Friday, February 27, 2009

Gainey gets his righty

The Canadiens picked up Glen Metropolit off waivers Friday from the Philadelphia Flyers, and my initial reaction was that Steve Bégin can also play centre, so is Metropolit that big of an upgrade on Bégin?

But then I checked out Metropolit's bio and noted that he is what Gainey covets, and in a sense what was lost when Robert Lang went down - a right-handed centre.

He's won 50.2 per cent of his faceoffs this year to go with 14 points in 55 games, and he is more of a true centre than Bégin, so in that sense perhaps the Habs have improved by making this swap because otherwise Metropolit brings a lot of the same intangibles to the table as the guy he's replacing.

He's gritty, defensively responsible and probably has a bit more of a scoring tough than Bégin.

However, when Gainey says this, I have to wonder what he's thinking:

"I indicated yesterday that one of the needs we had identified for our team was to acquire a centreman to add depth in the middle and complete our group of centremen...Glen is a seasoned veteran who played very well against us in last year's playoffs against the Bruins."

When he said that, I had assumed Gainey was referring to finding someone to replace Lang, and while Metropolit does that in the sense of adding a right-handed centre, he does not fit the bill when it comes to producing offence.

I'm wondering if Metropolit is in fact the centre Gainey was referring to, or if he has another trick up his sleeve in terms of adding a scorer in the middle.

In any event, if Metropolit suits up tonight in Philly he should be an upgrade on Kyle Chipchura, so I guess the Canadiens have improved. But is this all the improvement we can expect to see?


Sliver24 said...

The only way I see Bob picking up another centre now is if he also sends one the other way.

I suppose he could also address the situation by sending Chipchura to the Hammer, but it seems to me this could mean the Lecavalier pipe dream could still have legs.

I like the way it looks:

Tanguay - Lecavalier - Kovalev
A. Kostitsyn - Koivu - D'Agostini
Pacioretty - Lapierre - Kostopoulos
Laracque - Metropolit - Stewart
(Missing: Kiggins, Plekanec)

Arpon Basu said...

If the Lecavalier deal is still on the table, I don't see it happening by next week. Maybe at the draft, but even then I don't see Gainey sending all sorts of young assets away to land him.

Andy J Smith illustration said...

Yikes I called it KIDDINGLY yesterday when I said Metropolit to replace Begin. YUCK. Unnecessary lateral move (if that). Next up for the crystal ball: Kovalev, Dandenault for Ryan Smyth? But then more salary (I think) would have to be shed... so Smyth, Leopold for Kovalev, Dandy, Halak?