98 – A PERFECT THUNDER STORM IN MONTREAL 2

 

In order for readers who are not learned in Habs lore to understand the magnitude of the move to install Saint Patrick as the Habs’ bench boss, you must understand this.

Patrick Roy

  • Hall of Famer
  • many say he is a best goalie to ever play the game
  • in his rookie season, in Montreal, Patrick Roy backstopped the Habs to the ‘86 Stanley Cup championship
  • he did so again, in ‘93
  • won two more Cups with Colorado
  • only player to have won the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) three times (twice with the Habs)

But the circumstances that lead to his ‘95 trade to Colorado is what makes his appointment to the head coaching job in Montreal so much more delicious.

  • Roy was the starting goalie when the Habs faced off against the Red Wings, in Montreal, on December 2, 95
  • he gave up five goals in the first period, and should have been pulled
  • but rookie coach, Mario Tremblay, sent Roy back out to start the second period
  • Saint Patrick later stated that Tremblay sent him back out on the ice in the second period in an attempt to humiliate him
  • Roy gave up four more goals before finally, mercifully being pulled
  • as he left the ice, Roy screamed obscenities at Tremblay, and told Habs’ President Ronald Corey, who was seated rigt behind the bench, that he had just played his last game in the blue, blanc et rouge
  • indeed, he had
  • four days later Roy was moved to Colorado, in a trade that many consider to be the worst in NHL history.
  • les Canadiens have not been back to the Staley Cup finals since, leaving the club stalled at 24 championships, the most of any team, 11 better than the second best Toronto Maple Leafs.

Mario Tremblay

  • won five Cups playing for the Habs, the last coming in ‘86
  • after his retirement as a player, Tremblay, who had been Roy’s roommate on the road, went on to become a radio talking head
  • in his time behind the microphone, Tremblay was in the habit of deriding, and even mocking Roy

Therefore, you can understand why Marc, once again, asked brother Jared, “How does this get any better?”

Still smirking, Jared said, “Guess who your partner’s gonna be.”

“Weber, obviously,” was Marc’s answer. Weber.

Shea Weber

  • Habs captain
  • sure fire Hall of Famer
  • right handed defenceman
  • the Habs have been looking for a left handed partner for him since he came to Montreal in 16, when he was traded, straight up, from Nashville, for PK Subban
  • Marc Staal if a left-handed defenceman.

Jared kept rigt on grinning, and said, “Nope. But very close.”

“Romanov?” was Jordan’s guess

“Nope.”

“Petry?” guessed Eric

“Colder.”

Margot figured it out, but did not blurt out the insane answer, choosing instead to implore the brothers to, “Use your intuition. This ain’t rocket science. Molson wants bums in every seat. He has appointed Pierre McGuire, basically a Montreal native son, as Head of Hockey Operations, is going to name a Bowman as GM, and Saint Patrick as coach. How does he put icing on top of that cake?”

“Holy shit,” Marc said. “No way.”

Yeah way!” Jared laughed. “All the way. You and PK all the way.”

PK Subban

  • winner of the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenceman in ‘13
  • one of the most beloved players in Habs history, before being traded for Weber in ‘16
  • electrifying skater, canonating slapshot, scintillating showman, and probably the best black man to ever play the game, though many will say that title belongs to Grant Fuhr
  • the button down, ‘Keep-it-down, rock-n-roll has got to go.’ Habs brass did not like Subban’s brashness
  • strutting cock roosters, and flamboyant peacocks were not welcome at the country club, especially not a black one

“Is that a done deal?” Marc asked.

“Norm says so,” said Jared. “Can’t be done until the season is concluded, or officially written off, obviously, but if all of this goes down the way they’ve got it planned, you’re gonna be paired with PK, when the Habs start the next regular season.”

“Gotta give it to him, Molson knows what he’s doing with this one,” Margot chimed in. “He could double ticket prices, and still sell out every game, including preseason, when this comes together.”

“You’ll have to mortgage your house to get a playoff ticket,” Eric said.

“And sell your soul to the devil to get a ticket to the finals,” laughed Marc. “And sell your kids, lives and souls, if it goes seven games, and ends at the Bell Centre, for a ticket to that game.”

“Not only that,” said Margot, “but Molson-Coors sales will spike, as will the stock. People will be swilling their beers by the bucket. And merch will fly off the shelves.”

Eric the elder said, “Hang on a minute. If they want Matt, are they gonna move Price?”

“No,” Jared answered. “I asked Norm, and he says they want Matt as a rock solid back-up for Carey. They’re worried that Matt’s injury prone, but any goalie with two rings is worth the gamble. If Carey stumbles, Matt becomes number one, or they’re a tandem, with Matt being number one when Carey packs it in. Matt’s six years younger than Carey, so it would be a natural passing of the torch.”

“Does Matt know, yet?” asked Jordan.

“No. He’s on his way.”

“Is it all four of us, or nothing,” asked Eric.

“That how they want it. They have a lot of promise in the pipeline, as you know. They want all you old guys to lead the kids to the promised land, then the kids will skate with the torch.”

“It could be another dynasty,” said Margot.

“Yeah, that’s the idea, the master plan,” Jared said.

Eric asked, “Is it enough? The kids in the pipeline, Carey, PK, Gallagher, Domi, Suzuki, Kotkaniemi, and us? Can that get us a Cup?”

Jared slapped his hand on his forehead and said, “Oh, there’s something else. Norm says they will move Heaven and Earth to get Lafreniere. If they don’t win the draft lottery, they’re gonna do everything short of begging, or kidnapping him, and they probably ain’t too proud to beg, or too scared to kidnap him, because there’s not a judge, or jury in Quebec that would convict them, and you gotta know that kid desperately wants to lace ‘em up for the Habs.”

Alexis Lafreniere

  • guaranteed to be the first overall pick in the 2020 rookie draft
  • pure goal scorer
  • the most highly coveted Quebec kid since Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux went number one overall in ‘84

“He’ll sell a lot of tickets, and sweaters, for sure,” said Marc. “If he’s the next Denis Savard, the Habs are contenders for the next fifteen years.”

“Who all knows about this,” asked Eric.

“According to Norm: him, Molson, McGuire, Roy, Subban, us, and whoever they’ve told, which would be precious few.”

“Not Weber?” asked Jordan.

“No,” said Margot. “Why would they tell him anything more than that he’s going to Jersey, straight up, for Subban, again?”

Eric looked at his brothers, and Thunder Babe, and said, “Marc needs a ring. Jordan and I need another. Let’s do this.”

“Ummm,” Jared interjected, “I need a ring, too.”

“You gonna come out of retirement to join us?” Marc laughed.

“Why not?” Jared wanted to know.

“Why not?” laughed Eric. “Because Margot has as much of a chance of playing for the Habs as you do.”

99 -EARLY EXIT POLLS SHOW KITTY IN THE LEAD

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