No News is Good News
Well, the deadline came and went with very little to report. All the hype and effort put into it by the networks winds up looking a little embarrassing, but they should be used to that. Habs fans, by and large, are massively exercised by the failure of Bob Gainey to acquire the "impact player" he was after, but I can't say that I'm all that disappointed.
Marian Hossa, who winds going to Pittsburgh for an impressive ransom, is not what the Habs need, as I've felt all along. He's a slick playmaker, and Montreal is full of players like that. The Habs needed a pure goal-scorer, and there wasn't really one out there to trade for. Hossa would have been a compromise, and what's the point in compromising? Factor in that Hossa is a UFA, and the deal is untenable. Either he walks away in the summer and the players you traded for him are gone, or you sign him for 10 million plus and really wreck your salary structure. This season, there is not much separating Hossa and Kovalev: so if you pay Hossa 10 million next year, what do you then pay Kovalev the next year?
Finally, judging by what the Pens coughed up, it would've taken something like Pacioretty, Higgins, and Grabovsky. Anyone out there want to pay that price? Well, Bob didn't. End of story.
This is a great young team with a lot of chemistry; it'll be interesting to see what they can do with each other ... and without Cristobal Huet!
Huet to Washington?!
Didn't see that one coming. Why would they do that? For a 2nd round pick, very curious. Why not keep him around for insurance? Habs fans are in a frenzy: they've crashed the HIO site.
Hossa Thing Heats Up
It's on the tube at TSN, and online just about everywhere, that Gainey has outbid Ottawa for Marian Hossa. Reports are its Michael Ryder, Mikhail Grabovski, and Maxim Lapierre. Habs Inside Out reports that Grabovski has just been recalled, so something is definitely up with him. If this is the trade, I don't like it.
Bob McKenzie says ...
Bob McKenzie says that it's down to Ottawa and Montreal in the Hossa auction, with Ottawa dangling Antoine Vermette, and Montreal offering Higgins or a collection of prospects. NOOO!!
Interesting moves out of Tampa Bay. They've traded Vaclav Prospal (to Philly, who pick up yet another scoring threat), but re-signed Dan Boyle to a six-year deal. Boyle gets 40 million in total, and between 6 and 7 million per year, which seems like a lot for him, which is my polite way of saying that the Lightning absolutely hosed themselves on this deal. WTF was that lockout for? Bob might as well trade Mark Streit now, because it's starting to look like he could get more this summer than Andrei Markov did last year.
We'll know by three o'clock what the Habs will look like for the balance of the season. I've been going back and forth about whether or not Bob Gainey should even make a deal, so this feels a bit like Groundhog Day today: I woke up, saw my shadow, and decided I'd rather see the team stay intact. Forget Hossa, Jokinen, or Tanguay. I think I actually had a bad dream about Chris Higgins giving an emotional press conference and putting on a Panthers jersey, so maybe I need to detox a bit?