Welcome to Montreal, Georges Laraque.

I suppose it’s time to take stock in what’s gone down so far in Montreal. Alex Tanguay is now a Hab, but Mark Streit, Michael Ryder, and Mikhail Grabovski aren’t. That became- add one, deduct three.

So it only figured that Bob Gainey wasn’t through. But there’s no Mats Sundin, no Marian Hossa, no Jaromir Jagr, no Todd Bertuzzi, and no Markus Naslund. (Although Sundin, Jagr, and Bertuzzi continue to flutter in the wind.)

Gainey did something a little unexpected. He got big Georges Laraque, possibly the NHL heavyweight champion of the world, for three years, 4.5 million.

Is this good?

I think it’s fantastic. The Habs, with all their finesse, all their speed, and all their creativity, have lacked a component that we knew they needed. Someone to beat the bejeesus out of a rival player who just took liberties with our good but small players like Koivu, the Kostitsyns, Plekanec etc.

Laraque may not be a star, but either was Dave Semenko and Marty McSorley in Edmonton, who just happened to be key members of the Oilers because they looked after Gretzky and the boys.

Some may laugh at Gainey’s newest dealing, and some may hate it. But I think Georges adds a new dimension to the team. An important dimension.

Maybe Pierre McGuire, Bob McKenzie, and all the media boys will finally stop saying the Habs are too soft and too small to go all the way.

And what’s next for Gainey? Could Bertuzzi, Jagr, or Sundin still be in the mix?

Who knows? All I know is, it just got a lot scarier to play against Montreal now.

5 thoughts on “Welcome to Montreal, Georges Laraque.”

  1. DK,

    Yeah! I’ve always liked GL. A very nice surprise. Nothing spectacular but solid, like Georges. He is definitely going to bring a much needed toughness, edge even, to our game. And, he’s a better player than he gets credit for, more like a Fegy or Nilan than a Semenko; he’s smart and funny so he keeps things loose; he’s experienced and well-spoken so he’s great in the room; he’s a class act – he knows that he is a big strong powerful man and doesn’t abuse his role, he not only understands the game he respects it. Good move, Gainey!

    Grabovski?? What’s the scoop on him?

  2. Grabovski was never happy in the Canadiens organization. He felt he should’ve been more of a regular on the big club, but instead spent most of the time in Hamilton, or sometimes on the bench in Montreal. Remember when he almost bolted when the team was on the west coast last year? He ran into the arms of his agent and said he wanted to be traded. I suggested at the time maybe he should just sign with a Russian club and be close to home. I think he sulked himself off the team. The other thing is, I think he’s a good, young player with lots of potential – another Kostitsyn maybe.
    But Toronto’s got him. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of career he makes for himself now.
    The other thing is – one more reason to dislike Ottawa. – Jarkko Ruutu

  3. Earlier today, I posted on my blog about five impact players I’d like to see Montreal go after instead of Sundin. Laraque missed the cut. This is what I wrote: “I like Laraque, and think he’s a great fourth liner, but he’s not the last impact player Montreal needs (the Canadiens should still sign him though).”

    Three hours later, Laraque is signed. I think it’s great. He will give them grit, especially in the playoffs. Need a guy to go to the net, there you go. Need a guy to battle the other team, he’s there. Need a guy to not take stupid penalties but still play tough, he’s your man.

    Great signing.

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