It was Christmas 1951 when the wise management brought us Frankselkesigning, goals and more when the promoted Dickie Moore to the first team. The team which had been sputtering around since the Cup win in 1946 with more than a couple of sub-500 seasons turned in a 5-game winning streak, and a 21-11-6 end to the season to take them above 0.500, make the playoffs and the final and basically lay the groundwork for what was to become the core of anew dynasty.
59 years later, it seems the team may also need some wise decisions to avoid being a good team among some great rivals. In the tradition of 12 days of giving, I am hoping Pierre Gauthier might bring us multiple gifts over the twelve-day holiday.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, Pierre Gauthier gave to us:
12 less microphones
Can't the Canadiens restrict access to the dressing room just a bit. Do 35 microphones need to crowd the face of players after every barely significant win, loss or tie in the early season? After watching that Capitals/Penguins show, I can appreciate how a quieter room might be a better thing (especially after some losses). It's a bit rich for a blogger I know to call for less coverage of the team, but it's the fact there's too much quote-grabbing that hurts any real analysis ever getting done.
11 months of work
Don't think it's too much to ask for a guy paid in the millions to basically play fantasy hockey to put in a bit of work more than a couple of months a year.
10% lower claims of effort
Instead of having to work out whether 110% of effort is on the 200% or 1000% scale, I'd appreciate claims of 110% effort being replaced with actual effort on the ice.
9 forwards who can play
At the NHL level that is. And I don't mean skate a lot, huff and puff and make it look like they're playing, but actually doing what forwards on other teams do - threaten to score.
#8 from 1996
As good as Halpern is, Recchi is pretty reliably a cut above that. NHL experience from 3 decades and he can still score. Plus, I'd really like to get more games out of my sweater...
To fill in so Hamrlik and Spacek can actually take a rest.
6th rounder for Moen
Actually, any round will do
$5 million for Markov
It doesn't have to be done by January 6th, but some time this year.
4 years for Gorges
While we're at it, why not sign up Gorges for a contract before he gets poached in July? We all like Subban, Weber and co., but this team looks a whole lot more permeable without #26 in the plan.
3 French men
I guess you have to know the original song to appreciate this one. Anyway, as every year, Gauthier should continue to scour that QMJHL for the players that weren't picked up. This strategy has netted Desharnais and Lefebvre already, as well as more in the past. it's a strategic advantage for the Habs, and they should continue to exploit that.
2nd chance for Weber
No a real one. Weber's a good player. Better at the moment than some of the regulars and with a gun for the PP.
And a new star* in CH jersey
To replace Markov. Cap space demands it. The fact a core of players at the ages they are demands it. It'll take some work, and likely some draft picks. But the Canadiens can't get precious about draft picks now, because they'll waste all the years they've committed to big contracts.
* By star, I don't mean superstar. Someone who can score more goals than Halpern, or play PP better than Spacek will do...