The Habs have one main problem when it comes to developing young players.
Because of this, the Habs will never be able to draft a player that will turn into a superstar.
Look, I understand Habs fans are passionate about their team. But it’s a stupid passionate. They’re so passionate, that they can’t see clearly or logically.
But in reality, a young player will never get a chance to develop while playing in Montreal.
Gui Latendresse was really popular at the beginning of his career, but when he had a bad season or two, fans turned on him. So he was traded, and immediately started scoring. He was 22 when he was traded.
The Kostitsyn brothers were seen as two of the most talented young players on team. But when their production started slipping, fans turned on them. One has since been traded, and fans cry for the other one to go too.
Maxim Lapierre was many fans’ choice to be the next Habs captain last summer. This past season, there were cries for him to be traded because he wasn’t having a good year.
Michael Ryder was awesome, according to Habs fans when he was scoring 30-goals a year. When those goal totals slipped one year, he was a bum.
Let me put it another way. Who was the last superstar drafted and developed by the Habs, who played with the Canadiens during his best years?
You could maybe argue Andrei Markov, but I wouldn’t call him a superstar. Same goes with Jose Theodore (remember how fast he fell out of favour with Habs fans?). Saku Koivu also wasn’t a superstar.
But I think you’d have to go all the way back to the 1984 draft, and choose Stephane Richer (two 50-goal seasons) and Patrick Roy.
It hit me as I say people talking about the Carey Price’s first exhibition game the other day. Fans booed him after the first goal. Do you think that’s going to help him get better. Why not be patient with him?
Yes, I understand. Been in the league for a few years, should be better, blah blah blah. The reality is goalies generally come into their own in their mid-to-late 20s.
Martin Brodeur’s streak of four straight 40-win seasons? Happened between the ages of 25 to 29.
Roberto Luongo’s 47-win season? He was 27.
Ryan Miller’s best two seasons? This past year at 29, and a few years back at 26.
Miika Kiprusoff’s streak of dominance came between the ages of 29 to 32.
Ilya Bryzgalov’s best season just happened at the age of 29.
And the list goes on. Craig Anderson’s best season at 29. Tomas Vokoun’s two best seasons at the age of 26 and 29. Henrik Lundqvist has posted 30-win seasons every year, but he didn’t start playing in the NHL until he was 24 (he’s only 28 now).
Even Jaroslav Halak, the boy wonder for the Habs last season, turned 25 during the playoffs.
And to go back to the beginning, look at Patrick Roy. When he was single-handedly leading the Habs during the 1990s, guess when his best three seasons were? Between the ages of 26 and 28.
Price just turned 23. So relax, and give him a few years (or in the words of Price himself “Chill out”).
Or else we can watch him turn into a top goalie with another team.