This is Francis Beauvillier, a scorer in the QMJHL and draft eligible this summer. Chances are he (or another French Canadian playing in the Q) will be one of the names announced by the Habs on day two of the draft.
The Montreal Canadiens will announce Michel Therrien as their new head coach today, according to multiple reports. This falls in line with what we’ve been reading for some time about the storied Montreal franchise: their return to glory will go through Quebec province.
Which isn’t to say they’ll play fast and loose with their lottery pick, they were talking to Ryan Murray as recently as yesterday. I think we’ll see a return to the Serge Savard era, reflected in this quote from Savard himself:
- “When the Canadiens lost in 82-83, they had just about the same looking team as they have now (2010-11), with only two or three local guys. When they lose in the playoffs, they all go home and they don’t see anything here. In my 14 years as a player with the Canadiens we won 8 Stanley Cups and the years we didn’t win we paid a heavy price in the summer. People asked ‘what happened, how come you didn’t win?’ I wanted my players to live the same thing I lived. So I did not pass on the local talent. So, Simon Gagne would never have played In Philadelphia in my day, not because I’m smarter but because I wouldn’t have allowed him to go (ahead of me) in the draft. Same with (David) Perron in St. Louis. Montreal drafted twice in the first round in 2007 (picking up 2 Amercians) before he was picked from St. Louis. THAT guy would never have passed two picks with me….There is enough local product, and I had a big enough edge because everyone downgraded the Quebec junior league–what an edge. How come I got Patrick Roy in the 3rd round? I got Stephane Richer and Claude Lemieux in the second round. Why would those guys go in the 2nd round? That was an edge for us.” (quote courtesy Behind the Moves by John Farris)
I’m not suggesting that Montreal is the only team to do this, the draft tells us Edmonton prefers WHL kids to a fault and they shop almost exclusively in the CHL, Sweden and Finland (although quotes this year suggest MBS is looking at America more now).
I will suggest that this kind of bias is harmful to an organization’s health. Shopping in a shallow pool–made shallow by your own free will–is a loser’s bet. In spite of Serge Savard’s memory of his glory years.
Oh by the way, the players chosen in front of Gagne and Perron? Eric Chouinard (QMJHL) as chosen in front of Gagne and Ryan McDonagh (Minnesota high school) and Max Pacioretty (USHL) went before David Perron.
Shallow pools. Bad idea.