It’s been 25 years since the Montreal Canadiens won a Stanley Cup. If the team’s slow start to the 2017-18 season is any indication, this current drought isn’t about to end any time soon.
Poor drafting in combination with poor judgement (when it comes to trades), makes it clear that current GM Marc Bergevin is a better stand-up comedian than he is a hockey guru.
There was a time when the Canadiens’ fabulous pre-game ceremonies provided a connection to their glorious past while also serving as a reminder to current-day players to keep the legacy alive.
With Montreal heroes like Beliveau, Richard and Moore recently passing on, it won’t be long before a pre-game ceremony featuring Mike Blundin, Donald Brashear and Wally Clune (yep, played 5 games) will be the norm.
When a franchise can only hire a bilingual coach, the recycling behind the bench will only continue, as will the losing. When a franchise can only hire a bilingual GM, the pursuit of excellence becomes secondary.
As a rule, a strong hockey foundation calls for above-average goaltending, a strong mobile puck-moving defence corp, and a high-end centre to lead the way. As Bergevin is quickly learning, elite centres don’t grow on trees. Apparently, as the Toronto Maple Leafs discovered, they do grow in Arizona.
Montreal has the goalie thing covered. But not for long. The mess they have created on their blueline, and the laughable status of their roster down the middle makes it clear that pre-game ceremonies will never again be the catalyst they used to be.