The Montreal Canadiens are one of the few National Hockey League teams that don’t need to worry about fans coming back once the lockout ends. Fans understand that owner Geoff Molson probably wants this lockout as much as a hole in his head, to partly quote the "genius" who is Jeff O’Neill (via the Toronto Sun).
Whereas O’Neill hasn’t cashed an NHL player’s paycheck (or been relevant) for more than five years, the Canadiens are incredibly profitable and would prefer to keep filling up the Bell Center rather than see mothballs gather and cobwebs form.
Indeed, valued at $575 million (via Forbes), the Habs are the league’s third-most valuable franchise with a profit of $51.6 million last season. That’s a lot of money that isn’t instead filling the Molsons’ wallets.
As such, expect Montrealers to come back in droves once play resumes. The few who opt to hold a grudge can be easily replaced…one of the benefits of owning a hockey team with a rich history in a frickin’ cold city with not much else to do during the winter.
With that being said, the Habs can’t afford to rest on their laurels. Here are general manager Marc Bergevin’s first five orders of business.