As is the case every year, going into the draft my hopes were high but the reality of the situation is that a fantastic playoff run left us with the 27th overall pick.
The worst 1st round position this organization has ever had.
But when all was said and done Pierre Gauthier and the Montreal Canadiens left Los Angeles with arguably the best prospect this organization has had since Carey Price.
In a gutsy move Gauthier agreed to part with both our 1st and 2nd round picks in exchange for the 22nd overall and a late 4th rounder in what was otherwise considered a very deep draft.
With the thoughts and distaste of many still fresh in our mouths with the Jaroslav Halak trade, the consensus on forum boards and water cooler chatter everywhere seemed to echo that once again we are simply giving up too much.
The continuous frustration of a team giving up valuable 1st and 2nd round picks when there is an obvious depletion of organizational depth, knowing all so well that these are quite simply crucial.
But when all was said and done, and despite being absolutely against the hiring of Gauthier as GM after witnessing his debacle in both Ottawa and Anaheim, I stood there applauding.
What Gauthier accomplished was what many had hoped Bob Gainey would do; pro-actively find the player you want and do everything in your power to get him in your organization.
It is my personal philosophy to approach every draft with a very simple mindset. Do your homework, make the decision you think is best but ultimately make sure that at least 1 of the players you have chosen actually makes it to the NHL as an impact player.
Sure the organization could have waited until the 27th spot and further use their second round pick for whomever they deemed the best at each of those spots.
Ultimately at the end of the day we would have seen ourselves with 2-3 or perhaps even 4 decent possibilities of making it to the NHL. But Gauthier rolled the dice and gave up quantity and went for quality with the acquisition of the still growing 6’5 inch, 210 lbs beast of a defensemen, Jarrod Tinordi.
Still likely at least 2-3 years away from potentially earning a spot on the blue line, Tinordi possess’ all the attributes this team requires. He is big, mean, tough, has a great skating stride, is a natural leader and best of all not only was he the best player on the board when the 22nd overall selection was to be made but he fulfilled an organizational need.
When 3 of your top 4 current Dmen and when the all of your top rated blueline prospects in your organization are 6’0 or smaller, Tinordi stands out as a promising light or should I say……. towering presence.
Time will tell whether he possess’ not only the physical attributes but the mental aspects that are needed to fully develop and become a regular at the NHL level.
However, his bloodline screams capable, his leadership dictates proficient, and his physical prowess shouts watch out Northeast Division…I am coming, and I plan on leaving my mark.
A mark which is only possible because of Pierre Gauthier and his pro-active pursuit.
Willey was the shinning light among the wicked growing up as the lone Habs fan in Toronto. Pray to Holy Ghosts of the old forum and all shall be answered I was told, and just like that my family was transferred back to Montreal and away from the damned. Olé Olé Olé.
Monday, June 28, 2010