Higgins For Gomez. The Habs Just Got Smaller (But Craftier)

Scott Gomez isn’t exactly the big centreman most of us had in mind. In fact, the team just got smaller by dealing 6′, 203 lb. Chris Higgins and minor leaguers defencemen Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko to the New York Rangers for 5’11, 200 lb Gomez, plus AHL’er Tom Pyatt and ECHL defenceman Mike Busto.

Frankly, I don’t know what to think about this. Yes, Higgins underachieved with the Canadiens, never blossoming into the player the organization thought he would become. Same for Gomez in New York. He never became the star on Broadway they thought he’d be, like he was when he was in New Jersey. There, he was an up-and-coming young gun, a two-time Stanley Cups winner over in the swamp.

The problem also remains that Gomez stands to make a silly 8 million this season, which means the bank is perilously close to being broke in Habtown as far as nabbing other players from out there goes. 

It also seems sad that the Habs gave up on McDonagh, who was expected to amount to something in Montreal. Maybe he wasn’t developing the way they thought, or maybe Gainey just really likes Gomez and decided to pay a hefty price.

If this is all the movement Gainey makes, there’s going to be a lot of disappointed Habs fans who understand as much as the brass that the Canadiens aren’t about to set the world on fire with the existing team as is.

Maybe this will all work out. Gomez will shine as a Canadien, and Gainey will end up looking like Sam Pollock. It’s going to be a wait-and-see.

This is what I know about Gomez. I saw him play in Powell River against the home town Kings when he was with the BCHL South Surrey Eagles. He was a huge star in this league, and fans came out to see him. But in Powell River, there were a group of about ten people in the stands who rode him unmercifully, and Gomez got so upset, he started waving his stick and answering back to the hecklers.

When the game began, Gomex was great. He was a beautiful, if somewhat unorthodox skater, and he was great carrying the puck from his end to deep into Powell River’s. But, at about the five minute mark, and maybe because the hecklers had done their job, Gomez was involved in some nasty business on the ice and was promptly thrown out.

So I saw him for five minutes. But I liked the five minutes worth.

20 thoughts on “Higgins For Gomez. The Habs Just Got Smaller (But Craftier)”

  1. Well Dennis, you’re the voice of reason. We have to wait and see, there’s so many people moaning and whining over this, let the guy play his first game for God’s sake These same people were bitching about the Lang signing last year and look how that turned out. Bob might have a few other tricks up his sleeve, it should be interesting tomorrow. I

  2. Oh for the good old days when which ever team got the best player got the best deal. Or even the days when it was the Rangers who were overspending.
    Gomez for Higgins is a Montreal steal. But 5 years at $7.35M is a significant cap hit. They could have had Bouwmeester for a $M less. To make matters worse Gainey threw their top defencive prospect. Has he already forgotten that a porous defence and shell-shocked goalies were their biggest problems last year.
    Now I’m worried that they’re going rush Subban into the line-up full time and pressure him to step up and perform. Wasn’t it just yesterday we were supposed to have patience for these promising prospects to develop?

  3. Christopher, you’re absolutely right. The defence sucked. 40 shots a game. Bouwmeester would’ve been a nice addition.

  4. One shouldn’t consider Bouwmeester a potential addition to our team who we happened to miss, otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. I didn’t think it was all that likely that he was going to choose anywhere outside of the Western conference (Alberta, specifically). I mean, didn’t he even say he wanted to play closer to home?

    Sure, Bob could probably have out-bid Sutter for the negotiating rights, but there would’ve been no guarantee (and I would say very little chance overall) that he would’ve signed with us, anyways. In which case, we’d have people complaining about how we managed to waste prospects/picks on another non-signer like Sundin.

  5. Gomez was never a star on broadway but he was tied in leading his team in points last year and second just below Jarmir Jagr by a point the year before. The rangers arent a big scoring team but the habs free wheel a little more, like i said before Gomez with Kovalev has potential to be one of the best pairings in the league.

  6. Good point about the Sundin example. But that kind of defenceman would’ve been just what the doctor ordered.

  7. I like what you’re saying, Jordy. Gomez can be an explosive skater and might just be a real good Hab.

  8. Sweet Daddy Kane knows. Time for Habs fans to breathe through the nose, enjoy Canada Day and see what Bob brings us.

  9. No doubt Bouwmeester would’ve been nice, but we weren’t going to have much of a chance at him, anyways. It just seemed like he wanted to play for Calgary from the get-go.

  10. Dennis,

    Im hearing Kovalev is close to re-signing with the habs with a 2 year deal worth around 9 million. Theres also rumors floating around that montreal is in the mix to bring in Brian Gionta.

  11. You have to wonder about all these deals that happen within an hour of the noon start. Some of these had to have been worked hour before, no? Am I being niave? Also notice that none of the MTL free agents have signed anywhere yet. Does that mean that there is fierce competition for them or maybe other teams don’t see them as front line need to pick up free agents?

  12. I know, it’s a little strange. Komisarek is drawing big interest and I have no idea why. He was one of the most useless defencemen on the team last year, yet teams are treating him like Doug Harvey. All this money, all these different signings; The world is coming to an end, I think.

  13. just heard the habs inked Hal Gill for 2 years at 4.5 million, does this mean Komisarek is out?

  14. I don’t think Gill has been confirmed yet but if it’s true I find that a real head shaker. Gill is not mobile at all, that’s why they refer to him as a stay at home defenceman. However if you compare him to Komo how different are they? Big bodies, big hits, no offense. At least Gill is cheaper. With regards to Spacek his signing reminds me of Hamrlic’s (man I hate trying to spell these guy’s names!) signing, an experienced blue liner that won’t make too many mistakes. If we are getting Gill as well then maybe these older defencemen are the bridge until Suban, Weber, and whoever are ready to play in the NHL. And is there any chance of picking up Havlat?

  15. Another overrated player – Higgins. And I’ve heard often also about him being a party animal. It was time for big changes. Thanks.

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