Stu Cowan: Gainey’s recommendation to Canadiens GM Bergevin: Stick with your weapons

As a former Canadiens normal supervisor, Bob Gainey can relate to what Marc Bergevin goes by means of lately.

The Canadiens ended an eight-game winless streak with a Four-2 victory over the New York Islanders Tuesday evening on the Bell Centre and Gainey was one in every of 11 former captains honoured earlier than the sport because the franchise celebrated its 110th anniversary.


Gainey gained 5 Stanley Cups and was a Corridor of Famer as a participant, however was by no means capable of get the Canadiens previous the third spherical of the playoffs throughout seven seasons as GM. Bergevin is in peril of seeing the Canadiens miss the playoffs for the third straight season and the fourth time in 5 years.

Former Canadiens captains, together with Bob Gainey, centre, had been honoured earlier than the sport towards the Islanders on Dec. three, 2019, on the Bell Centre.

Pierre Obendrauf /


Montreal Gazette

Earlier than Tuesday’s recreation, Gainey was requested what recommendation he would have for Bergevin.

“If he’s made selections that he thought had been good selections — he actually believed in them on the time — then I might maintain onto them,” Gainey mentioned. “Preserve them. You make your greatest determination primarily based on what and what you’ve gotten on the time. We’re all inclined to second-guessing ourselves down the highway. But when he’s acquired gamers in locations that he likes, he may must be affected person till the present shifts a little bit bit.”


One of many gamers Gainey actually believed in throughout his time as GM was Carey Value, even when the goalie was struggling and misplaced the beginning job to Jaroslav Halak. Gainey insisted Value was “a thoroughbred” and the goalie went on to change into a Hart Trophy and Vézina Trophy winner in addition to being thought to be one of the best goalie on the planet.

“It was laborious to not be confirmed proper with Carey, who was a No. 5 decide in a really wealthy draft,” Gainey mentioned concerning the 2005 NHL Draft. “Through the years, I’ve discovered that the newbie scouts are seldom flawed. They’re seldom actually manner off base. From time to time, possibly. The man that you just see drafted within the third spherical as an 18-year outdated someplace down the road finally ends up being that sort of participant.”

When requested what his hardest interval was as GM, Gainey mentioned: “We had just a few … the years I used to be right here we had a number of ups and downs. We missed the playoffs a few occasions, as soon as on the final evening of the season. In all probability in my case we had two teaching modifications and I ended up teaching (on an interim foundation). These will not be good occasions. They’re not good reminiscences in your enterprise e book of what you’ve been doing.”


Bob Gainey throughout information convention when he was changed as GM of the Habs on Feb. eight, 2010.


The Gazette


The 2 coaches Gainey fired had been Claude Julien and Man Carbonneau, who was a former teammate and good friend. Their friendship was damaged by the firing.

As a former captain, Gainey also can relate to what Shea Weber goes by means of.

“For me, taking part in was type of my most well-liked place and it was simpler for me,” Gainey mentioned. “As soon as the sport began, there was actually no strain. You simply play and also you react and also you reply. You might be disenchanted and disillusioned once you’re not profitable sufficient. Within the normal supervisor’s job, possibly it was related then, however there’s definitely much more investigation into the final supervisor’s selections — and never solely by astute hockey pundits, however by all people. So I believe there is a bit more, for me … aggravation and problem within the supervisor’s job than within the participant’s job.”


Gainey is blissful social media wasn’t round when he was a participant or a GM. Throughout his taking part in days, it wasn’t unusual for Gainey and his teammates to exit for lunch and a beer or two collectively after apply. The gamers had been typically seen round city.

“After I got here again right here in 2003 (as GM), the workforce was positioned on this constructing and the gamers didn’t exit anyplace,” Gainey mentioned. “And I wasn’t certain in the event that they didn’t exit as a result of they couldn’t exit, or in the event that they couldn’t exit as a result of they didn’t exit. As a result of if no one ever sees you, then once they do see you it’s such a shock. However simply concerning the time I left was the time that this different half of the web, social media, began. I wouldn’t have been good in it. It’s not for me, so I don’t actually know what they undergo. A few of them most likely have grown up with it and so they’re tailored to it, so it’s regular for them.”

Gainey, who will flip 66 on Dec. 13, is having fun with being a grandfather and appears very relaxed. He’s not affiliated with any workforce, however nonetheless retains his eye on what’s happening across the NHL.


“I’m blissful,” he mentioned. “I wouldn’t say I’m round it, however I observe the league and I observe just a few groups and verify the scores and sometimes have a cellphone name or a dialog with any person who’s nonetheless concerned.”

The complications of being a GM are previously.