain for me, we can’t get rid of Halak at this stage.
    Good game tonight except they almost blew it and allowed five goals. Regardless, it was a big win.

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