Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Playoffs, Grigorenkos and Other Follies

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.


DarthAlexander said...

The best thing to do this season is to tank and tank hard. They can always pass it off on any number of excuses: Injuries, Coaching problems, whatever. To hell with it, just go for it.

I hate that it's come down to this. If anyone there had any damn clue we wouldn't be in this position to begin with. Let's at least try to get something out of this whole lousy mess.

What scares me is that they'll tank, get a high pick, hell - maybe even win the lottery - and then draft some Joe No One and pass on something good. I don't trust PG or Gainey with that pick.

We have a few hard years ahead of us I think.

soperman said...

I will have to disagree. Tanking has not been very successful for the Oilers, though their patience may pay off.

The thing is that a top five pick is no guarantee of a fully functioning franchise player. Even if you do get a genuine prodigy - they may be one of those players that need stars around them as opposed to generating offense (or defense) from nothing.

But the biggest reason for not tanking the season, is that even professional athletes can't go from reverse to overdrive on command. If you play 30 games and don't try to win, you can't jam on the accelerator next year and expect to perform like a Porsche.

The benefits of a top five draft pick are overrated and longer term. The harm created by a team that "tries to lose" cannot be easily corrected.

A team that tries to win when the incentive is minimal will receive many intangible benefits.

Steve said...

@Soperman you make a pretty good case, but I am still on the tank side, we need a superstar skater, have not had one since Lafluer retired. I say go after Huberdeau, maybe he is no Lafluer but good odds he is a French Canadian star, Florida is going to want something back and I say a high draft pick is going to be start, H was 3rd overall. Cole is our best trade bait, he cant be happy he thought he was a contender, Gill next, Kostitysn next, I would move all three plus GIO, next year play all internal kids plus the remaining core, keep Gomez to hit the cap floor, and to keep the team crappy, send Price to Hawaii for the rest of this season and the start of the next with a "concussion" Then 2014 we should be contenders for at least 5 years.

Public Domain said...

Bravo soperman - we will cheer on through the holes in our paper bags.

Go Habs Go

Don's Cherries said...

@ Steve: Trading for Huberdeau is not unlike my cat's USB wire, but why would Florida trade their 3rd overall pick for another pick? Do you think they have garage door openers in the cell phone cheese factory?

HabsFan4 said...

Steve: FINALLY!!!!

Steve said...

@Don Cherries, Florida is on a death watch, maybe team number 3. They have a good shot at making the playoffs. We can make a deal for Huberdeau, first round top 5 pick plus Gill. Maybe a conditional on how we end up. It can be done. If you are serious about the Montreal Canadians, you must realize a French Canadian star if not superstar is the start of the rebuild.
BTW I love your analogies.

KmaXXX said...

I know the Habs have shit the bed for the first half of the season, but I can't imagine any player just going through the motions for 40 games - that's not what they do (Gomez excepted). And I am really surprised that a former player with the intensity he had for winning would come out with a statement like that. Imagine what Roy would have done if that was the decision made when he was the one in the nets. Expecting true professionals to not care about being scored on and losing game after game (even for half a season) is just not right.

The Habs need to play hard and give 100% every night - let the chips fall where they may - but as a lifelong fan I demand 100% effort every time they step on the ice. Sorry to all of you who figure that tanking is the best way to future success - it is not!

soperman said...

I still wear my Habs ties, sit my Rocket Richard action figure on my desk (complete with scale accurate Stanley Cup and uncirculated Habs centennial dollar on the stand), and have many more Habs trinkets and pictures in my office. My colleagues, even the non-hockey fans, have come out of the woodwork to take their jabs. It does not bother me at all. I know they will be competitive again and all the Leaf fans and other haters will go back to their non-hockey lives. But I am happier being a fan of the bleu, blanc et rouge when they are losing than I could be as a fan of another team winning. It is part of my life.

BTW - I have a Habs barbeque cover on my deck 'Q at the cottage. All of the Laff/Broon fans slow down their boats to flip me the bird as they go by. Classy people. I don't think I have met a Red Wings, Penguins or Blackhawks fan that is this bad. :o)