The push comes to an end as the Canadiens descend into the abyss – .

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The push comes to an end as the Canadiens descend into the abyss – .


Transparency seems to be a forgotten word for Geoff Molson, who has a team with a lame GM, no captain, and seemingly no plan.

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When will that be enough?

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How many more unbalanced losses, how long without even being able to win two games in a row will it take before Habs owner / president Geoff Molson finally comes up with some sort of plan to sort out the team’s many problems ?

Managing Director Marc Bergevin spoke to selected members of the media last weekend in one-on-one interviews, but what he says carries little weight at this point as it seems highly unlikely that he will be back after this season.

So what’s the plan to fix this mess and when will Molson decide that the team’s fans and, most importantly, the season ticket holders deserve some sort of explanation on what’s going on.

Transparency seems to be a forgotten word for Molson, who has a team with a lame GM, no captain, and apparently no plan to work things out.

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After Wednesday’s 6-3 loss to the Capitals in Washington, the Canadians sit 30th overall in the NHL with a 5-14-2 record, two points ahead of the Arizona Coyotes (4-14- 2) and three points ahead of the Ottawa Senators (4-12-1). The Coyotes have one game in hand and the Senators have four games in hand. The expansion of the Seattle Kraken (6-12-1) is one point ahead of the Canadiens and has two games in hand.

The Canadiens are on track to end the season with 47 points, less than half of what it will likely take to reach the playoffs. They have been outscored 70-24 in their 16 losses, allowing five or more goals nine times, and have only scored more than two goals on six occasions.

This team is a total mess and something has to happen.

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The first thing is that Molson needs to sign a contract extension with Bergevin or announce that his GM will not be back and that he is looking for a new one. In a perfect world, this new GM would be in place before the NHL trading deadline of March 21. Bergevin shouldn’t be allowed to do anything if he’s not back. Let the new guy have control over fixing this mess.

“There’s no clear plan,” said Craig Button, TSN’s director of recruiting, of the Canadiens after Wednesday’s game. “The players are looking for a plan. They want to know what’s going on. They are looking at a GM who is in the last year of his contract. Anyone can talk about the draft, they will lose and you will get a high draft pick. There are a lot of days between now and the draft and there are a lot of decisions and opportunities that are going to present themselves for the Montreal Canadiens during this time. And for Marc Bergevin being in the last year of his contract, I changed my way of thinking about it. I used to think: Oh, this is the last year of your contract, play it, it’s no different from a player. Oh, yeah, it is. It’s completely different from a player because the GM has to make those decisions and the team is looking for that leadership.

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“So for me it’s clear that Geoff Molson will have to make a decision,” added Button, who was general manager of the Calgary Flames from 2000 to 2003. “Either Marc Bergevin is our man or he isn’t. . He is either our manager, will lead our team and lead our team, or he is not. And the longer (Molson) doesn’t make that decision, somehow he leaves his team in danger and the ship could continue to sink even more.

There is no quick fix for the Canadiens, but if Molson wants to do something immediately, he could consider replacing Dominique Ducharme as head coach. The Canadiens looked totally confused on the ice – especially on their own – with Ducharme’s system and he’s 20-30-9 in the regular season since taking over from Claude Julien last season. Molson is probably reluctant to change coaches as he still pays Julien US $ 5 million not to coach this season and he signed Ducharme for a three-year, US $ 5.1 million contract during the offseason.

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Molson could appoint unilingual assistant Luke Richardson as interim head coach until the end of the season, but that would likely create a language controversy the owner wants to avoid. Richardson was head coach when the Canadiens won three of the last four games against the Vegas Golden Knights to win their Stanley Cup semi-final series last season after Ducharme tested positive for COVID-19.

“All guys love him, ”defenseman Ben Chiarot said of Richardson during training camp. “I said it before… guys would go through a Wall for him – especially the Ds he works with every day. He’s a character guy we all have love. «

This season has already become essentially a loss for the Canadiens and the focus should be on the future of the franchise.

Someone has to be tasked with doing it – the sooner the better.

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