Tuesday, July 7, 2009


There was a time when people used to believe in stuff. Important stuff like beauty and magic and razzle-dazzle. But razzle-dazzle was seemingly putting a crimp in Bob Gainey's style. So he took action. Crazy, counter-productive action. A fitting conclusion to a crazy, counter-productive Centennial season.

At first, the free-agency market opened with the perfect traditional setting for the Montreal Canadiens. They were at centre stage of dire circumstances, already thought dead after a supposed disastrous trade with New York City that saw the talented but inconsistent (especially with open nets) scorer Chistopher Higgins, as well as the heavily-hyped wunderkind Ryan McDonagh, sent over for overpaid, underperforming centre Scott Gomez. The hounds were hounding, the fans were screaming but, bing, bam, zoom, Spacek, Cammalleri and Gionta came in to fill the void of Tanguay’s surprisingly unimpactful season despite relatively solid play, Komisarek’s lack of any ability whatsoever and, so we pondered, a player to be blamed later... Bob Gainey was a certified genius again.

For awhile, all was well; it seemed the Canadiens were merely pulling another one of their famous 3rd period comebacks, this time on the free-agent market, using Kovalev as the dramatic background motif. The grumblings after the McDonagh loss had quieted substantially. Calls to the asylum begging to come fetch the GM were stayed.

And then... Disaster. The Canadiens had been in dealings with star farward Alex Kovalev, true, but fearful they might be left with no dancing partner when the mercurial Russian could not decide quickly enough to sign, chose to scoop up Brian Gionta in his place! Kovalev and his fans were forced to realize that the Artiste’s tenure with the Canadiens had come to an abrupt and sickening end.

Now, the era of magic and razzle-dazzle and beauty is over the City that is Hockey. Journalistic integrity and objective disassociation forces me to conclude that with this single, solitary move after brilliant set pieces to acquire talent on the open market, Bob Gainey has chucked the Montreal Canadiens down the drain in spectacular fashion.

I took an oath as a reporter to report the facts. Here are the facts, undisputable, unassailable, and too often manifested to be considered anything less than mathematical certitudes.

Fact 1: Kovalev is the greatest guy in the world.
Fact 2: Kovalev is the greatest hockey player the universe ever spit out, even taking into account the existence of as-of-yet unexplored parallel universes.
Fact 3: Kovalev can score one-handed from anywhere within the blueline, yes, even from behind the net, smartypants, one-handed, eating popcorn.
Fact 4: Kovalev can deke out raindrops.
Fact 5: Kovalev can get a free car whenever he feels like it.
Fact 6: Kovalev once a-caught a burret wit his beh hans.
Fact 7: Kovalev will knock you right the hell out if you mess with him.
Fact 8: Kovalev’s Charisma is at Level 11, designation: Master Hypnotist. He needs not even speak for teammates to wither at his commanding Presence.

Now, those are the facts. Witnessed with our own eyes. Unimpeachable, unquestionable solid facts.

Any general manager interested in the concept of being the best of the best in the NHL, normally, you would think that the most skilled player to ever shake Mikael Gorbachev’s hand would be just the ticket in getting there, but apparently, the Montreal Canadiens were too skilled and not American enough for their liking. As it is their right to think so. And yet, some of us might be forgiven for thinking Bob Gainey a bit enigmatic in this approach. As always, none of your faithful reporter's tough questions could breach the general manager's demeanor, nor he could he cull any insight from his stoic gaze (pictured right).

And Ottawa must surely be commended for their marketing savvy in swooping in to collect the Russian Titan. Montreal is barely two hours away and they could sure use the attendance at the Corel Centre.

More updates as events warrant.

Monday, July 6, 2009


MONTREAL - In the sixth - and likely final year - of his five-year plan, Bob Gainey has successfully pulled off what no other GM has been able to do for decades... He has made fans believe in the famous Montreal Canadiens crest.

This incredible task was achieved by what turned out to be the simplest of methods; get rid of every player on the roster that was every worth cheering for.

By removing the concept of individual greatness and character from the lineup, fans can no longer get behind any one man and chant his name. There is no one left to bitch and moan about on blogs and in the media. (Well, except for the Priceberg, but really, who watches hockey for the goaltending?)

Koivu, the ultimate champion at heart. He beat cancer. He beat the media. He beat my mother (and that's all I can say until after the hearing). His roots deep in the community. His heart on a pedestal. Gone...

Kovalev, the moody but extremely talented winger. Loved by fans whom he loved in return. A constant joy to watch. Gone...

Tangauy, Lang, Schnieder, Higgins. Gone, all.

So who's left? Markov? Have you ever heard him speak? Hamrlik? Please. Plekanec? He's only here because he has no choice. The Kostitsyn brothers? Well, if they're high they're okay. And rumour has it that's fairly often.

Latendress? Lapierre? Two years ago the only reason we cheered for them was because they were French and cracking the lineup. But they were second fiddle to the likes of Koivu and Kovelev.

Gomez? Gionta? The dude from Calgary who's name I'm still learning to spell? Spacec? Hill? Yeah... When I think Habs, I picture these guys.

So really, there's no one. We'll cling to someone by default, but in our hearts we'll know there is no one to cheer for. So all that is left is the logo. And that was likely Gainey's plan all along.

And then he'll leave.

Thanks Bob.