Cue up the hoary sports cliché:
Sometimes the best trade is the one you don’t make.
Did you like Jarred Tinordi and a first for Dustin Penner?
L.A. overpaid for Penner because they can afford it. The Kings have young players and draft choices up the yin-yang.
Pierre Gauthier has young players: Carey Price, P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty, Lars Eller, Yannick Weber, David Desharnais.
The Canadiens do not have an excess of spare draft choices. Nor do they have much, if any, NHL-calibre talent in Hamilton.
Bottom line: Unless Gauthier were willing to mess with his Kiddie Corps and/or mortgage the future by dealing what few draft picks he has, the wise move was no move.
The Commentariat is going berserk. But let’s be realistic.
Your Montreal Canadiens are not a tweak away from the Stanley Cup.
And a major deal, if there was one out there for Gauthier, would have been just too expensive.
As February ends, the Canadiens are 33-23-7 for 73 points.
After 63 games last season, the Canadiens were 29-28-6 for 64 points.
Jaro Halak sparked that team to a six-game winning streak in March. The Canadiens squeaked into the playoffs, and we know what Jaro did in the postseason.
The standings suggest this season’s team is better. But I’m not holding my breath on a trip to the Conference finals.
Philadelphia is geared for a deep run. So are the Bruins.
Pittsburgh, Washington and the Rangers have made moves.
Brian Burke has 12 picks in this June’s draft.
Bryan Murray has blown up the Senators.
And there’s a chance the names “Christopher Higgins” and “Maxim Lapierre” will be engraved on the Stanley Cup.
If the Canadiens fail to make the playoffs – and they’re not a lock – it will be a long, hot summer in Montreal.
And most of the heat will be focused on Gauthier.
His inactivity today will be chewed over ad nauseam.
I’m sure the party line, from Gauthier and Jacques Martin, will be along the lines of “We’re comfortable with the team we have.”
That degree of satisfaction is not shared by all Canadiens’ fans.
Maybe not even a majority.
But the NHL is a highly competitive league. Today was a sellers’ market – more Tiffany’s than Wal-mart.
And Pierre Gauthier just didn’t have that much slack on his Visa card.