It was all going so well. Well, not bad anyway.
Now, 2 days after resisting the lunacy of UFA signings, Gainey has done about face.
After proving we didn't need a fighter by winning the East and then ignoring Philadelphia toughness in the playoffs, Gainey made his first move of free agency the signing of a fighter. Georges is a great personality, but on this team he's blocking a better player from playing. I'll be thrilled if Georges rediscovers his 2000-01 form and scores 10+ goals, but 8 years is a long time when you're talking about form.
Predictably, many commentators are lauding Gainey for finally filling a need that the Canadiens have had sine (I read this on one unbelievable piece) Darren Langdon! They should be proud of their work as they refer to our lack of toughness against Philly, conveniently forgetting that it was a straight-shooting scorer that we lacked, not a big-bodied enforcer.
Only 2 good things can come of this move really - there is no money left to sign Brisebois and PJ Stock will finally shut up about the topic.
The signings of Denis and Henry are hardly worth commenting on. Denis if he returns to his peak will not touch Halak at his best, so Hamilton is where he'll stay. Henry is already a journeyman defenceman and could well play a bit - hopefully no one will notice.
Now I'm not deluded enough to think that Grabovski would have had a long future in Montreal, but for a guy who showed a bit of speed and flair, it was disappointing to see him get the old prospect treatment. Sure he was truculent, but so was Dandenault, he's on the books.
What I don't like about this trade are the partner (Leafs) and the return (American defencman). Trading to a division rival is silly when the trade is so unnecessary unless what you can get in return is impossible to resist. Pateryn is no such prospect. He is a decent-sized, decent playing defenceman. That's all.
But seriously, can we stop it already with the American defencemen? Take a minute to ask yourself (Trevor Timmins) how many good American defencemen there are in the league. Take some time to watch the US National team play - there are some to stay away from even among the elite. Does Timmins really think more than one of our defencemen from the US will ever make the club? There must have been a more intriguing prospect out there for Grabovski's rights than a middling US college boy.
Poor show on this trade. I suppose we did get more than we got for Huet...
Not a good day for the Canadiens in my books. We are still in very good shape (avoiding big salary millstones and signing Kostitsyn), but hopefully boredom will not creep in tomorrow with more roster blockers eating millions.
I'll forget this day happened if you will. By the playoffs, hopefully we won't remember who these additions were, as we carry our best roster forward.