Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Axe Man Cometh

Speak softly, and carry a big stick
-- Theodore Roosevelt
Bob Gainey is essentially firing himself these days. He has cut loose all the players with contracts that ended this year. He got himself a new coach, and then turned the Tommy Gun on his own bench. In true mobster style, he has cut everything down to rebuild his empire.

Gainey knows his last five-year plan (or whatever it was) didn't work. It wasn't the complete failure everyone is calling it, with one Eastern Conference No. 1 finish to claim, but it didn't do anything for the playoffs. So he starts again.

He is doing a good thing by grabbing The Franchise and shaking it upside down; with this much fresh blood coming into the team, there will be plenty of time to test a new 5-yr plan. If the Habs fail next year, it won't really matter, because the team is "rebuilding," and still finding its way. The new faces, both on and off the ice, will generate new excitement and hope for a team, but will also properly set expectations. If the CH tank, no one will be surprised.

And as far as Gainey goes, he knows he might be on the way out also. He might be friends with the Molsons (I know I'm very good friends with the Molsons) but they'll want to put their mark on their team -- and maybe they figure Gainey's time is up.

So, as a man living on the edge, Gainey is living on the edge. He's taking chances, trying to set things in a direction he feels good about before possibly going to the guillotine himself. And then some other sucker GM (Martin?!?) can try and sort things out in their way.

Personally, although I am not agreeing with all the changes being made (but then, I don't have all the info) I am glad to see the changes. As long as there is an attempt being made to remian competitive (unlike the late 1990s) then this change is welcome.

I'll kiss the ring, Don Gainey. But I will weep no tears if you are next to go.

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