As I wrote a few days ago, I'm willing to give Pierre Gauthier a chance to prove he can make the Canadiens a better team. We shouldn't judge him until he's got a post-cap body of work on which to base a judgement.
I have to confess though, I'm not crazy about the first official move of the Gauthier era. It's not Dominic Moore himself. He's a good faceoff man with great speed and a good work ethic. He'll be decent depth for a bottom-six that's been fairly ineffective most of the time this season. He's certainly an upgrade on the ineffective Ben Maxwell for the time being. He'll also be UFA when the year is over, so there are no worries about squeezing another body into the limited cap space available for next season. And, aside from having a somewhat inflated sense of his own worth, as evidenced by the contract demands that got him bounced from Toronto last year, there aren't any documented character issues with him.
The problem I have with the trade is the overpayment. A second-round pick next year, in what's projected to be a weak draft class, doesn't sound like much, especially when you look at how many second-rounders end up never making the NHL. The thing is, the value of a draft pick doesn't lie in the actual player it will become, but in its potential.
Remember that old game show, "Let's Make A Deal?" Contestants would be asked to trade the prize in their hands for a mystery prize behind Door Number Three. Most of the time, the player would ignore all common sense and go for the unknown. Even when the contestant had a washer and dryer already, and he KNEW the game didn't often give better rewards than that, he'd give up his appliances for the mystery prize. Half the time, he'd then end up with a pig in a tutu.
Draft picks are the Door Number Three of hockey. They're currency because of the unknown factor. As long as a team can dream about stealing a great prospect with that pick, they'll be willing to trade more for it. Bob Gainey got Robert Lang for a second, and he was willing to accept a second for Cristobal Huet. Both players were in a better class than Dominic Moore, and I think that second-round pick could have been used to acquire a better class of player again this time.
It may be that this move is only one of a series Gauthier is planning, and a later move may return that pick to the Canadiens. Until that happens though, I'm concerned about the possibility this GM doesn't recognize the real value of draft picks in the New NHL, especially for a team that needs to make the most of its picks if it ever hopes to improve.