The Busy, Busy Habs

The Montreal Canadiens might have been one of the busiest teams thus far in the free agency signing period, jumping feet-first into the market to secure players to fit new head coach Jacques Martin’s system.

The Habs seem to have gotten smaller up front, with the ever-elusive Vincent Lecavalier still not in the fold but a gaggle of new players well worth their salt.

GM Bob Gainey signed wingers Mike Cammalleri from Calgary and Brian Gionta from New Jersey to start things off and polished it off by signing defencemen Jaroslav Spacek from Buffalo and Hal Gill from the Pittsburgh Penguins. He also landed Scott Gomez in a trade with the New York Rangers, adding another big salary to the team and adding one of the league’s better pivots.

The Habs released 10 free agents to the market without expecting to see any of them back, thus effectively mixing things up in Montreal in dramatic fashion. Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev, Alex Tanguay, Mathieu Dandenault and other veterans from last year’s Habs are all on the block at this point without contracts in Montreal.

“We’re going to have to play big and smart, but this was a day where you had to grab talent where you can,” Gainey said. “There are other teams that don’t have anyone to announce.”

The Habs will hope for some chemistry between Gomez and Gionta, who were teammates together in New Jersey, and will also bank on Cammalleri’s skill and speed to put the puck in the net. Spacek and Gill will help fill space on the blueline, as the sizable defenceman Mike Komisarek made his way to the rival Maple Leafs.

Gainey was ready and willing to make big moves, armed with about $34.5 million in cap space as the week began and game for some smart signings. While time is the only real way to tell if these were smart moves, it certainly looks like the rebuilding process, for better or worse, in Montreal has gotten well underway.

Posted by Jordan Richardson.

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One thought on “The Busy, Busy Habs

  1. I think there team is vastly improved in every area accept goal tending.
    It is about time Montreal decided to obtain some big time players
    They had an offence that was very meek, and a team chemistry that was not all there
    on most nights.
    Now that Gomez, Cammalleri, and Gionta are on board they will make the difference, as once again the offence of the Habs will be something for the opposition to worry about.
    The fans can get excited for good reason when they cross the blue line,
    and not just cheer because it is a Monteal tradition.
    I think Gill and Spacek will make the team stronger in the back end.
    Mike komisarek was a wee bit overrated, and was starting to become a soft player
    he has never been the same since Lucic cleaned his clock.
    Toronto will wish they never gave him a chance.
    So what is in the way of the Northeast’s most improved team?
    I am not sold on either of their netminders,
    If Montreal, can get someone to take charge between the pipes, they could once again become a top 4 team in the east.
    And not just that team that was only smoking mirrors two seasons ago.


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