The Montreal Canadiens, a once proud franchise that hasn’t won a championship in 25 years. It’s unheard of in that city to go this long without a Stanley Cup parade. But it has happened. And the locals must let go of the present in order to bring one back there again.
Yes, the Habs have a top flight goaltender and a top flight defenseman in Carey Price and Shea Weber. But they don’t have nearly enough at key positions in order to compete for a title. So they remain in mediocre purgatory, unable to accept that they’re not merely one or two pieces away from contention.
Think about it. Montreal plays in a division with the Bruins who are deep, on the rise and way better. Ditto for both the Leafs and the Lightning. So there’s literally no hope of them making the playoffs next season as-is. Now, and more specifically the NHL draft, is the time to trade off assets in favor of going the all-prospect and draft pick route.
Now I know that I’m from Montreal, but objectively, any way you look at it, this team is stuck in neutral. They don’t have a top flight or even a second tier offensive center, they lack of a top pairing left-shot defenseman, and their goaltender has had some injury concerns in recent years. What are they holding on to? Do they really think that free agent center John Tavares is going to look at this situation and think that it’s the solution to him contending for the cup? That’s nonsense.
No, this team and fan base needs to accept that they should go down the same path that the Toronto Maple Leafs did – painful losing and exciting prospect acquirement.
But I fear that ownership and general manager pride will get in the way of logic and this franchise will be exactly where they are now at this time next year – nowhere!
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He’s also a contributor to ESPN 101.3 Plattsburgh/Burlington. Follow him @MatthewWords.