Thursday, July 13, 2006

Busy Day for Gainey

It's a little late, but it took a while to digest all the information that happened in Montreal yesterday. After weeks of waiting and being grilled by the media, Canadiens GM Bob Gainey went all out on Wednesday.

First, Gainey got word that goaltender David Aebischer had signed his qualifying offer and his rights will be retained by the team. Just today, Yann Danis was re-signed with the team, which means the Habs have two goalies going for just one back-up spot. The speculation is that Aebischer will be traded away, making way for Danis to assume the back-up role. There's a good market for goalies, but limited spaces. The frontrunners are the Blues and Red Wings.

Second, Gainey made two trades. Gainey first sent a 4th round pick to Phoenix for winger Mike Johnson. Johnson had 16 goals and 38 assists last season and had a hot streak during the middle of the season. Also, Gainey freed up some money by sending Richard Zednik back to the Washington Capitals for a 3rd round pick. Zednik returns to the place where he spent the other part of his NHL career and should instill some energy to the Caps line-up.

The Zednik move prompted some people to think more was in the works. At about 8 PM ET, that happened as the Habs announced that Sergei Samsonov was signed to a two-year deal . Between Boston and Edmonton, Samsonov collected 23 goals and 30 assists; though he did slump in Boston after the departure of Joe Thornton.

Gainey answered his critics in a big way. Whether or not this is the end of it all or just the beginning is to be seen, but with these moves, the Habs seem to be a better team than when they first started on the free agent market.

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