Blame Pierre: Was Gauthier the reason McDonagh got traded to New York?


In light of what Ryan McDonagh’s done for the New York Rangers this postseason, many are revisiting the 2007 trade that saw Montreal flip the promising young blueliner in exchange for Scott Gomez (and his albatross of a contract.)

There’s been no shortage of blame for dealing McDonagh — Montreal’s scouting department (for not recognizing how talented he was), then-GM Bob Gainey (for pulling the trigger) — but the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson has a new one:

Pierre Gauthier.

Gauthier was Gainey’s assistant at the time and eventually ascended to the GM gig.

Here’s the skinny.

The trade of McDonagh to the Rangers to get Scott Gomez came on Bob Gainey’s watch when he was the GM. This should tarnish Gainey’s reputation for knowing who can play in the NHL and who can’t, but several sources say Gauthier’s fingerprints were really all over this one.

“Bob’s daughter had died (swept overboard at sea while working on a training ship) before this and he was letting Pierre do a lot of the work. Pierre didn’t like McDonagh, for some reason. Saw him play in the world juniors and didn’t like him. The scouts loved McDonagh, though. When he was traded, they couldn’t believe it,” said a source close to the scene.

“At least make up your mind on McDonagh after he’s played a few seasons.”

Instead, McDonagh was dealt on June 30, 2009 while he was still attending the University of Wisconsin, after he had finished his junior year there. He had just turned 20.

“The scouts didn’t think he was going to put up a lot of points, but he was big (213 pounds) and he competed,” said the source.

What Canadiens fans (and new GM Marc Bergevin) have to be irate about is that, had Gainey/Gauthier merely stayed the course, they could’ve reaped the benefits of Montreal’s outstanding scouting at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

The Habs took McDonagh 12th overall, Max Pacioretty 22nd, P.K. Subban 43rd and Yannick Weber 73rd.

PHT Morning Skate: Remembering 10 years of Crosby, Ovechkin

Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin
AP Photo
Leave a comment

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Here’s a detailed look back at Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin‘s first 10 years in the NHL. (

Speaking of Crosby, he’s signed a multiyear partnership with adidas. (Newswire)

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play a key role in easing Connor McDavid into the NHL. (Edmonton Sun)

After two polar opposite seasons, the jury is still out on Patrick Roy as a head coach. (Denver Post)

Marc-Andre Fleury enjoys pulling off pranks on his teammates. “I play better when I’m looser, laughing and having fun,” he said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Art McDonald, a Canadian who won recently won a Nobel Prize, talked to the committee members about the Toronto Maple Leafs. (SB Nation)

DiMaio named Blues’ director of player personnel

via St. Louis Blues
Leave a comment

The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.

He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.

He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).

In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.

No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?