So the flurry of big name free agent signings is pretty much over and the Canadiens have made no deals.
Most fans are disappointed after the Canadiens were supposed to be very active in the market to revamp their roster and spend their surplus of cash.
The disappointment is worse after strong rumors of Jason Arnott or Patrick Elias being in negotiations with the Canadiens only then to sign with other teams.
Furthermore, the Northeast division rival Senators, Leafs and Bruins all made substantial changes and improvements (exception: Leafs) making the Division that much harder to play in.
So are the Habs done for next year? Of course not. Everyone wants to get on Gainey for not signing anyone. Gainey played the market and made the smart decision by not rushing into long term overpriced contracts or fishing for a savior free agent who would more than likely be a bust.
Arnott and Elias’ deals were overpriced. Gainey was in the mix but who can blame him for not wanting to commit to SEVEN years and that much money? Elias is great but will he be worth $6 Million in the 2013-2014 NHL season? Will he even be around?
Arnott is old and past his prime. His performance has declined with each year. Arnott may have fit in for the right price and filled a role but for an average $4.5 Million a season he’d be the highest paid player on the team and almost certainly not the best performer.
Maybe Gainey did the right thing.
Maybe Gainey has something left in his bag of tricks.
The market wasn’t right and Gainey is committed to bring a quality player or two to the Canadiens this year. Since any other Free Agent still available would pale in comparison to who have already been signed, the only way the Habs will still acquire that player is in a trade.
The Canadiens have plenty of expendable ‘talent’ that some teams still may value. If the circumstances are right Gainey will make the deal, if they’re not then he won’t panic.
Let him do his job.