Sometimes, general managers are looking for solutions and none seems to make sense. The story has been this very one all season long for the Montreal Canadiens, who cannot seem to fight the right answers to the questions of their lethargic offense and injuries piling up. The main response became the option of trading key players like Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk and even star defenseman Shea Weber, until finally, the NHL trade deadline came and went and nothing major was done in Montreal to fix the many issues.
During a segment of That's Hockey on TSN Monday night, hockey analyst and former GM Craig Button stated that the problem for the Canadiens appears to be in the front office, with owner Geoff Molson and general manager Marc Bergevin, and that is where solutions need to start. However, in his answer to the question: is getting rid of Pacioretty a smart move for the Habs, Button mentioned that one solution that was reportedly discussed was the one to strip the veteran forward of his captaincy...
Back in October, NHL legend Mike Bossy stated that it was time for Bergevin to ask his captain to give up his title and give it to someone else. During the first intermission of the broadcast of the game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators on TVA Sports, Bossy said that when your team captain plays as bad as Pacioretty does since the start of the season, he has no credibility when he speaks to the other players. Bossy added that he thinks the American forward focusses too much on what he will answer to the journalists covering the team, and that he should give up his "C" to give himself the chance to concentrate on what he his paid to do : scoring goals.
However, during the season, Pacioretty did manage to tally 17 goals and a total 37 points in 64 games. He is second on the team, just behind in goals Brendan Gallagher who has recorded 20 tallies and 40 points. Pacioretty is now most likely done for the season, as he will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a knee injury, the team announced Monday.
However, the removal of the C on Pacioretty's jersey does not make sense to Button - just like moving the 29-year-old is a ridiculous solution for the former GM, who did not hold back on the rumors:
"I don't think this is about Max Pacioretty solely. I think you need to have a direction in which you want your franchise to go. Listen, this is a team that doesn't score! So now you're gonna trade their best scorer - somewhere that does not make a lot of sense. Now there is the talk of stripping him out of this captaincy... Who exactly is going to become their captain? So when you consider the mess that are the Canadiens, and it cannot be called anything but a mess, that's what it is. How are they going to get better?
"What are you going to do? Trade Max Pacioretty? What's that going to accomplish for you?
"The bottom line for the Canadiens: they better get into a serious plan and a real-directed plan on what they want to do and then decide where Max Pacioretty fits on this. But just getting him out of town - does not make any sense to me!"
What do you think Habs fans? Would you strip Pacioretty of his "C"? And if you do so, who would you name as the new captain?