Steve Begin traded to Dallas.
…and it begins…
And so it begins is right.. I was afraid that Gainey was going to leave his dealings until the deadline, and now that looks as though it will be the case. We all remember last season and the losing out (probably luckily) on Marion Hossa. I had hoped that Gainey would be able to pull the trigger early on a deal for a few reasons. First, if you can make a deal early, you MAY avoid over-paying because of other teams driving up the price in their interest. This can also backfire if no other teams are interested and you end up paying too much. The second reason I had hoped Gainey would do his deals early is that it would allow for the new player(s) to grow accustomed to their teammates. Basically any new player will have 20 games with which to fit in. For a team like Montreal who needs to battle its way into the post season, the extra games could be critical.
I’ve been following the rumor sites closely for the past few weeks, and while there have been a few intriguing deals involving Montreal, I am fearful that our ability to make a good deal has been swallowed up by the sheer numbers of teams looking to make a play for the same 4 or 5 guys on non-playoff teams. If I’m Bob Gainey I’m prepared to spend to get talent for this year’s team, but the idea of mortgaging the future just to make a deal is out of the question. The players I would look at are:
Vincent Lecavalier: Clearly he is the most appealing option for a City that craves to have a french-canadian to lead the team forward. Yes he has a monster contract, but hes worth every penny. Yes he would cost roster players and draft picks, but there isn’t a player on our roster that could have the kind of impact on this team that a player like Lecavalier could. Brian Lawton recently said that he is not shopping Lecavalier, although I have read on multiple rumor sites that this is false information.
Brad Boyes, St Louis Blues: Boyes doesn’t get a lot of attention in the east because he plays on a terrible team in St Louis, but he is a guy who has all of the ingredients to be a deadline steal. First he is signed at $4 million through the 2011-12 season. While he is a part of the Blues future, he could still fetch needed roster players, prospects and draft picks. He’s never been a huge point getter, but playing with talented wingers could be a huge boost for his game. Given the possibility that the Cap could move down next year, Boyes is the type of player that can produce at a lower cost and could easily fit monetarily into Gainey’s plans going forward.
Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators. Alright, bear with me. Spezza is a controversial character. He’s having a terrible year this season and is getting fleeced in the media for his game.. and yet.. here is a 25 year old guy signed long term and can put up points in HUGE numbers. Would it be risky? Hell ya. A trade in our own division for an expensive player, who is far from a guarantee could be very risky. But Ottawa is looking for answers and draft picks. Montreal is looking for a big center to anchor the top line. It could be a fit.
Marion Gaborik, Minnesota Wild. There was talk early in the season about Gaborik being on Gainey’s radar. He has since spent most of the season recovering from surgery. Gaborik is said to want to test the free agent waters at the season’s end and COULD leave Minnesota for nothing. I personally think that he would be a huge benefit to any team that picks him up. For a player of his calibre, his price has never been lower. He is a guarantee to put up points, and because he has spent this season hurt, there is NO WAY he makes as much as he was hoping next season. Will it be more than the $6.3 million that he makes now? Maybe. But considering the contracts of the superstars in this league, he is a gamble that could be WELL worth the potential risk.