Posts Tagged ‘gainey steps down’

Bob Gainey, now a former Montreal GM.

The stepping down, or aside, whichever way you look at it, of Bob Gainey from the Habs GM post sure did come as a surprise.

He looked tired and relieved all at the same time. He is one of Montreal’s all time great players and his resumé as GM is not all that bad. The team has been a winner under him but in a city where it is the Stanley Cup or bust, he could not meet lofty expectations. Let’s remember that he has not decimated this team like other former Habs have when in power, such as Rejean Houle and Mario Tremblay.

He did make some confounding and frustrating decisions. Bringing back Brisebois, losing Mark Streit and Mark Komisarek were among them. However, what I think ultimately undid his tenure was not his faith in Carey Price, his draft pick who is slowly developing and adjusting to NHL life but his faith in Alex Kovalev.

His long walk and talk with Kovalev a few summers back to entice Kovalev to stay and be the key cog in the Hab engine really did screw him in the end. As per his resumé, Kovalev proceeded to have a great season followed by a crap one. The same mantra always applies to Alex, one of the most talented players in the game but an enigma to coach. Kovalev and the example he set and the reported strife he caused in the lockerroom vis-à-vis leadership and Saku Koivu could not be ignored. The Habs hitched their wagon to “The Enigma” and it frustratingly stuttered and stalled along the way.

Bob Gainey, at left, Larry Robinson and Mats Naslund, my 1986 Cup memories include Gainey's key leadership.

Something was amiss last year when Gainey axed Carbo as coach. The move just did not make sense. Two former close teammates with a shared history beyond their playing days, once mentor and student as well, it seemed like a bond which could not be broken by a team not producing but it apparently did. Today, on a Toronto sport radio show, Carbo said that his firing was an “un-Bob” like move and now that we see Pierre Gauthier taking the mantle and Jacques Martin as coach, the dominoes become clearer to see.

We now have a former Senators GM at the helm with the coach he brought in, when they were in Ottawa, to help right the Ottawa ship. How long has all this been brewing behind the scenes?

I like Gainey’s gutting of the squad this past off-season, it is was bold and needed. If not for some injuries, all the free agents would have been able to give even more positively to the team’s fortunes. Camalleri has worked out as has Gionta, Gill and Spacek. Gomez, if not for his price tag, would be an ok pick up as well.

Gainey has given his life to the Habs and the man himself must be remembered for all he has endured recently. He lost his wife to cancer in 2005 and the his daughter at sea in an accident in 2006.

He now can live his life, we can hope and live it with the spotlight he wishes to shine on the things nearest and dearest to him-which is all we can wish for one of the greatest Habs of all time.

Take care Bob.

Au revoir et bonne chance Bob.


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