Archive for the Coaches and General Managers Category

Losing and sucking: much different.

Posted in Coaches and General Managers, Montreal Canadiens, NHL on May 5, 2011 by Scott Schmidt

One of my favourite Twitter pals commented on my latest blog and for nearly three days I didn’t take the time to respond; actually, I didn’t even stop at my laptop long enough to hit the approve button.

So as my most sincere apology, I am responding to her words in a blog, as what she wrote rehashed some thoughts I’ve had for a very long time.

Here is the portion of cokeaddict’s comment that I’d like to focus on (she’s a Toronto-based Habs fan… I know, weird right?):

“I think the phrase that confused me the most on Twitter was the concept of “fan complacency.” Uhm…what is that? We’re supposed to “demand” more from the management & coaching staff. What?!

I like to enjoy the game for what it is; cheer for the team no matter who’s on it, leading it, or paying it; and hope for the best. Those unrealistic things like “trade Gomez for Stamkos or Iggy” are just…I have no word for it.

If people wanna armchair coach, they’re more than welcome. But I get a bit annoyed at being accused of being a complacent fan because I’m happy to cheer for the team the way they are. I didn’t realize I wasn’t sufficiently passionate in fulfilling my “fan” duties.”

See, what bugs me about this is she’s been accused in a similar way to what I get accused of sometimes, which is being much too easy on the Montreal Canadiéns. But when I come on here and tell fans to settle down and quit overreacting to everything, I’m not going easy on the team at all but rather trying to get a sense of the *“actual”* reasoning behind certain decisions and transactions. (Over-highlighting that word stems from the necessity to drill this home with an overwhelming mass of Habs fans who WAY over-think every single aspect of a team they legitimately know nothing about.)

Cokeaddict is accused of complacency from some of these people because she chooses to not get bent out of shape every time something doesn’t go the club’s way, or a player isn’t playing as well as they maybe should be, or a guy who never plays is traded, or management does the right thing and allows a young coach to find a job with an NHL team, or a goalie with but one 9-9 playoff run who inaccurately convinces a bunch of know-it-alls he’s a god gets traded in lieu of a kid with every quality a team wants in a superstar goaltender but had a few growing pains before his 23rd birthday… Should I continue, or has my horribly long-winded 113-word sentence proved my point?

The fact is, cokeaddict is the real fan and these other dipshits are nothing more than people my buddies and I would throw out of the living room during pregame.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with over-passionate fans. I am ridiculous myself and before, during and for about 15 minutes after every game of any team I cheer for, I shouldn’t be around people unlike me.

It’s something I understand about myself — have for years — and therefore work diligently to ensure my game-time surroundings are in compliance. But when it’s over, it’s over, and I instantly turn back into someone who much prefers logical thinking to useless, irrational idea sessions.

The funny thing about pro sports is at the end of every season, no matter what league, 29 or more teams are left asking the question “What went wrong?” The answers will inevitably be highly detailed and thought out by its management — accurately or otherwise — and over-the-top and dream-riddled by many of its fans.

Of course, the real answer for a lot of teams is simply that a particular opponent had a higher total on the scoreboard at the end of a very specific game on a very specific day because they happened to have more offensive success for any number of about 37,000 reasons. Meaning, on any other day, in any other game, the scoreboard results could easily have been different.

But they weren’t. And that’s the point.

Sure, for a portion of teams, the answer is an even simpler “because they weren’t good enough,” but in a league like the NHL and its orchestrated parity through a salary cap, that number is actually a fair bit smaller than the teams who simply didn’t enjoy favourable circumstance for one variable or another.

Take last year for example. The Philadelphia Flyers were a shoot-out-gone-wrong away from missing the playoffs and played for the Stanley Cup two months later.

So isn’t it fair to say the New York Rangers, who actually wound up on the wrong end of the same circumstance that game, had a chance to win it all? And if the ninth-place team in the East had a chance, surely you’d agree the ninth-place team in the West had a chance.

So at minimum, 18 teams in 2009/10 had legitimate shots at the Stanley Cup, yet without any doubt I can say 17 of those teams had portions of their fan bases questioning the team from the top down. This might be the ageless right for any passionate fan but tolerance of that in no way proves its worth.

This year, the Habs were eliminated in the first round after reaching the conference final the year before. But if you think this year’s team wasn’t as good as last year’s team, you are colossally stupid.

And if you try to use either version’s level of success to argue your point, your stupidity is no longer colossal. It’s galactic.

I’m sorry, but as you’re reading this the league is totally proving my point. Boston needed every decent bounce they could wish for to squeak past the Habs and are completely handling Philadelphia. The fact Philly could still easily come back and make a series of it only supports what I’m saying even more.

And if the Montreal Canadiéns had a reasonable shot to win, which it clearly did, wouldn’t it be fair to say Carolina, Calgary and Dallas, who all missed the playoffs by less than two wins, had the same reasonable shot?

So that makes at least 19 teams this season that could have made decent runs at winning the entire thing. And yes, some teams have the on-paper advantage but so what? That useless category couldn’t possibly have more examples of meaning jack shit.

My closing statement, on behalf of the grooviest Coca-Cola advocate I know, is this:

All you can ever ask for as a fan, especially in the post-lockout era, is did your team’s management ice a roster capable of making the playoffs? And if they can get in, do they have enough talent to take advantage of the good bounces that may come their way?

Moreover, it’s up to you to understand that just because the answers to those two questions might be yes doesn’t mean it will all work out in the end anyway because about 18 other fan bases responded the same way you did.

As for the Montreal Canadiéns, considering they haven’t used the new-age strategy of being the worst team in the NHL for 5 years and haven’t been able to stockpile two or three 100-point 19-year-olds, they’ve done pretty good in recent years.

And you’re right, there are currently examples on the roster of both great and poor draft choices, great and poor transactions and great and poor personalities, which the fans can argue about all summer and beyond if they’d like. But before you become one of those to start or join a bitch fest, try to remember one little thing.

Hindsight is the idiot’s encyclopedia.

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Just one last question.

Posted in Hal Gill, Jacques Martin, Maxime Lapierre, Montreal Canadiens, NHL on May 13, 2010 by Scott Schmidt

Now that the Montreal Canadiéns have knocked off the President’s Trophy winner and defending Stanley Cup Champions, ousting the game’s two brightest stars in the process, I think it’s safe to say the ‘flying under the radar’ technique is pretty much done for these playoffs.
Of course, that would be a factual statement even if another so-called powerhouse had been waiting in the conference final, but seeing as how the Habs are facing either the sixth or seventh seed next round, their new persona is just going to be magnified.

Make no mistake, no matter who wins game seven between the Flyers and Bruins, the media – especially north of the border – will name the Canadiéns the favourite. The percentage of experts who pick the Habs to win the East will far outweigh those who believe differently and what was originally deemed so improbable it should have been impossible will now shift to a complete expectation of victory.

If you ask me, this couldn’t be better news. As far as who the experts side with, there couldn’t be a more meaningless tipping of the scales, no matter which direction they sway. But I was sure the notion that somehow this run was based on luck was officially labeled a joke after game two of round two, and the quicker every highlight show’s feature segments stop being about how unbelievably fluky this all is, the better.

I’m not saying they haven’t been the underdog, I’m just saying you can’t accomplish what this group has already accomplished, without deserving every ounce of it. And deserve it they have.

But before I too officially stop inquiring into this group’s capabilities of making the conference final and begin to look at the them as the serious contender they clearly are, I just have to explore one quick question, one final time.

How in the flying f@#k did they do this?

Seriously. I’m not kidding around here. I’ve had 16-straight disappointing finishes to show me what I can come to expect from this franchise and the way this new group played down the stretch, I thought the streak would continue to swell with ease.

Entering the playoffs I called the Habs the softest team in the league and at the time I wasn’t exactly lying. They looked like they didn’t much care about the task at hand and when a club with the list of undersized players as long as the Habs decides to stop trying, the result is a whole lot of time laying on their asses, wondering what the hell hit them.

I have recorded posts on this site where I chastise players like Hal Gill for being utterly useless. I’ve got entire blogs focused on all the horrible decisions I witnessed Jacques Martin make behind the bench. And hell, I’ve even publicly admitted pure shame to having guys like Maxim Lapiérre on this team based on him arriving to play this season with all of the pesky, dirty attributes he had the year before but missing everything else. And a player who contributes nothing but bad penalties, a reputation for diving and a nature for backing away from fights, without putting the puck in the net from time to time and dishing out the occasional hit, almost always scores the permanent label of whiny little ‘female dog.’

And when a truckload of new players came into the organization last season, it’s not that I didn’t recognize their capabilities but I was pretty sure they would need to get at least this first season out of the way before they really did anything. Then the year started and they resembled the exact club I was expecting.

Signs of a good team existed but the inconsistencies were almost overwhelming. Whenever things started to go well and fans started to feel a little comfortable with their new roster, injuries and sloppy play would take over and a skid would commence. The Olympic break allowed some of the injuries to heal up and when games resumed, the Habs exploded out of the gate, leaving those of us who write about them discussing the club with that evil comfort level again.

With six games left, the boys needed only a few points to secure the sixth seed in the East and a date with the Sabres, a team most of us thought would be the Habs’ best shot at seeing the second round.

Then that soft bunch of don’t-seem-to-give-a-crappers showed back up and played in a way that almost made you wish they wouldn’t make the playoffs just to save the embarrassment of a sweep. They looked so awful in that final week and a half that I – and every other member of the media – figured the Caps would stomp the boys so badly, they might only need three games to rid the post season of Les not-so-Glorieux.

But the Habs did make it. They didn’t get swept. And they have shown so much heart and determination that I – and hopefully every other skeptic ­– am completely ashamed of my earlier statements about this group.

So what exactly happened? Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone outside their dressing room will even be able to make an educated guess.

And maybe we’ll never truly know exactly what transpired to turn this group into an absolute beast basically overnight, but one thing is for sure, this time there figures to be zero sign of Mr. Hyde.

Gill isn’t just useful he’s apparently the best shutdown D-man on earth. Martin has outcoached two of the game’s apparent bests for the past month and he did it in a landslide. Lapiérre isn’t just putting the puck in the net or throwing an occasional hit, he’s potting game winners and taking the opposition’s heads off.

Add in a superstar winger with a dozen goals, an unconscious goaltender and a nucleus of proven winners who know just what it takes to win it all and you have yourself a delicious recipe for success.

How they’ve done this no longer matters and what they do next is all anyone cares about. All we are supposed to do is enjoy the ride.

So, no more questions.

I bet I can make you smile.

Posted in Bob Gainey, Montreal Canadiens, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins, PK Subban, Sidney Crosby on May 12, 2010 by Scott Schmidt

So every writer and every blogger with any interest in hockey – let alone Les Canadiéns – will be pouring their thoughts and/or opinions onto cyber pages all over the continent this morning, regarding tonight’s so-called improbable game seven.

But seeing as I not only love being different than the rest but also figure any predictions I make will just result in miserable karma for my boys, I’ve decided to focus day No. 2 of All Habs, All the Time on something every Montreal fan will be smiling about in their beds this evening, no matter the final score.

Looking back at game six, what does it say when the youngest player on both teams, with less than 10 games experience, shows up to a playoff elimination game against the defending champions, in the craziest hockey arena on earth, lands the world’s best player as his assignment, plays more minutes than any other player in the building, finishes plus-2 AND helps his team force the second ridiculously amazing game seven in a two-week span?

Well here’s what it says to me:

1 – Holy crap.

2 – A 20-year-old with a bright future spending almost an entire season under the tutelage of the AHL coach of the year is more than just a really, really, really good idea.

3 – Trevor Timmons’ and Bob Gainey’s legacies will be just fine, despite the year-and-a-half of uneducated bitching from certain fans, who should switch to blue and white teams, where knowing nothing isn’t just accepted, it’s honoured.

4 – No. 76 and No. 79 will be in charge of a power play that No. 13 plays on for a REALLY long time. Just think about that for a couple of seconds. Montreal has had either the best or second best PP in the league three of the last four years, and the ONLY constant is that Russian mute, who’s just about ready to play through a torn ACL. I wonder where they’ll rank next season?

5 – Either Cindy Crosby’s two whole shots on goal after the rookie took over his coverage was a symptom of food poisoning, or a certain all-offensive defenseman might just know a thing or two about shutting down elite players.

6 – Starting in about 13 years, several French-Canadian youngsters will have to explain to high school bullies why their first name is Pernell.

7 – If your charisma and flare matches your talent level, you can become a legend in Montreal in 29 minutes and 11 seconds.

8 – If your talent matches your charisma and flare, you can earn the complete respect of a team of veterans in the exact same time frame.

9 – A kid with a two-week NHL career can single-handedly make it impossible for people to hate the franchise that has already chucked it right in their face 24 glorious times. Now they have someone EVERYONE loves. Go ahead, try saying you dislike a single thing about this kid without involuntarily smacking your own face.

10 – It won’t be too long before Drew Doughty has constant Norris competition. And, incidentally, not long before Team Canada relives Coffey and Bourque.

11 – I will actually live to see a future captain of the Montreal Canadiéns go his entire career without hearing a single word about not being fluent in French.

12 – In the past 43 years, I’m positive there has never been a time when Leafs fans have hated their lives more than they do right now, as two Toronto boys quickly become the most popular people in Montreal.

13 – Your name needs not be Savard to own a gorgeous spin-o-rama.

14 – The Montreal Canadiéns officially have the funniest dressing room in sports. In two years or less, it will just be horrendous to be a rookie in there.

15 – PK Subban is one of the best blueline prospects on earth and he is going to play for the team I’ve loved for my whole life with a type of obsession that has destroyed more than one relationship/friendship/job/ankle/television, and he’s going to play there for a very long time.

Tell me you’re not smiling.

Enjoy game seven hockey fans! Here’s to my aching guts!

That’s it. Habs only.

Posted in Alex Ovechkin, Andrei Markov, Bob Gainey, Brian Gionta, Calgary Flames, Darryl Sutter, Jarome Iginla, Los Angeles Kings, Mike Cammalleri, Mike Fisher, Montreal Canadiens, NHL, Scott Gomez, Sidney Crosby, Uncategorized on May 11, 2010 by Scott Schmidt

It’s funny. Ever since I started this blog, whenever I think about sitting down to discuss the Montreal Canadiens, a sense of guilt arrives reminding me my goal is to be a sports writer and not a Habs blogger.

Of course this emotion seems to forget my dream job would be to live in Montreal, travel with the team and write about them every single game until my fingers fall off, but my logical side – the one with the inferiority complex – says I might want to keep some other options in mind.

I’m not saying I don’t like writing about other sports or their teams, in fact it’s the complete opposite. It’s just that, while I can certainly hold my own in a conversation about any North American major sport – except NASCAR, unless you count belittling its hillbilly fans into tears with three-syllable words as ‘holding my own’ – I know more about the Montreal Canadiens than any other team on earth.

And because of that, I have more opinions about them than any other sport, which is why I so often think of something to blog about.

But I realized something last night while basking in game-six glory. Right now, hockey is on the minds of almost every sports fan I know and seeing as how sports fans I know make up a pretty large percentage of my readership, I could probably get away with a little puck prattle. And seeing as how – for at least another day and a half – the Habs are one of just seven or less clubs remaining, I might actually avoid a metaphorical stoning if I chat Les Glorieux a tad more often than normal.

And so, with all that being said, I have decided variety is for men with middle-aged crises and as long as the Habs are alive, this blog will be about them as often as I please.

Day 1 – Often overlooked


If you’re a big enough Habs fan you know Mike Cammalleri was on Bob Gainey’s radar long before Dopey Darryl let him walk out of Cowtown last season without so much as a single offer sheet.

There are two reasons why I won’t spend the next 500 words talking about the gaffe Sutter made last June. No. 1, I already blogged a ways back about Calgary’s insistence on spending every non-Iggy nickel on their blueline and how well that is likely to work in today’s NHL. And No. 2, I already told a friend on Facebook tonight we have to officially stop mentioning Cammalleri and Calgary in the same sentence because he’s already been a Hab longer than he was ever a Flame and it’s time to start discussing his future and not his unfortunate past.

But even without dragging Calgary’s name through a red mile of mud, I can still make my point. And that is, quite simply, Mike Cammalleri is the most overlooked player in the league.

OK, so that statement clearly came without doing a thorough scan of every roster and also during a period when the winger is leading the playoffs in goals, but I stand by it nonetheless.

After scoring 39 goals last season, he signed with the Habs and spent an entire summer answering the same question. Can you put up those numbers without Jarome? Never mind his 26 goals in ’06 during his first full season with the Kings or his 34 goals and 80 points two years later with the same club.

Then once the season started, after already being forgotten for the Team Canada Olympic camp in August, Cammy began to put the puck in the net, keeping firmly in the top-10 goal scorers heading up to the roster announcement in December. Yet all the while, his name was never mentioned even once as a candidate to make the Olympic team.

Not once.

Should he have been in Vancouver? Nope, probably not. As hard as it is, I don’t let my inner fan cloud my talent judgment and I know he didn’t belong there this time. But even Carrie Underwood’s Mike Fisher was mentioned as a candidate.

Mike GD Fisher.

I wonder how fast Brian Murray would soil himself if he knew he could trade Fisher for Cammy straight up?

Anyway, it wouldn’t have made a difference had Cammalleri somehow made that team anyway, as he hurt his knee before the break and likely couldn’t have played Team Canada table hockey at the time. And then, when he finally did come back with about a dozen games left, he was understandably behind his usual game shape and struggled – as did his teammates – right up to that disgusting shootout loss to the Leaves, which the Habs sheepishly parlayed into the eighth seed they still enjoy today.

But the second this post season started, Cammalleri took off and started scoring all kinds of goals, almost all of which have led to huge victories for his club. He outplayed and outscored Alex Ovechkin. He’s outplayed and WAY outscored Cindy Crosby so far. And he sits atop the entire NHL in playoff goals scored, with 11 in just 13 games.

He’s the only of MANY free agents brought in by former GM – and renewed icon – Bob Gainey who wasn’t stacked with a resume of playoff experience. And yet, while that group of proven winners has certainly done their fair share thus far, Cammalleri’s performance surpasses them all.

And that brings me to my biggest observation of overlooking.

Since the moment coach Jacques Martin announced the Habs’ decision to not name a new captain in the wake of Saku Koivu’s departure, the debate among the Club du Hockey’s faithful fans has been nonstop over who should be the next leader of this great organization.

Andrei Markov was obviously an early candidate, as he’s probably the team’s best player, was the only remaining member of the former captainship and was well-known to fans in a time when no one knew who any of these guys were. But Markov is nicknamed the Dark Knight for a reason. He comes out of the shadows to make great plays, before slipping back behind the scenes and he doesn’t need the spotlight to be extremely effective – a lamp the captain can’t avoid. That and he doesn’t speak either English or French and I hear the Russian papers in Montreal have a significantly lower circulation.

Scott Gomez, his grotesque contract and his Don Rickles sense of humour was also given some love from fans, many of whom figured the coveted letter would at least match the expectations $7.5-million puts on him.

But the man to receive the most votes on the season was the Rochester Rocket Brian Gionta. As literally the smallest guy in the NHL, Gio and his oversized heart fills the void Koivu left almost to perfection and the fan base instantly – and understandably – fell for him.

But in all of the discussions I have seen, led and been thrown out of this season, not one time did I hear someone make an argument for Cammalleri to be the next captain. Without insulting any of the other formidable candidates, how the flying F is that possible?

Not only is he their most productive scorer and a talkative guy in the dressing room, but he freakin’ loves playing in Montreal. Like LOVES it there.

He wanted to play in Montreal because of the atmosphere and pressure that come with it and he has relished in both every step of the way. He gives the best and most honest interviews I’ve ever seen from a player and he’s ALWAYS nice to the media, even complimenting questions from time to time.

He’s not afraid to light a fire under his teammates, going after guys in practice on two separate occasions, and gives 110 per cent at all times without ever allowing a single sentence of credit to be sent his way.

He’s classy beyond words on the ice and keeps his goal celebrations so quiet he almost looks bored with his own awesomeness. In fact, all he ever does after he scores is turn and thank the man who passed him the puck.

Oh and right now he’s the main reason not wearing goal pads why the hockey world is still watching one of the most exciting playoff runs anyone could imagine.

I’m not necessarily trying to start the Cammy for Captain campaign and if the eventual decision has fan-favourite Brian Gionta take over that role, you won’t see a complaint from this writer.

But it would sure be nice to see Cammy on the ballot for once.

Simple.

Posted in Coaches and General Managers, Olympics, Team Canada, Vancouver on February 21, 2010 by Scott Schmidt

All I can say about that hockey game is:

Major coaching fail.

Brodeur may be the best of all time but he sucked tonight. The fact he was even in goal for the third and fourth goals is absolutely ridiculous. How a Detroit Red Wings coach gets caught showing loyalty to a New Jersey Devils goaltender is beyond me.

We lost for two reasons:

Our goalie had a bad night.

And our coach was the last person to figure it out.

Anyone who calls out the rest of the team didn’t watch.

I think it’s fair to say Bob Luongo is playing the rest of the way. Have a great night all!

Gauthier in… No McGuire for me…

Posted in Bob Gainey, Montreal Canadiens, NHL, Pierre Gauthier on February 8, 2010 by Scott Schmidt

First of all, Bob Gainey could not have shown more class on the way out the door and I wish him all the best in his retirement. He will always be a member of Les Glorieux.

Second of all, Pierre Gauthier is the new GM of the Montreal Canadiens. That’s right, no interim tag. The job is his.

Worst. Decision. Ever.

Blog over.

Congratulations New Orleans! And Gainey out in Montreal.

Posted in Bob Gainey, Coaches and General Managers, Indianapolis Colts, Montreal Canadiens, New Orleans Saints, NFL, NHL, Peyton Manning, Pierre McGuire, Uncategorized on February 8, 2010 by Scott Schmidt

I was wrong! And I couldn’t be happier.

What a football game last night! First onside kick outside the fourth quarter in SB history, most combined pass completions in SB history, first ever SB title for the Big Easy and Peyton Manning tosses up a pick-six to ice the win for the Saints.

I can’t imagine being more excited after a game I was incorrect about.

It was the kind of game, at least to me, where it felt like if New Orleans didn’t get that ring now, who knows when they’d get back. Now I believe the confidence is in them to be back very soon.

In other news…

The Montreal Canadiens are holding a press conference at 4 p.m. ET to announce a development with their management team. Speculation coming in from everyone in the media is that GM Bob Gainey is expected to step down.

While I’m almost certain this is exactly what is going to transpire, I’ll reserve my farewells for after the official announcement. However, I will take this opportunity to offer my own speculation into why this move is about to go down.

Gainey has hung his entire Montreal tenure on the future of Carey Price as the Habs’ No. 1 goaltender. From day one he has publicly stated it and has also proved it through transactions by shipping out Cristobal Huet a couple of years back and handing the starting job to Price.

While I don’t think anyone argues Price’s skill set, a conflict has risen for the starting job with Jaroslav Halak and many – if not most – are siding with the young Slovak. Many, except for Gainey.

Here’s what has happened, in my best speculative guess:

The Habs are receiving offers for both goalies, and as I said in a blog the other day, Gainey is in a real pickle over what to do. But I now believe Gainey has been wanting to trade Halak for sometime now but the rest of the front office brass want to ship out Price.

Rumours say only a handful of teams would be interested in Halak but that all 29 other teams would make bids for Price, as he has every prototypical characteristic a GM wants in their starter. My guess is a trade offer has come in for Price that Gainey refuses to accept and the rest of the management team wants to go ahead with it.

A standoff has resulted and Gainey has decided not to compromise his beliefs on the situation, thus resulting in his resignation. This is all a guess of course but it makes sense and if my estimation holds water, I believe Price will be gone in a matter of days. Is it the right move for the organization? Only time will tell, of course, but I expect this kid ends up the superstar we all have believed he will become and will go on to a great career.

Halak is no slouch, that’s for sure, but most agree he doesn’t possess the same upside as Price, regardless of how much better he seems to be today. If Price goes and Halak stays, many will call it a great move but every last one of them will wonder if they’re going to regret it in the long run. Any way you look at it, Price has won at every level and proven to be the best at every level. Giving up on that when he’s only 22 is a major risk, no matter how much fans believe he has fallen from grace.

*New development*

Well since I’ve started to write this, TSN has officially announced Gainey’s resignation and the debate over who will replace him has begun. At the top of the rumour mill right now is none other than TSN analyst Pierre McGuire. As shocking and outside the box as that seems at first, I personally would be pretty excited to see him take over that roll. He’s the kind of guy fans either love or hate because he’s a fiery ball of passion and always has something to say.

Seeing as that also describes my personality, it’s no stretch for me to say I love that guy. Do I always agree with what he says? No, but I never agree with anyone 100 per cent of the time and he is on TV talking hockey almost 24/7 so we’re bound to differ on occasion. But if there is one thing Gainey is that McGuire is not, it’s passive. Gainey seems to sit on the sidelines and wait for the perfect deal, while other teams make all the moves. I’m positive McGuire will be the exact opposite. I believe he would never hesitate to try and improve the club.

Even if it means shipping out the kid we all thought was their future.