I knew it!
Not only was Gauthier in charge of pro scouting when the awful Gomez deal happened, meaning he liked what he saw in the horribly slumping Gomez in New York, but he also has his fingerprints on the whole deal.
Why did Habs trade McDonagh to N. Y.?
There’s been much talk in Montreal of beefing up the Canadiens pro-scouting department now that Marc Bergevin has arrived as the ever-smiling general manager.
Despite the dour Pierre Gauthier, the former GM, nobody can say Montreal’s amateur scouts have failed in their duties in the last few years.
The 2007 draft brought the Habs Ryan McDonagh, Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban in the first 43 picks. How is that for a trifecta?
Oh yeah, McDonagh isn’t in Montreal anymore. He played 53 minutes for the New York Rangers in that triple overtime game against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. Seeing McDonagh take that wallop from Matt Hendricks, the one that almost ripped his head from his shoulders, then see him play another 30 or so shifts as if the hit were, as the Monty Python actors used to say is “just a flesh wound,” is to see a true warrior in action.
The trade of McDonagh to the Rangers to get Scott Gomez came on Bob Gainey’s watch when he was the GM. This should tarnish Gainey’s reputation for knowing who can play in the NHL and who can’t, but several sources say Gauthier’s fingerprints were really all over this one.
“Bob’s daughter had died (swept overboard at sea while working on a training ship) before this and he was letting Pierre (his confidant) do a lot of the work. Pierre didn’t like McDonagh, for some reason. Saw him play in the world juniors and didn’t like him. The scouts loved McDonagh, though. When he was traded, they couldn’t believe it,” said a source close to the scene.
“At least make up your mind on McDonagh after he’s played a few seasons.”
Instead, McDonagh was dealt on June 30, 2009 while he was still attending the University of Wisconsin, after he had finished his junior year there. He had just turned 20.
“The scouts didn’t think he was going to put up a lot of points, but he was big (213 pounds) and he competed,” said the source.
How would he look as Subban’s safety blanket in Montreal today? McDonagh, Subban, Josh Gorges and a healthy Andrei Markov on defence? Pretty good.
McDonagh for Gomez, who might well be buried in the minors next season so the Habs can save his $7.35 million US salary-cap hit, has to go down as one of the most one-sided trades in the last few years.
Bergevin, while too nice of a guy to shovel dirt on his predecessors, is probably grinding his teeth over that one.
Gomez has gone from 59 points to 38 points to 11 points in his three years in Montreal. He won two Stanley Cup rings in New Jersey and has 99 points in 140 career playoff games, but he looks done. How can that be? He’s only 32. Ray Whitney of the Phoenix Coyotes turn 40 on Tuesday. Teemu Selanne of the Anaheim Ducks turns 42 in July.
Gauthier truly is the king of the douchecastle.