The architect of the country’s final Stanley Cup conquest as general manager of the Canadiens in 1993, Serge Savard finds it hard to believe that the motto of hockey supremacy has escaped the nation’s various teams for all this time.
The man nicknamed the Senators served as Montreal’s general manager from 1983 to 1995. He twice experienced the ecstasy of the Stanley Cup in that role, having been an eight-time champion as a player.
In his eyes, even if Canadian markets have come a long way in the spring, it still doesn’t make sense that every time, for 30 years, the road will end without the Cup.
“It’s almost unimaginable!” Savard fell during an interview.
“I can’t really see why. The Oilers have been considered among the favorites in recent years, yet they’ve missed the playoffs so often. The Leafs are out in the first round every year.”
The team before the individual
If Savard can’t put his finger on a specific reason that explains the long period of failure, he still believes that at the best Canadian clubs, the team idea has lost its value.
“There were a lot of first picks in Edmonton. Then, in Toronto, they pay players big millions and there’s no money left for the rest of the team. We forgot about playing as a team. That’s not a recipe for winning,” he cursed.
Having experienced the internal situation as a player and as a general manager, Serge Savard says he is convinced the successes the Canadiens have achieved can be explained by the fact that the biggest stars have left their egos at the door for good for the collective cause. , a fact that may be rare today.
“In Montreal, the team has always been the first to reach 24 trophies. The goal has always been just as important as the goal in this organization.
“Our great players, be it Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau or Guy Lafleur, they all fit the mold. They all played as a team and Lafleur never felt superior to Doug Jarvis on the team.
In the same vein, Savard believes that from a contractual point of view, individual performance bonuses should give way to group bonuses.
“When I was in charge, I canceled all personal bonuses in contracts. The only bonuses were team bonuses. Today, it would be hard for star players to swallow a pill, but deep down they want to win. In my opinion, a player like McDavid makes millions but doesn’t make the playoffs or He loses in the first round, he doesn’t get much done.”
Obviously, Serge Savard does not blame the Canadian for the difficulties the club is currently facing, in the midst of a period of reconstruction.
Rather, he sees the team’s future in good light.
“When the Canadians won so often, everyone wanted to come and play in Montreal. That winning atmosphere has to be recreated. If you look at Montreal now, the club runs it better than before. Martin St. Louis, I’m convinced he’s a good coach and a good teacher.
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