” Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught. ” ~ J. C. Watts
PENTICTON, BC. – When Geoff Molson decided to clean house at the end of the last season, it quickly became clear that his mission was to bring back the pride in wearing the ‘CH’ logo and jersey, of being part of the most storied franchise in NHL history. With the help a good friend of the Molson family in Serge Savard, he went on a quest to get a General Manager who shares the same vision, the same philosophy and the same passion that he possesses. He found him in Marc Bergevin.
Too many times in the past 20 years have we witnessed the Habs folding under pressure, with players more concerned about their paycheques and ice time than they were with winning. Too many times have we seen GM’s using Band-Aid solutions in a locker room in need of heart surgery. Fans, without a true star player on the team since Patrick Roy and desperate to rally behind one, found themselves seeing the Koivu, Kovalev and Plekanec as such players when in reality, they would be second-liners on most contending teams. It’s not a knock on the fans, but rather one against previous ownership and management for their inability to recognize the problem and draft or trade for true top notch talents.
Then arrived Trevor Timmins to the organization and when given free reign, he did recognize that in addition to talent, a young man’s character is what will make of him a quality NHL player, knowing that this is what will drive him to improve and become the best he can become.
“Faced with crisis, the man of character falls back on himself. He imposes his own stamp of action, takes responsibility for it, makes it his own.” ~ Charles de Gaulle
Everyone knows the current players on the Canadiens. Fans can recognize who the character players are on the current edition: Gionta, Gorges, Cole, Price and company would easily be picked up in the crowd. Those guys hate to lose and it is obvious by their demeanor in their post-game interviews. But even more impressive is seeing who is coming up in the next few years among a prospect pool which is not only deep in talent and numbers, but also in quality players filled with character and leadership.
Included in the list of prospects who are not yet on their NHL roster, the Montreal Canadiens can count on at least 15 skaters who have been appointed either Captain or Assistant-captain on their respective team at the Junior and at the US College levels! I haven’t gone around every NHL team but one would be hard-pressed to find any other team with as many, and if there are, there can’t be many.
Michael Bournival (Shawinigan), Alex Galchenyuk (Sarnia), Brendan Gallagher (Vancouver), Jarred Tinordi (London), Morgan Ellis (Cape Breton) and just recently Charles Hudon (Chicoutimi) have all served as team captains, ultimate leaders on their team. It is important to note that Tinordi also served as captain for Team USA as well.
As Assistant-captains (or Alternate-captain depending who you ask), we find Patrick Holland (Tri-City), Danny Kristo (North Dakota), Louis Leblanc (Montreal), Steve Quailer (Northeastern), Brady Vail (Windsor), Nathan Beaulieu (Saint John), Darren Dietz (Saskatoon), Greg Pateryn (Michigan) and Joe Stejskal (Darthmouth).
I may have forgotten a few (if so, please add them to the comments section) but this paints a pretty clear picture of the type of players Trevor Timmins and his scouting staff have been pursuing in recent years, and many of them not only had an impact on their own team, they are/were major contributors in their respective league, some even at the national level. While being a team captain at the Junior or College level doesn’t guarantee a player to make an NHL roster or to have a similar impact at that level, it does speak highly of a players’ role on a team and, by the same token, it often is a telling story of his character.
So if the team is looking for someone to stand up in the dressing room when players get out of line, if you are looking for someone who will preach by example when the going gets tough, chances are that there will be more than one player doing so and that, for years to come. No more excuses, no more relying on cliques and selfish individuals. Those kids have learned what it’s like to rally a team, to provide the necessary leadership for all individuals to pull in the same direction towards a common goal, and they know the importance of a constant effort on every shift on the ice, of the proper preparation off the ice. They are character players… and best of all, they are members of the Montreal Canadiens organization.
Who will be wearing the ‘C’ for the future Habs? Think ahead a few years to answer the All Habs Poll of the Week question.
Who has potential to be the future captain of the Montreal Canadiens?
- Jarred Tinordi (43%, 356 Votes)
- Alex Galchenyuk (29%, 239 Votes)
- Brendan Gallagher (13%, 104 Votes)
- Morgan Ellis (11%, 88 Votes)
- Michael Bournival (4%, 36 Votes)
Total Voters: 823
En français: Trevor Timmins à la recherche de caractère