Monday, March 23, 2009

Why I Would Love To Own The Canadiens

Gillett is looking at selling the Montreal Canadiens; tough economic times indeed.

So, putting on my Mr. Dressup Hat and playing some make believe, why would I love to own the Montreal Canadiens? With all the controversy, bad press, hassle, rioting, taxes, cultural issues, and a ghost problem, why the heck would anyone want this team?

Well there is the money. Put a Habs sticker on a toilet brush and you can charge $25 for it. The way their playing lately, maybe $50. Also, so long as you run middle of the pack, you can sell out every game. So the money has to be alright. But forget the money...

I would love to be involved in building the team; but not really have a say. I don't know hockey well enough to GM a team, but to be privy to all the GMs rationals on decisions would be great. Specifically, Gainey. I would keep him on as GM, if he still wants the job. I think he's done very well, despite a few 'major' mistakes in hindsight. He loves the team, wants it to succeed, and is pretty calm under fire. (Dunno what he's like behind closed doors). I'd give him another 3 yrs to see if he would learn from his mis-steps and I'd love to see where he takes the team.

I'd hire Andre Savard back, as Assistant GM or GM in Hamilton. That guy knows how to spot talent and draft. He didn't want to be GM when he had the chance, and that shows a smart man who knows what he is good at.

I'd set up Montreal Canadiens training camps around the continent, for all age levels. At the Junior levels, it would be by invitation (or at least a screening process) -- and you'd start to develop the skills the Montreal Canadiens need. Learn a system, learn what the organisation is looking for. The current Junior coaches and scouts are amazing, but this would be a camp to look at a specific set of players to see if they can be what the Montreal Canadiens need. And get them stoked about the team, the city, the language, everything. Even have a mini-tournament at the Bell Center like a mini-prospects game.

For younger levels, it would be open to anyone, to give them an opportunity to improve and maybe get noticed for some higher levels of hockey. Good will towards players, my friends -- so we don't have this situation where super-stars are scared or unwilling to come play for us.

And finally, stability would rule. No firing coaches every 2 years; no churn for the sake of churn. Keep good players that are in your organisation rather then go looking to the outside (Streit, for example.) The organisation would be bigger than any player ego, and although struggles would be tolerated, lack of effort would not. Draft winners, not just talent. Support players through hard times, so that they will feel like they want to play for the organisation, instead of catching the first train out of town.

Pride comes from within; even veterans need to be reminded of that from time to time.

Look for my up-coming children's book:
If I Ran the Montreal Canadiens, by Dr. Habstwit

1 comment:

  1. I like it! And here's how we take over the team in the first place