It came to as an absolute shock to no one that Montreal Canadiens general manager was fired today.
While Gauthier did make a couple of good moves (signing Erik Cole, the Hal Gill trade), he made way more mistakes than any GM should be. I’m not going to get into them all here, because I already wrote about them weeks ago.
So now the focus shifts onto who the next general manager is. There’s a lot of speculation out there, ranging from the inexperienced like Pierre McGuire and Julien Brisebois to the even more inexperienced like Patrick Roy.
Of those three, I like Pierre McGuire. But I think the Habs need to get an NHL-experienced general manager (as well as an NHL-experienced coach).
The way I see it, there’s a few criteria the new GM needs: experience, respect, bilingual, ability to recognize great young players, willing to make big moves, etc.
So looking at that, if I were in charge of the Montreal Canadiens, there’s only one name I would go after.
How cool would that be? First off, it’d be the ultimate comeback, something that you normally only see in a WWE storyline. For those who don’t know, Bowman left the Habs back in 1979 when he was passed over for the general manager’s job. It would be nice to see him come back for another shot at glory with Les Glorieux.
He’s got the experience. He was the general manager of the Buffalo Sabres in the early 1980s. And I also believe he was general manager of the Detroit Red Wings for a period, but I’m not 100% sure on that. He’s currently the Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations with the Chicago Blackhawks. He’s won a total of 12 Stanley Cups.
He’s definitely got the respect. There’s probably not a more respected person in the NHL.
I’m not sure if he’s bilingual, but he was born and raised in Quebec, not to mention the eight seasons he coached the Habs, so I’m guessing he is.
He’s been in the NHL in some capacity since the 1960s. You don’t last that long without knowing how to recognize a good prospect or two.
As for big deals, when he was GM of the Sabres, he broke up one of the best lines in hockey, by dealing Rene Robert to Colorado, and Danny Gare to Detroit. He also dealt Rick Martin to Los Angeles for a first round pick that turned out to be Tom Barrasso.
Would Bowman want to come back to Montreal? I don’t know. I just think that the Habs ownership should do everything they can to get him. If anyone could lead the Habs back to the promise land of a Stanley Cup, it’s Scotty Bowman.