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Meritocracy or Mediocrity - Time for Geoff Molson to Choose!

The “Matthew Effect” is centered around the famous Gospel passage where it is said “Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” Even 2000 years ago, philosophers realized the inequalities in society perpetuate themselves, regardless of governments and lefties trying to level the playing field. The rich always seem to get richer, while others can never seem to catch a break.

As I write this blog, my children are playing monopoly and living out this effect. My daughter had the fortune of accumulating more properties sooner than her brother. With each roll of the dice, her wealth accumulates as my son desperately tries to regain wealth through mortgages, feeble trades and building dilapidated housing on the poorer properties. (Baltic Avenue isn’t going to pay the bills.)

Inevitably, he will go bankrupt as his sister collects astronomical rents and forces him into economic disaster. We’ve all played Monopoly and know the momentum that can come with building the empire or going bankrupt. If you play the game long enough, eventually all the wealth goes to one person. In the end, unlike real life, we get to dump the pieces into the box and try again another day.

Geoff Molson just dumped his monopoly pieces into the box, but unlike my son who can challenge his sister tomorrow, the Montreal Canadiens are years away from enjoying a chance at redemption.

One major piece to be fired is Trevor Timmins, head scout and major influencer of the draft since 2003. To be fair, his first round picks do include Carey Price, Max Pacioretty, Ryan MacDonough and Mikhail Sergachev, the latter 3 all being traded for lesser talents. However, check the rest of these first rounders: Andrei Kostitsyn, David Fischer, Kyle Chipchura, Louis Leblanc, Jarred Tinordi, Nathan Beaulieu, Michael McCarron, Nikita Scherbak, and Ryan Poehling. How did he maintain his job for 18 years?

Habs' GM Marc Bergevin (file photo) Credit:

Obviously, the biggest piece put back in the box is Marc Bergevin. As I have lamented in many blogs before, Bergevin has constructed a team that is the very definition of mediocre. Yes, they made a run to the Cup final last year, but that was lightning in a bottle (pun?), not the result of wizardry or solid craftsmanship. Bergevin has yet to develop a player into anything resembling a top-20 NHLer. He has also handed out some hefty, long term deals that make it all but impossible for the next GM to retool in an expedient manner.

Speaking of the next GM...

Geoff Molson, you must hire the best available candidate, regardless of their mother-tongue. There are many resources available for anyone to learn a language they want to. I bet many teachers who live in Montreal will offer language tutoring. Meritocracy has to rule the day. Look at the rest of the NHL. Ever notice the Matthew Effect taking place around you?

The Tampa Bay Lightning is a perennial power because of drafting, development, and then tinkering. They get richer because they earn it and others want to go there and play. The Bruins are the same. Remember the Red Wings of the 90s? They were the best drafters in Europe and just kept getting better. They then coaxed Steve Yzerman out of Tampa and now look like they have a legitimate plan. The Blackhawks won 3 Cups through the draft, as did the Pittsburgh Penguins. Free agents are attracted to winners and thereby make the rich richer.

The bottom feeders, however, just keep getting more taken from them. Look at the Senators; they hired the “2 Pierres” because they were desperate for a job and cheap to hire - how’s that rebuild going? The Arizona Coyotes make outlandish hires and suspect off-ice decisions and to tell you the truth, I had to check to see if they were still in the league. Buffalo is another example of dysfunction and they're 3 years away from being 3 years away.

The NHL is a level playing field because of the draft, salary cap, and revenue sharing. Owners are free to scour the earth for front office hires. The last 25 years for the Habs have been wasted in limbo while the best teams in the NHL keep proving that drafting and developing are the only way to get richer.

Mr. Molson, you would never let your beer company settle for mediocrity. You have one of the best selling beer brands in North America because of the Matthew Effect - you literally get richer because your beer company gets richer because you run your company based on results and merit.

Time to let Habs fans have a taste of that effect.

By Waldo1947 | The Disgruntled Habs Fan | Sens Nation Hockey

1 Comment

mark sicoly
mark sicoly
Nov 30, 2021

Good to hear from you Waldo. How did we get here. To use the monopoly analogy, how did we get from a franchise that owned Park Place, to Baltic and everything in between to a franchise that has at best kept things glued together with rented players to have the fan base believe we are building while competing. It clearly was time for this, and although MB gets peppered with blame i think he has done a repspectable job given the poor talent pool he recieves each year via the draft. Make no mistake he shares some resposibility for the inability to recognize talent, but Trevor Timmins has long fooled someone into believing he was good at this. So much…

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