The Missing Element That Could Help the Habs Win the Stanley Cup

Ahnaf AhmedContributor IIISeptember 15, 2011

1993-1994:  Center Vincent Damphousse of the Montreal Canadiens. Mandatory Credit: Robert Laberge  /Allsport
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens are the most respected organization in hockey: They have great fans, and numerous Hall of Famers have played for this franchise. However, it seems like it’s been forever that the Habs haven’t won a cup. Their last championship was in 1993, back when Patrick Roy was guarding their net.

Montreal’s current roster is respectable: They have good depth in offense and defense, and a great young netminder is blocking pucks from entering the net. The Habs also have some good, young talent in Max Pacioretty and P.K Subban. However, one type of player has been non-existent to this franchise for years: a superstar forward.

The Canadiens haven’t had a forward that has surpassed the 100-point mark since the 1985-1986 season. The last player to rack up more than 100 points was Mats Naslund, who had a spectacular 110-point campaign 25 years ago.

On most Stanley Cup winning teams, there is one player that shines on offense. In the Montreal Canadiens’ current roster, there are no extraordinary players on offense. If you take the 2010 Blackhawks, the team had a young star in Patrick Kane. The 2009 Penguins were led by some guy wearing No. 87. The 2008 Wings were led by Datsyuk, who had a great 97-point season. Even the 1993 cup winning Habs had a pair of nice forwards in Kirk Muller and Vincent Damphousse, scoring 94 points and 97 points respectively.   The Canadiens haven’t had this type of superstar since Saku Koivu was made the cornerstone of the franchise.

The general managers are not to blame for this problem as they have attempted to bring in superstar forwards throughout the years. For instance, Bob Gainey acquired Alex Kovalev in 2004. Gainey should not be blamed for the lack of heart and passion displayed by the very skilled Kovalev. After his contract expired following a stellar 97-point season in 2007, Daniel Briere almost packed his bags home to Montreal. However, he decided to play for the Flyers, a move that obviously spilled some hatred towards Briere by Canadien fans.

The Montreal Canadiens, for the most part, have been a perennial playoff team this past decade.  In the last 10 years, their goaltending has led them far in the playoffs in a lot of cases.  The addition of an elite forward to this team blessed with depth will most likely reward this franchise its 25th championship.