Patrick Roy is now on record for having said that if you're going to miss the playoffs, miss them properly and get yourself an electrifying player in the process. Finish low, draft high, you do the Grigorenko and you shake it all about.
That's the type of banter you're going to hear in the GM's office at the Bell Centre if Roy gets the coveted job. It's candid thought (Roy's always been a man of candour) but it's not likely to draw unanimous praise. I'm going to agree with Roy on this one though. If the entire season has been the mess that it is, then why mount a surge and finish on the outside looking in? If this were the usual salvageable December collapse, I would want the team to get their act together, regain their winning form and push on to the playoffs.
But this year is different. It's been awful from Day 1. There is very little if any hope at all to hang your hat on as far as spring fever is concerned. So if the bed is made, let's make it a comfy one. Tank this baby down to the gutter and let's see a star make his way through the doors next year. Roy obviously has the agenda to push his own talent, but his logic isn't wrong. There are no consolation prizes in hockey. No silver medals in the NHL. Would you rather finish 9th and bet on a 15th pick to blossom into a roster player or finish 28th and get some real star possibility? The choice is easy.
That would have to make the Habs sellers at the trade deadline. Goodbye Hal Gill, Travis Moen, maybe Kaberle, heck maybe even Gionta (although unlikely due to a heavy contract).
Because the fans were never given the opportunity to emotionally latch on to this season, they will swallow a near to last place easier. If management does not see a viable way to turn this thing around now, I would go with the current flow and draft the hell out of the 2012 pool.