It’s the dog days of summer — the perfect opportunity to sit back on the deck in a lounger with the family pets and muse about the Montreal Canadiens’ upcoming season. That’s exactly what Brian Wilde of CTV Montreal did for All Habs Hockey Magazine in discussions with our own Iain Carnegie. Today you will find part two of a special three-part interview.
Read Iain’s summary and then listen to Brian’s words from the files in the player below. Don’t forget to leave your comments!
MONTREAL, QC. — In this second portion of my interview with Brian Wilde of CTV Montreal (@BrianWildeCTV), I found us both digging deeper into the real meat and potatoes of the franchise. As I was completing the audio editing for the segments that are posted in the player below, it struck me just how much intangibles mean, as discussed in the first segment of this interview.
And not just to me, but Brian as well.
It was interesting to hear someone’s take on some of the past struggles inside the Habs dressing room. Many fans believe that the Canadiens have fallen far off the pace to be true contenders in the past few years, and many attribute it to lack of size, and lack of skill. But as you heard in the first portion of our interview, Brian placed a large emphasis on the character of players perhaps as much (if not more than) their skill-set.
Brian candidly spoke to me about the issues Les Boys faced during the Captaincy of Saku Koivu. Despite the fact that Koivu was our Captain, Alex Kovalev was the ego in the room pulling some players in a different direction, making full team cohesion virtually impossible. In contrast, all three imperatives to being a strong Cup contender seem to be there with the current roster: camaraderie, character, and talent.
I was surprised to hear how strongly Brian felt about moving Scott Gomez if he doesn’t begin to show some true hockey skills after about 20 games into the new season. Brian spoke in great detail about what Gomez accomplished with his “mea culpa” after last season, his commitment to turn things around, and the actions Scott has taken to ensure a better year during this off-season.
We had a discussion about Erik Cole and his role with the top six forwards this coming year, and why he fits into the line-up so well. I like Brian’s take on the role he will fill to make the line stronger and more point-worthy for both Mike Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec.
We rounded out this portion of our talk discussing the bottom six forwards, and feelings on the signings of David Desharnais, Ryan White, and Mathieu Darche. Although Brian wasn’t surprised by the Desharnais signing (as I was), we both were fairly surprised by the one way contract offered to White. It’s not to say that he didn’t deserve the contract (as you’ll hear in the audio), but it’s interesting that the franchise has faith in an 82-game potential from him after such a short time in the NHL last year.
It was thoughts on Darche that brought us back to square one as we completed this portion of the of the interview talking about how the current roster stacks up to other rosters that Brian has been a witness to. He used strong wording in favour of the current crew and what they possess to be a great success in the year to come.
I hope you enjoy the audio section of the second part of our time together. Listen specifically for some great quotes about Carey Price, and even Brian Burke! Part three (the finale) will be available in the near future. The files pertaining to this part of the interview are labelled BW3, BW4 and BW5.
Your thoughts are more than welcome in the comment section below!