Friday, June 26, 2009

Habs get their homegrown kid

Maybe now we won't have to hear about how Trevor Timmins and the Montreal Canadiens ignore their own backyard.

The Habs selection of Kirkland's Louie Leblanc with the 18th pick fills two needs for the team, because not only is he a perfectly bilingual native, he's also headed to college next year.

The knock on Leblanc is that he's not playing against too much high-level competition because he spent an extra year in midget at Lac St. Louis and he played this past season the United States Hockey League, where he was named rookie of the year.

But Timmins feels that the possibility of Leblanc playing in the world junior championships this Christmas will provide him with some quality opposition to showcase his talents. And even though Leblanc will be attending Harvard rather than a collegiate powerhouse, Timmins feels he will spend no more than two years in college before making the jump to the pros.

Though drafting Leblanc was a big story, the bigger story in my eyes was the fact Bob Gainey wasn't able to swing the deal for the big first-line centre he's looking for. There's a possibility that trade may still happen this weekend, but it's pretty unlikely.

Gainey's legacy as Habs GM is riding on the next two weeks, a very short window to completely overhaul a team. While a lot of people are taking the team's performance this season and crying for a complete re-build, the fact remains that the Canadiens still have some potentially nice pieces in place that just happened to have a rough year.

Still, if Gainey isn't able to acquire that big-name centre either Saturday or over early in the week, his years as GM risk being remembered as a complete and utter bust. And for any Canadiens fan born after, say, 1982, that's unfortunately how Gainey will be most remembered.


Anvilcloud said...

There were a couple of other teams who also pretty well had to satisfy the fans, including the Wild and the Isles, although I think that the Isles would have made that pick regardless. I think I would have. Even if LL doesn't work out, they've given it a shot.

Les said...

It doesn't seem like Gainey's temperament is suited to a risky, massive two-week overhaul. That'll be the end of him.

pfhabs said...

no longer a "in Bob we trust" kind of Gainey fan but why pretel Les would anyone be in favour of as you say a "risky, massive two-week overhaul". don't see Holland, Lamerillo, Shero, Charelli or any other top flight GM fitting that mould. Milbury does but he's a broadcaster now because of it

if you cite the Philly experiment of 2 years ago that hasn't really gotten them far either has it ?

successful team development is not a one hit wonder; aka Vinny