So the trade deadline has come and gone.
Is this team good enough to make the playoffs?
I tried to keep a positive attitude. I tried to make excuses to explain the Montreal Canadiens lack of movement.
“They already made their moves by getting Mathieu Schneider and Glen Metropolit. They’ll be fine once their players get healthy. There was no market for a lot of players yesterday.”
But in the end, I was only fooling myself. The Habs did nothing to get better now or in the future.
Then, after a press conference where general manager Bob Gainey said he believes in the players he has now, the team goes out and loses 5-1 to a non-playoff soon-to-be-a-playoff-bound-if-they-keep-playing-the-Habs team.
I mean, there weren’t even rumours about the Habs making a splash at the deadline.
I take a bit of solace in the fact there weren’t a lot of big names moving. Tomas Kaberle, Jay Bouwmeester, Chris Pronger, etc. None of these guys moved.
Even a lot of the smaller name players didn’t move (Chris Neil, for instance).
Does anyone know what Bob Gainey is thinking? Because I sure don't.
I think Gainey has been smart in how he has handled the free agents and the salary cap. Come summer, the team will be in one of the best positions in the league to sign free agents, because a lot of other teams won’t be able to afford to.
Unfortunately, the team will probably sign two players past their prime, a young guy who has been in the league six years and could never crack the top six of another club and an undersized centre.
I think this is the most disappointed I have ever been in this franchise.
And I think the problem is because of the Habs 100th celebration. They wanted to be contender for the Stanley Cup this year, but they may not even make the playoffs. Hearing all the stories about how great the Habs used to be makes it more disappointing to look at the franchise we have now.
But how did all those teams become so good? Because the general manager at the time wasn’t scared to shake up the team and make a big move. Trading for a first-round pick that turned out to be Guy Lafleur. Trading for Frank Mahovolich. Trading for Gump Worsley.
Even in the 90s, when the team struggled, the GMs tried to turn things around.
It brought hope to the team and the fans that something better was coming.
Now, there’s not even much hope that they’ll make the playoffs.