There's an cover story in Sportsnet Magazine written by Gary Joyce which is about the fall of the Habs. It's got some decent points in it, mainly about this season and the early Houle/Tremblay days. But it's also full of other crap.
First off, it brings up the territorial rights myth. I've posted this stuff on here before, but the idea that the Canadiens owe their successes from WWII through expansion to this is still quite prevelant. This clause did exist, but the Canadiens barely benefited from it at all... the only notable players acquired through this clause were Rejean Houle, Marc Tardif, and goaltender Michel Plasse
. A dynasty is born!
The real story is the Canadiens invention of the modern farm club system. They actively bought up leagues and teams to feed into the NHL team. The other real story is their value of the amateur draft over other teams: through trade they acquired the pick that eventually became Guy Lafleur, not because he was French. They understood the importance of developing your own talent and the advantages that it would bring before anyone else. Yes, the territorial rights clause was an unfair advantage, but it was also incredibly unnecessary.
Second on the list of pet peeves is that the Canadiens have sucked since their 70s dynasty ended. The idea that the Habs of the 1980s through 1994 sucked except for Patrick Roy has apparently come up, and it's about time someone defended those teams. The Canadiens had to pass on their dynasty to the Islanders, then the Oilers, but they were consistently an elite club. They made the Conference Finals in 1983, 1984, and 1987. They made the Cup Finals in 1989. They won the Cup in 1986 and 1993. 1994 was the first year they lost in the first round in ages. They won several division titles and a couple of Conference titles for regular season points. I did an IIHF style points ranking system for NHL clubs
and from 1980-1994 the lowest the Canadiens fell in terms of a four year outlook on team success was 6th, and they were #1 in 1989, and were clearly the top team in the Wales Conference for that entire time period.
But most of the work done to thwart Joyce's thesis was done by the brilliant Ellen Etchingham. Read it and weep, haters. http://theoryofice.blogspot.com/2012/01 ... ntium.html