Friday, 13 January 2012

Cammalleri Habs trade tells us one thing - Pierre Gauthier will probably stay

Job security for Pierre Gauthier?
Alright, rabid, irrational, thirsty-for-blood Habs fans, you wanted a move, you got one. The Thursday night bizarre trade of Mike Cammalleri during the Canadiens vs Bruins game was interesting - to say the least! What, if Cammy scored twice in the first period, you wouldn't have traded him? Talk about micro-analyzing a player's performance.

Unlike the 4,431 self-proclaimed hockey expert bloggers, who read something in the newspaper and then simply reiterate it on their own little blog, I have my own take on the Canadiens-Flames trade. And no, they didn't bring in Rene Bourque thinking he was French, only to realize he speaks less French than the coach.

I'm sorry to say to those who wanted Mr. Burns, AKA Pierre Gauthier to leave town - he is staying as Habs GM in to next season.

Hold on a second. Get off the ledge. Step back and take a deep breath. Oh, I meant what I said, it's just not worth the jump.

By allowing Gauthier to make the move, Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson sent a clear (okay, it's more like a subliminal) message to the world: I am keeping my GM for next season. If Gauthier were simply dead man walking, Molson wouldn't even let him near the Bell Centre, let alone trade away assets and further put his stamp on this team. It's just common sense.

As you scoff while reading my opinion on Mr. Gauthier's future (as everyone I've told my theory to already has), consider the parallel that happened in Ottawa last season. Bryan Murray was supposedly on his way out as well as Senators GM. He had a flailing team, he had just fired another coach and most thought he was nearing the end of his tenure. Meanwhile, Murray traded away veteran after veteran, stockpiling picks and young players, and owner Eugene Melnyk kept him on this season. The results have been nothing short of impressive. Clearly, Murray got his mojo back.

And again, had Melnyk really wanted to replace Murray, he wouldn't have allowed him to jettison so many players and continue to mold the team to his own liking. It's simple logic, really.

As for the trade itself? Well, Cammalleri was an expensive player for little return in the regular season. And if you don't make the playoffs, it's hard to be a postseason hero. Meanwhile, Bourque is what you see. He's not flashy, has a decent shot, is tough and will get suspended every now and then. The knock on Bourque is his inconsistency. He'll score no goals in ten games and then five in three. Wonderful. Montreal already has a player like that. I refer you to AK46.

At the very least, the move clears some cap space and leaves more room for Montreal to lock up Carey Price and P.K. Subban - that is if they too aren't on the trading block.

So expect more moves and a few more boring Gauthier press conferences.

And as for the notion that Gauthier isn't make the decisions himself, that it's trade-by-committee featuring Bob Gainey, Molson and possibly a fan or two? Nonsense. If your owner has lost confidence in you to the point where he wants others helping to make GM moves, then you wouldn't be employed.

This is Gauthier's show right now - and possibly in to 2012-2013 as well.

Catch Matthew next on TSN 990 Radio in Montreal, Tuesday at 9pm. Follow him on Twitter @gamepointsradio @matthewrossmtl


  1. Well said, Matthew and I'm in the same boat as you. I don't hate the trade and think that this, and the Kaberle deal, mean that Gauthier has a vote of confidence by owner, Geoff Molson.

    Either that or he's been told to fix it or he's gone.

    Either way, Gauthier is the man running the show and he will be the one presiding over any potential fire sale, much to the chagrin of Habs fans.

    And I think Gauthier is just getting started. Hopefully, for Hab fans, he brings in a big center.