The Montreal Canadiens are done. The words from TSN's "expert" panel could mean they've stopped trading for today. It could be a prediction of their playoff chances when you consider other teams' improvements.
Either way, I'm crushed. Cristobal Huet to Washington for Anaheim's second pick next year. Hal Freakin' Gill brought more back to the Leafs than that. I know there was a chance Huet would walk for nothing, and I suppose that pick is slightly better than nothing. But if this was an attempt to clear cap space or acquire a pick to be used as part of a bigger deal, it looks like Gainey has failed.
There's going to be a lot of screaming to that effect now that Marian Hossa's a Penguin. I won't be one of those who condemn Gainey for not getting a big gamebreaker like Jokinen or Hossa. But I do have to wonder why he didn't address some of the smaller needs. I would have liked Fedorov or Bobby Holik to address the shut-down centre problem at least.
It's harder to have faith in the Plan today. But I'll recover from the disappointment and I believe Gainey knows more than I do. I'm relieved he didn't trade any of the team's youth, especially Higgins, O'Byrne and Halak. Most especially Halak, who'll now get a chance to star in the NHL. Losing Huet is tough, and the return doesn't look good. Still, I have to believe there's a reason for it.
If I don't believe that, I have to think my team is a lot farther from the top than I'd like to see it.