Connect with us

Canadiens Analysis

Montreal Canadiens Fans Vote – Results For The State Of The Rebuild

Published

on

Montreal Canadiens manager Kent Hughes

While there’s no doubt the Montreal Canadiens needed to tear everything down to the studs so they could rebuild, some questioned whether Habs fans could handle a rebuild. Without naming any names, there was some logic behind the idea that patience would quickly run out. After all, Montreal is a sports city that was built by an endless stream of Stanley Cups during the dynasty years.

But we also have to be honest when it comes to the realities of the modern sports landscape. Dynasties are mostly a thing of the past, and the last time the Canadiens won a Stanley Cup, Juraj Slafkovsky was still 11 years away from being born. In other words, for many fans, the success of the past is closer to mythology, as they never had an opportunity to watch the legends who served as the building blocks of dominance in Montreal.

With that in mind, we now turn to the latest Habs fan poll, which asked Canadiens faithful for their opinions on the rebuild two and a half years into it. If there was any doubt about how fans feel, including media-driven impatience, the results of this poll should put everyone, including Canadiens management, at ease.

The questions are scored from 1 to ten, with ten being the best result. If the question allowed for answers depicted in percentages, each score represents the equivalent percentage (5 = 50%).

  • As good as it gets = 10
  • Close to perfection = 9
  • Satisfied/Very Good = 8
  • Well above average = 7
  • Above average = 6
  • Neutral/Acceptable = 5
  • Below average = 4
  • Dissatisfied/Bad = 3
  • Very bad = 2
  • Very Dissatisfied/Extremely Poor = 1

Question No.1 – Have the Canadiens done a good job drafting key players in 2022 and 2023?

Drafting key players is one of the most important aspects of any rebuild, and despite much of the public discourse centring on whether the team made the right picks in 2022 and 2023, the vast majority of Canadiens fans are satisfied with the team’s draft record.

As you can see below, the most fans think the Habs did a good job drafting key players in both 2022 and 2023. Those players include Lane Hutson, Juraj Slafkovsky, Owen Beck, Jacob Fowler, David Reinbacher, Adam Engstrom, and Filip Mesar. To put a fine point on the confidence level of fans toward the draft record, more people suggested the Canadiens had perfect drafts in both years than all the neutral or bad votes combined.

 

Question No.2 –  What odds do you give the Canadiens to qualify for the playoffs next season?

Having realistic expectations is important, especially during a rebuild. There will always be some pressure when it comes to qualifying for the playoffs, and in this case, the most popular response gives the Habs a 50/50 chance to qualify. Personally, I believe the Canadiens will finish somewhere between 20th and 26th in the NHL next season, and thus miss the playoffs by a wide margin, but in addition to the most popular answer, there’s also a significant portion of fans that think the Canadiens have 60 or 70 percent chances to make it.

Montreal canadiens q2

Question No.3 – How would you rate the trades made by Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton since taking over in 2022?

One of the most important aspects of any rebuild is found in the many trades required to re-invent a lineup. Some moves are easy, including when the team sends a veteran to a contending team at the trade deadline. Others are more complicated, as they generally include trades that added talent to the mix rather than removing it. But any way you cut it, Habs fans have been quite satisfied by the litany of trades made by Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton since 2022.

montreal canadiens q3

Question No.4 – Rate Martin St-Louis’ work as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens

Martin St-Louis faced a lot of ridicule from out-of-town sources when he was named as the head coach of the Canadiens. To be perfectly fair, there was also some concern among Canadiens fans given his complete lack of experience. But hiring outside the ‘NHL Head Coach Recycling Program’ has worked out well for most of the young players in the lineup, a crucial aspect of any rebuild. Consequently, most Canadiens are quite satisfied with St-Louis‘ work since taking over.

montreal canadiens q4

 

Question No.5 – Are you willing to pay face value to purchase tickets to watch the current edition of the Montreal Canadiens?

Supporting a rebuild is one thing, but buying face-value tickets to watch a team in the midst of a rebuild is another. Fortunately for the Canadiens, there’s still a large portion of fans who are willing to financially support the by buying tickets. This connotes that not only are Canadiens fans willing to remain patient during a rebuild, but they’re also willing to spend their hard-earned money to watch a team that loses more often than it wins.

montreal canadiens q5

 

Question No.6 – How would you rank the transparency and open communication provided by the Canadiens organization?

Teams will typically put in place a new era of transparency and open communication, especially when they hire a new general manager. Former GM Marc Bergevin also ushered in a more transparent era, at first, but the grind of facing the media and demanding fans every day eventually led to a complete lack of communication. Hughes and Gorton have been quite open with fans, treating them with a level of respect and understanding that was absent from the last few years of the previous management group. It remains to be seen if they’ll keep it up when the going gets tough, but for now, Habs fans are very satisfied with the communication level of the club. We should probably note that the Communications department has played a big part in re-establishing a certain level of trust from fans. Everyone is aware that Chantal Machabée joined the fold, but also have to give credit to some of the other members of the team, including Charles Saindon-Courtois, Guillaume Ouimet, and Timothy Gagnon.

canadiens q6

 

Question No.7 – Do you believe the Canadiens have the necessary core to become legitimate Stanley Cup contenders in the next 5 years?

The results are once again quite positive when we consider the Habs have finished among the bottom-five teams in the NHL for three years in a row. Most think the Canadiens will be considered legitimate Stanley Cup contenders in the next five years, however, you’ll note the less positive responses received more votes than in previous questions.

Question No.8 – How satisfied are you with overall the direction the Montreal Canadiens rebuild has taken since 2022?

The final poll question is the most important, as it gauges how satisfied fans are with the overall direction of the rebuild. Over 50 percent of the answers point to a fan base that is extremely satisfied. This is probably the high-point when it comes to the relationship between management and the fans, and the results wouldn’t be as overwhelmingly positive if they miss the playoffs for another year or two, but for now, it’s safe to suggest that the reports of Montreal Canadiens fans losing patience are closer to an opinion than anything that would be considered a fact. When evaluating answers from actual fans, the results couldn’t be more clear. We also have to remember these results were taken prior to the 2024 NHL Draft, to avoid recency bias in the votes. If anything, the level of confidence and satisfaction has gone up in recent weeks.

7 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

7 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
GHG55

Overall not bad. I generally agree with the results, though I suppose I’d have two MINOR disagreements.

I’m not nearly as confident about the playoffs as other fans. Yes there’s the whole “one goal game” thing, and the hope Dach stays healthy. But we’re still in a tough division where we clearly aren’t a top 3 team. Boston, Tampa, Florida, and Toronto are all still clearly better than us. The next three teams I’ll mention… I know we joke about them, but we can still be honest here. If you go look at stats, Korpisalo was atrocious last year. Ullmark will be a massive boost to the sens. The sabres young core will continue to improve. The redwings were on the cusp of the playoffs last year. It’s entirely possible that since we not only didn’t add anyone (which I totally agree with) but the fact we’ll likely be getting rid of several vets, that we finish last in the division. The kids should improve, but we can’t bank on that being enough (Buffalo finished higher than us as wasn’t far from the playoffs which is why their young improvement means more). Then there’s teams like New Jersey and Washington in the metro who clearly got better too…. Idk, even if we don’t finish last in the division, there’s still far more than 8 teams in the east who are better than us. We could stay in the race longer this year, but I just don’t see us making it. We’ll be losing Dvorak, armia, and savard to races (hopefully, as their contracts are expiring) and possibly others like Evans… I just don’t see it.

Then there’s the grade for the trades. People get upset at the returns for Toffoli and Lehkonen. But we get the best return for Toffoli he’s ever had, and he wasn’t producing as well with us as he went on to do with other teams. For a vet, you can’t judge the trade based on what they do afterwards cuz that info isn’t available at the time of the trade. Same applies to Lehkonen. When he was with us, he was on pace for a whopping career high of… 40 pts. He now plays with 2 of the 3 best players in the world, and 3 of the top 10-13 or so. Of course he produces more. Then there’s the petry retention, which I didn’t like at all. But Hughes would know the value of that as a former agent, so I trust it. I didn’t like the return for Edmundson but he’s broken so again, can’t fault management. Then ppl get mad at NOT trading Anderson, but we don’t actually know what was available (reports are wrong about the habs all the time, and habs are often used as click bait for fans), and there’s still time to trade him, so we’ll see…. Overall, all the trades have been clear wins (monahan x2, Hoffman, earlier petry trades like for matheson, chiarot, etc), have the potential to be homeruns (Dach, Newhook, trading to move up for Hage etc) or are at least reasonable if you look at ALL the context.

Soooo yeah. I agree with the results overall, but maybe I’d make some slight adjustments to those two things… wouldn’t necessarily fight over them though cuz it’s not like the answers are crazy. There’s definitely justification/legit arguments to be made for why they land where they do and why they differ from what I think.

Go rebuild! Go habs!

GHG55

To clarify, I’m probably only like 20% confident we’d make the playoffs, maybe a bit less lol, but I classify this as a minor disagreement because when you combine the arguments of “we had the most one goal games”, “our kids will get better”, “potentially a healthy season from Dach”, “Slaf could do what he did at the end of last season for the whole year this time”, “Caufield isn’t coming off shoulder surgery”, “ the goalies will be able to get in a groove”, “Hutson/Mailloux should help the second power play”, “burrows is gone and we could get someone to run a legit PP now”, “MSL has another year of coaching experience”, “the sens, sabres, and red wings have a history of recent failure and at least on paper maybe the bruins, lightning, and panthers got worse” etc etc… there’s a legit argument we could make it…. I just think a lot of things have to swing the right way for it. We won’t have the monahan production for half the season either… idk. If you look at established trends, I’m at 20%. But if these “maybes” all click, yeah we could definitely make it. And they’re close “maybes”…. We just need a lot of them.

And the disagreement about the “trades” grade is minor cuz the score is already quite high. I’d just bump it a bit more.

Tyrone

This is a great, well thought out and well communicated response GHG55. Tip of the hat to you, my friend. 👌

Mikeysl

Short version… on paper we wont make the playoffs… But the gamez are played on ice…

Ralph Weinstein

I am ambivalent about the notion that having a lot of games decided by one goal is a positive sign. For example if you have 10 straight games that are decided by one goal, if you are lucky you may have 7 wins and 3 losses. But if you are unlucky you may end up with 3 wins and 7 losses. So it is not necessarily a recipe for success. So I think you need to have more victories by more than one goal to achieve success.

Brian

I tend to agree with the poll, but Hughes made a major mistake when he passed on Michkov. Imagine Michkov and Demidov? I hope the Habs learn how to win again. It’s been 31 years and counting of failure

Mike P

I think we’ll need to wait and see how his year in Philadelphia pans out. Hughes has not made too many mistakes. I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt. But at the time I was certainly disappointed passing over MM as well.