Monday, February 16, 2009

Gainey gets the ball rolling

Without losing anything from either his roster or stable of prospects, Bob Gainey has added Mathieu Schneider from the Atlanta Thrashers.

While this won't single-handedly fix the mess on the Montreal Canadiens right now, it's a step in the right direction. The 39-year-old Schneider cost Gainey Anaheim's second-rounder in 2009 he acquired from Washington last year in exchange for Cristobal Huet as well as his own third-rounder in 2010.

That's actually a pretty steep price for an aging defenceman with only 15 points and a minus-10 rating this year, but that could be the result of playing on a horrible team with little support around him on the blue line. I'm not sure how much more support he'll have in Montreal, but his focus will be to help the power play.

But, more than the draft picks, Schneider will eat up a good chunk of the wiggle room Gainey had in cap space heading toward the trade deadline, because whatever's left of his $5.625 million salary will take up a lot of what was liberated by the injuries to Robert Lang and Alex Tanguay.

My quick judgment on this deal (the e-mail just arrived 11 minutes ago) is that Gainey did well to act quickly and give his team a needed jolt. By doing so he avoided the auction of the deadline, one that may have seen Schneider's price driven even higher, but more importantly he communicated a sense of urgency to his sputtering team.

Funnily enough, I had planned to write something today on whether or not Gainey should be buying high or selling low. In this case, I think he paid an appropriate price for a veteran presence, while still leaving himself enough young assets that he can afford to ship out one or two in order to land that big centre everyone keeps saying the Habs need.

Is Jason Arnott the next target? Just asking...


Sliver24 said...

Another thing to keep in mind: There's nothing preventing Gainey from either a) using Schneider to make a deal with someone that's desperate for a defenseman or b) trading him for draft picks if the worst happens and the Habs' free fall continues.

pmk said...

its a reunion!Dress muller and carbo and get chelios and claude now.

Arpon Basu said...

I think Eric Desjardins could still play, and Mike Keane still plays for the Moose too. Hell, maybe Patty would be willing to strap on the pads as well!

Anonymous said...

There is also a conditional pick coming the Habs way, depending on how they do in the playoffs. According to Bob Mckenzie it could be as high as a 3rd if the Habs go out in the 1st round. So, if I read this right, the trade is essentiallya 2nd rounder for Schneider. I can live with that.


Arpon Basu said...

In fact, it's better than that because the Habs would be getting Atlanta's third-rounder this year in exchange for their third-rounder in 2010. The advantage there goes to the Habs, but they're hoping they only gt a fifth round pick from Atlanta because that would mean a deep playoff run.