The Canadiens Have Trust Issues

The air is different these days in the greatest hockey city on earth, it feels like something was ripped away from the city, or a rug had been pulled from beneath them. It seems passion for the game has dissipated, from Ste-Catherine Street, all the way to Laval. Being in the city just doesn’t feel the same anymore.

To paraphrase William Shakespeare:

Something is rotten in the city of Montreal.

Weber and Subban stand next to each other at the All-Star festivities. (AFP Photo/Bruce Bennett)

Weber and Subban stand next to each other at the All-Star festivities. (AFP Photo/Bruce Bennett)

Now the obvious dilemma here is the June 29th trade of Montreal cornerstone defenseman P.K. Subban, for Nashville Captain Shea Weber. That trade can, and will be debated for years to come for a plethora of reasons. Montrealers know full well of what Subban did for their city, and Subban knew how he was loved. However, the trade alone is not what is causing the flame of passion to be extinguished.

It is true that the trade may end up being the straw that broke the current management team’s back, that being said, the problem began many months ago on a cold night in New York City, before a collapse for the ages…

Carey Price keeps an eye on the rebound against the Rangers ( JULIE JACOBSON/AP)

Carey Price keeps an eye on the rebound against the Rangers. (JULIE JACOBSON/AP)

At the time of Carey Price‘s injury at the MSG in November, Habs fans were happy as clams. They cheered for the best team in hockey, who at the time, led the NHL in goals. So, as the Habs began to struggle, there was no panic, as fans trusted the team, they felt that the Canadiens would fix the problems as they happened, and they would be fine.

They were also told that Price would return within a few days…

then a few weeks…

then he was out indefinitely…

Considering what we know now, we realize fans were lied to all season about the state of Price’s condition, and the downfall of trust manifested itself during this time, and for some, not to be regained.

As the Habs slid their way out of contention, fans looked for a scapegoat. As it often does, the blame fell on Head Coach Michel Therrien. While the coach’s head was being called for, General Manager Marc Bergevin shocked Habs fans by backing Therrien, and putting him in his “Foxhole”, drawing mockery from not only Habs fans, but by major hockey personalities and journalists.

Through this statement, management had made their point. Therrien was staying, and as time passed, fans also began to turn on Bergevin as well. Eventually calling for his dismissal alongside his coach. Furthermore, the fact that Therrien remained the coach after the worst collapse in team history irked many fans, combine that with how poorly handled the Price situation was, and the fans wanted action.

The action they got was that of heartbreak and anger, but we all know that. Some are over the trade, and some are not. We must allow fans to deal with it in their own way.

The fact is that Marc Bergevin and co lied to fans the entire season. They told fans Price was not seriously hurt, yet he was. They told fans they wouldn’t trade Subban, yet they did. What will they say next?

(Picture retrieved from CTVnews.ca)

Canadiens fans gather. (Picture retrieved from CTVnews.ca)

As we approach the two-month anniversary of the trade and the beginning of the season, trust in the Canadiens management has been the lowest it has been in years. To be honest, can we blame them? Realistically, why should they be trusted at this point? Until the management team can be trusted, the atmosphere of hockey in Montreal may lack, and management could be responsible.

To conclude I leave you with a quote from the best author of our time to describe the way this team is run, and the Canadiens fans who don’t question the wrong moves, and follow with blind faith.

The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.

– Stephen King

 

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Ben Fraser (28 Posts)

My favourite hockey related past-time is over reacting to every single move the Canadiens make. I split time between Ottawa and Montreal, while being enrolled in Journalism at Concordia University Follow me on twitter @BenFraserAATH


26 Responses to The Canadiens Have Trust Issues

  1. unfortunately, there are those that will follow MB and MB blindly.They are to blame 4 all that went wrong.they lied about Price but did nothing to rectify the situation and did not get a 1st rate goalie. they traded the most cherished player to appease MB and nothing else. MB hated PK when he was an announcer then they hire him to coach the team.He constantly used PK as a scapegoat for others mistakes, because he could. MB did nothing to stop the collapse and MT could not make adjustments in how they played to save the season. They both lied to the fans and I do hope all works out but I can not wonder in 2-3 years when markov is retired and Weber is either retired or a poor shadow of himself and PK has already raised a cup in Nashville what the fans will say..this could prove to be the worse trade in Canadiens history. We have yet to see what happens to Gally when his contract is do…or radulov if he exceeds expectation will sign for a longer and better deal somewhere else as he will not fit under the cap..Time will tell

    Philip Turnbull August 28, 2016 at 1:38 pm Reply
  2. this article makes A LOT!!!!!! of assumptions based on hindsight .

    whoever wrote this should question if they are a Habs Fan
    or a Pk Fan

    furthermore and most disturbing is the math skills used
    July 1st To September 1st is 2 months not 3……

    this Speaks To The Lack of Attention Payed by the Editor .

    Bergervin has had far more impact in trades then anyone gives him credit for
    Turning Sekac an undrafted pick up into DSP and then into a Former 1st Round Pick
    Turning Diaz an undrafted pick up Into Weise , who later was traded for former 1st round pick as well

    Trust he’s Earned , He’s Just Waiting For Respect To Be Given as People Show How Truly Short Their Attention span is …..

    Billy August 28, 2016 at 6:50 pm Reply
    • This article is speaking to last season, where the Canadiens management made mistake after mistake. How you didn’t see that, I surely do not know Billy.

      You’re harping on a typo, something that happens by NHL.com, Montreal Gazette and so on. Really? Pathetic.

      Next, those aren’t be all end all trades. DSP for Matteau? Matteau is barely an NHLer right now. He could be in St. John’s to start the season and he probably should be.

      He hasn’t earned trust at all or really any respect. This is a results business. Fans don’t forget, their attention span isn’t short actually. Emelin is still tying up $4.1M on the cap after being signed to a deal Bergevin gave him without seeing him following his knee surgery. That’s overpayment for someone that isn’t that good. Desharnais is still getting more TOI than he deserves, heck he should probably not even be on the team anymore but he gets favoured.

      But hey Billy, you know what’s right apparently..

      John August 28, 2016 at 7:50 pm Reply
  3. But the truth about the lying about the seriousness of Prices injury and the fact they never went out and got a suitable replacement, thus placing the team in a un-winnable position.Therrien failed to make the proper adjustments to keep the team competitive and should have been let go not PK traded.PK paid for therriens short falls, it is still hard to understand why a team would hire a coach who when he was an announcer wanted PK gone..irregardless of what went on in the dressing room, most of which was caused by therriens constant verbal abuse and constant use of PK as a scapegoat. I know in the short term we win this deal but feel we lose in the long term. i do not like the way it was done..one day bergevin swears he is not trading PK and the next he is gone..the 2 amigos MB and MT seem to have a disregard for the fans and think it is ok to lie..if they were gonna trade him just say we are shopping him around..that would have been better then what happened. I have been a habs fan since 1970 when the Big M was traded to Montreal and still am but the management has lied to us for too long…the Price incident went on 4 too long and no suitable replacement was brought in…I do not think Therrien is the proper guy to coach in the NHL….he is pulling the same stunts in Montreal that got his ass kicked out of Pittsburg. I think it is time for a new management team to get Les Habitants back on the tradition of winning hockey. I am not a lover of PK or a hater of Weber just a frustrated fan of the Montreal Canadiens

    Phil Turnbull August 28, 2016 at 7:35 pm Reply
  4. Crisp article Ben.

    Harambe August 28, 2016 at 11:49 pm Reply
  5. I’m so tired of this talk of the PK trade. Yes he did a lot for the city, and yes his rushes up the ice were exciting when they worked. The problem is more times then not they didn’t work and he ended up giving the puck away, which cost goals and games. As for management did not want the teams in the NHL to know how injured Price was, its a management decision once all the facts were in and the wasn’t a chance for Price to return then they told he wasn’t coming back. At the end of the day it comes down to weather you are a fan of this team with all its faults or your not. Its easy to make judgments when your not directly involved in the day to day operations of a sports team, you have nothing to lose.

    Vince Savoia August 29, 2016 at 8:32 am Reply
    • it has nothing to do with being a fan of the team with its faults..it is the fact they did nothing to replace Price and let the team sink to the bottom of the league.who cares about whether they did not want the rest of the league to know.
      Being a fan also means you are entitled to your opinion and do not blindly follow a management who feels it is better to lie then be honest…the question is why would we want them in control when they can not be honest and did not do anything to right the ship…we are fans of the team not the management….we need to clean out the 2 culprits and infuse new life into the organization..they are a part of the reason no stars will ever come to Montreal. As for the talk of the trade it will go on for years ,there is nothing you or I can do to stop it,,it is a fact of life.it will get worse 2-3 years from now and even worse if Nashville wins a cup..we have to live with that and move on..there is nothing we can do about the trade but we also have to realize it is never going to go away and if things do not go right this season it will raise it ugly head again.

      Philip Turnbull August 29, 2016 at 8:44 am Reply
    • Tired of the PK trade talk? It’s not going to go away just a few months after it happened nor is it going to go away years down the road. It was a big trade with two top d-men being traded for one another. They are truly forever tied to each other. Subban’s decisions on the ice actually more often than not created a good play or a scoring chance for the Canadiens than what you claim, a goal against or the team the game. He was on the ice for more than 60% of Montreal’s goals for, was directly in on many of them and should have had his name on many more.

      Fans can criticize the decisions by the team and make judgments, they have that right. They are the ones paying their money after all. Doesn’t make them any less of a fan if they disagree with things. It’s actually worse if you just blindly accept everything.

      Michael Gomez August 29, 2016 at 5:19 pm Reply
  6. When you announce to the world that you are going to trade a big name player you will never get decent value for that player.

    zak August 29, 2016 at 9:22 am Reply
  7. A doctor said that the type of injury Price received, had 3 degrees of severity, One would need operation, one out for the season, and the one that Price had could take 3-6 weeks as well as more. So the Habs did not lie, they had expectations, that’s it. Nobody could predict his return not even the doctors.

    They also never said Subban was not going to be traded, they said he was not being shopped, but have to listen to all if any proposals.

    All of this can be checked on the Web.

    Jean-Claude Levesque August 29, 2016 at 9:33 am Reply
  8. Crappy article. Habs are fine and on the way up with a good young core of the young vets, very good talent about to pierce the roster after very good development and trades for a few sandpaper tough and talented guys. With a healthy price, this team is on the ascent.

    Jon August 29, 2016 at 9:56 am Reply
    • Lol crappy article because it spoke to the Habs being deceitful last year and you don’t like that? And yes with a healthy Price the Canadiens will do better. They will always do better as long as he is healthy. But if he gets hurt again, they will fall. He’s their motor.

      John August 29, 2016 at 5:22 pm Reply
  9. Really? This is all to do about nothing except for the purpose of some journalist trying to fan the flames of controversy in a town that is hockey mad. I get it. Its good press, sells more papers, gets you noticed. The team is fine. The new season starts soon with a huge breath of fresh air and optimism. Settle down for crying out loud.

    Gary Gallant August 29, 2016 at 12:48 pm Reply
  10. This article would more correctly be headed “Some Montreal media and some fans have trust issues.” I have heard no indication that the players have trust issues. On the contrary, the players quoted to date are strongly behind the moves made by management in this off-season. The team is much stronger and deeper on paper than it was last season. We will know soon whether that is the case on the ice.

    Ben Fraser sounds much more like a disgruntled PK Subban fan than a serious hockey analyst. As the late, great, GM Sam Pollock used to say, “Fans are great but you can’t let them run the team.” The same would apply to many of the so-called media, Ben included.

    Brian Hunsberger August 29, 2016 at 6:27 pm Reply
    • Current players aren’t going to come out and trash moves by their current management. However, multiple players have stated they were shocked and surprised by the trade to send Subban to Nashville and how they are going to miss him. Galchenyuk specifically said P.K. has been a brother to him since day one.

      Michael Gomez August 29, 2016 at 7:34 pm Reply
      • have to agree. it would be career suicide to voice a negative opinion of what the management did. no player is gonna risk a trade,benching,decreased ice time, coaches doghouse or trip to the AHL, so they are not gonna cause any waves but keep a steady course and cover their backs

        Philip Turnbull August 29, 2016 at 7:45 pm Reply
        • Very PR type answers mostly since and why would they trash their new teammates in particular? They are quality players such as Weber.

          Michael Gomez August 29, 2016 at 8:35 pm Reply
          • I agree..Weber will help us in the short term,he is an excellent addition but I feel we lose this deal in the long term…the thing is both players have their pluses and negatives….I see no reason for all the PK bashing,he does not deserve it…we knew what we were getting when we drafted him and that is exactly what he was and is…he gave his all and we can not ask more then that…but he and Weber play a totally different game…so it is really hard to compare them,almost like apples and oranges..I wish them both success in their new endeavors…time will be the best judge of this…but I think the fan base has lost all respect and trust in MT and MB….makes one wonder why no big stars will ever sign here….and Radulov does not count as he is using Montreal as a way back into the NHL because if he does great he will sign a longer and bigger contract somewhere else next year..we have Gally to worry about signing and the cap will prevent us from re-signing Radulov..so we are only a short stop on his tour for re-entrance….

            Philip Turnbull August 29, 2016 at 9:35 pm
          • Makes no sense why some fans are now bashing P.K., especially those who used to praise him. He’s an elite d-man and will continue to be for many years to come. I guess they just say whatever they think will make them feel better about the trade? But it just makes them look foolish instead IMO. He put his all into each game and wanted to win every night. Couldn’t ask for more. I think in the long-term the Canadiens lose the deal as well, and personally, in the short-term as well.

            Michael Gomez August 29, 2016 at 10:20 pm
  11. The comment with my bane from today at 9:22 AM is not mine. Stop using my handle and get your own.Personally, I don’t trust any of the Hab’s management now, especially GM Marc Bergevin. He lies to us fans saying PK wouldnt be traded, then he lies about the Carey Price injury. Trust me, this team will fold once again this year.

    zak August 29, 2016 at 8:09 pm Reply
  12. No Stanley Cups in almost 24 years, one bad management team after another, Trevor Timmins misses out on alot of talent and we wind up with Busts. Do you really think Mike McCarron, Zachary Fucale, Jacob De la Rose and the others will amount to anything special?? What bothered me alot was when Detroit’s Jim Nill left and because GM of the Dallas Stars. That is the type of person we needed, but of course, to work for Montreal, you have to Parlez the Vous Francais.

    Philip Turnbull August 29, 2016 at 8:15 pm Reply
  13. On my blog Hockey Inside Out, (I am HabsfaninBurlington) there, we took a poll asking “Do you trust the word of GM Marc Bergevin since last year’s debacle??”

    Yes-38%
    No- 62%
    This site is the Canadien’s #1 fan site run by the Gazette.

    Vince Savoia August 29, 2016 at 8:20 pm Reply
    • Lol you say it is your blog but it is run by the Gazette… it used to be Habs I/O.

      Not sure when that poll was but it wasn’t recent as I don’t see it…

      What was relatively recent, however, “Which team do you think will be the winner in the P.K. Subban trade?”

      61% indicated Preds, while 39% stated Habs.

      Not sure how much you go around other websites or even dabble into Facebook groups but many do no trust management and aren’t in favour of Therrien/Bergevin.

      John August 29, 2016 at 8:34 pm Reply
    • And when exactly did the website conduct this poll? Don’t see it in their poll archives going back quite a few pages. Also, since when is HIO your blog?

      Michael Gomez August 29, 2016 at 8:42 pm Reply
  14. I have complete confidence in Marc Bergevin. I’ll admit I did not like the Subban trade on first glance. Then I looked at who the Habs were getting in return. Ballsy move and in retrospect I approve.

    As stated above, the only people with trust issues are the PK Subban fans… and the analytics community.

    The major reason why I trust Bergevin is because when the team went south in the standings he didn’t crater to public demand and fire Therrien. Firing Therrien would have been an even worse disaster. They didn’t make some future mortgaging trade that would have cost prospects, just to attempt a weak ill gotten attempt at squeaking into the play-offs. Rather, they did the right thing, rode the season out and the reward was Sergechev.

    It takes time to build a championship team. Especially when that team does not have the luxury of picking high draft picks on a regular basis, and has had a history of having a weak prospect pool due to its penchant for trading away prospects just to make the play-offs, and has perpetually languished in the middle of the pack where teams are not good enough to win it all or bad enough to draft the players needed to put together a championship calibre team.

    Hard Habits August 30, 2016 at 8:30 am Reply
    • The only thing I do agree with is not mortgaging the future and trading away a bunch of the young guns. However, not firing Therrien was a mistake when the man continues to warrant a dismissal.

      Michael Gomez August 30, 2016 at 10:39 am Reply

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