The Montreal Canadiens and Their Poor Scouting

When you reminisce about the Glorious Past of the Historic Montreal Canadiens franchise it is hard to not think of great players like Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Jacques Plante, Guy Lafleur, Doug Harvey, Ken Dryden, Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe, Patrick Roy and the other talented Hockey players who once played for the team that has won a record 24 Stanley Cup championships. Now, 17 seasons since their last Stanley Cup win in 1993 (their longest drought in history) it seems it is rare that a superstar plays for the Montreal Canadiens. The question is what happened?

Let’s go back into history around the time of the 1970’s. In 1977, the Montreal Canadiens decided to draft Toronto native Mark Napier as their 10th overall pick in the first round instead of taking Montreal native Mike Bossy who was selected in as the 15th pick of the 1st round by the New York Islanders. Bossy went on to win 4 Cups in the 1980’s and was the most important offensive player for his team. Irvin Grundmann was later promoted to team General Manager as Sam Pollock retired in favour of legend Scotty Bowman later in the 1970’s. In 1980, the Montreal Canadiens, with access to the first pick overall in the first round of the draft decided to go with Doug Wickenheiser instead of the talented player from Pointe Gatineau, Quebec named Denis Savard. A third Montreal native son by the name of Luc Robitaille was drafted in the 9th round 171st overall in 1984 by the Los Angeles Kings as the Montreal Canadiens had wider eyes set on no name American born Brad McCaughey. Bossy, Savard and Robitaille went on to be the most dominant offensive Quebec born players in the NHL during the 1980’s prior to the arrival of Mario Lemieux.

In 1990, the Canadiens selected WHL player Turner Stevenson (RW) with their 1st round 12th overall pick passing up Martin Brodeur (G) later chosen by the New Jersey Devils in the round.

In 1996, the Canadiens selected WHL player Matt Higgins (C) with their 1st round 18th overall pick passing up Daniel Briere (C) later chosen by the Phoenix Coyotes in the round.

In 1998, the Canadiens selected Remperts bust Eric Chouinard (C) with their 1st round 16th overall pick passing up fellow Junior linemate and Olympic Gold Medalist Simon Gagne (C) later chosen by the Philadelphia Flyers in the round.

In 1998, the Canadiens selected Gord Dwyer (LW) with their 6th round 152nd overall pick passing up Russian great Pavel Datsyuk (C) later chosen by the Detroit Red Wings in the round.

In 2002, the Canadiens selected Tomas Linhart (D) of the Czech Republic with their 2nd round 45th overall pick passing up Duncan Keith (D) later chosen by the Chicago Blackhawks in the round.

In 2004, the Canadiens selected WHL player Kyle Chipchura (C) with their 1st round 18th overall pick passing up Mike Green (D) later chosen by the Washington Capitals in the round.

In 2007 the Habs had two first round selections in the draft and decided to draft Americans Ryan McDonough (D) and Max Pacioretty (LW) with the 12th and 22nd picks respectively instead of Lewiston MAINEiacs player David Perron (LW). Ryan has yet to play a game in the NHL and Pacioretty has only 25 points as a Montreal Canadien while the gritty Perron has 124 points in 225 games as a St Louis Blues player.


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