7 Easy Steps to Get the Montreal Canadiens Back on Track for 2012-13

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7 Easy Steps to Get the Montreal Canadiens Back on Track for 2012-13
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens started this season like most sports teams in a new season—with a healthy optimism. No rational fans felt they could compete for a Stanley Cup, but most probably believed the team had a legitimate shot at the playoffs.

After all, this team had come up only one game short of eliminating the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs last year.

That dream is dead.

Fifty-three games into this NHL season, the Canadiens sit in 14th place in the Eastern Conference, tied with the Carolina Hurricanes with 49 points. They have 11 points and six teams separating them from a playoff spot.

Only Anaheim, Edmonton, Columbus and Carolina have been worse than Montreal so far this year. A hot Anaheim team, 6-2-2 in its last 10 games, looks destined to pass the Canadiens.

The NHL trade deadline is Feb. 27th this year, a mere three weeks away. By the time it arrives, Montreal will need to be a seller ready to dump the assets it will lose in unrestricted free agency this summer.

Montreal currently has been flailing around in a panicked, random fashion, and that has to stop. These are the seven steps, as I see them, that the organization needs to take, and the order in which it needs to take them, to recapture some of the squandered momentum that it had built in the previous two seasons.             

There are some tough measures that need to be taken to get the team progressing again. Some are just painfully self-evident. 

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