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.