Thursday, March 22, 2012

On Molson and Roy

Sorry for the delay fellow puck fiends, but I haven’t felt the need to sink my teeth into any Habs-related news of late.  Even the latest “news” that Patrick Roy is slated to be the Montreal Canadiens next coach is hardly more than an educated guess than truth in my opinion.

Even if it is in fact true that Geoff Molson has taken over the duties of GM for the remainder of the season, it makes no sense that he would decide now to make Patrick Roy the coach for next year.  I find it hard to believe that Molson suddenly believes he’s a hockey expert, and would go off on a limb, months before the 2012-13 season, and choose a new coach.  Now is not the time for rash decisions, and Molson does not strike me as a guy who makes them. 

Owners usually don’t make huge hockey decisions such as these, especially ones who have just barely arrived on the scene and are feeling things out.  I fully expect this owner to first fire Gauthier at the end of the season, hire a new GM not too long after, and have that GM handpick his coach in time for the 2012 entry draft. 

So no, I don’t believe that Patrick Roy has signed a pre-contract, or whatever they’re calling it.  Nor do I believe he’s the best man for the job, or close to it. Roy is a loose cannon, in every sense of the word.  He also has, and always will be, as cocky and egotistical a hockey personality you will find, which is not exactly a great element you want with a young, rebuilding team.

Yes, I know, he has been the coach of the Quebec Remparts, a Junior team full of young players for the last 7 years.  I’m also aware that he led the team to a memorial cup victory in his rookie season, which is indeed impressive.  It should also be noted though, that he has also been the GM and owner of that team for that time, suggesting that he’s not used to taking orders from anyone.

Which, of course, makes my point perfectly: Roy has, and always has been, a one-man show.  Was he a fierce competitor? Yes.  A hall of fame goalie? Yes.  A winner in every sense of the word? Yes.  But was he a team guy?   Not really. 

On a team full of egos, do you really want your biggest ego to be the coach?  Because if you hire Roy, that’s exactly what you’ll get. 

But who knows, maybe Geoff Molson is dead set on bringing Roy back into the fold, figuring that he needs a lightning rod to re-energize the franchise.  If that’s the case, I could understand Roy being chosen instead as the GM, not the coach.  I still don’t like it much, because he has zero experience in the NHL, but if you you’re as tired as I am of the kind of mopes we’ve had running this team lately, Roy will definitely be anything but.  He may not be great at it at first, but you know he’ll be aggressive, and you know he’ll work harder than the next guy to try and get deals done.

So yeah, if he’s literally the only French-speaking GM applicant with any semblance of balls out there, well heck, maybe he’s the right guy for the job.  What this team needs more than ever is to get out of safe mode and start trying to hit some home runs (and if you’re wondering, no, trading for Scott Gomez was not a home run). 

I’m not saying Roy would be my first choice for the job; far from it.  But if in five years from now we’re still talking about how we need to tweak the team by trading a few guys and adding a few guys (as we seem to do every year), I’d bet it’s because we brought in a Gauthier/Gainey clone.  Nothing could be worse than that, not even Patrick Roy of all people running our team…