Quick Hit

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?

Me neither.

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.




  1. larisalapointe says:


  2. redgorf says:

    CH are done, they went fishing for a big D and they did not know there was one already in the boat, thanks to JM.We have some big forwards Pouliot Eller but they don’t seem to be allowed to play and hone thier skills for the future thanks toJM I wonder how close we came to loosing Price lsat year thanks to JM. Now we are going to loose Mueller he can’t take JM any more. The CH and the Leafs look like fratrenal twins the way management works.

  3. Habnofear says:

    You know in the past Les Tricolour would grab a player everyone else wanted , but now we grab small players or old players or injured players and  overpay(even Gorges came to the C.H. with a bum knee) and say the same nonsense,”That’s all that was available ,could afford,all the big players are taken horse spit propaganda  a 50 year Habs fan can’t handle”

    When you buy a new car ,you know when it’s time to move it on it has to have  awesome resale value,or you should.This is why I try not to get angry at the Habs  players , cus it’s not their fault they play for the team …it’s the management who grabbed them(shiet travels uphill!) and the coaches who went along with it as well as the scouting dept.I look at the instant turnaround at Tampa in less than a year and think why wasn’t that possible here? How is it they can make those move the Hab fans here say can’t be done? Maybe it’s cus most fans around here seem to have a full diaper and whats in those full diapers is a whole bunch of lil thought that add up to mediocrity …JUST LIKE OUR HABS. Just saying…..


  4. Hali_Hab says:

     And yet again we stay the corse to no where…?   i dont know where people think we are going to aquire the type of players that we need. The team will never be aloud to finish low enough to draft a top player.. and we dont have the assests, balls or whatever you want to call it to trade for one because we are building for something that will never come with our current system of team building and player development.. you would think that after 20 years of failied experiments they would catch on.. but i guess thats to much to ask.   Best quote of the day is from lombaridi saying his team needed size and goal scoring so he went out and got both  crazy concept eh…. oh and guess what IT COSTS TO DO THAT. hahahahah!  I used to make fun of leaf fans for being the proud and the stupid… only they would keep paying money and putting asses in the seats.. for a loosing team but now i am starting to feel the same about our team.. I am coming to the realization that it is all just a buisness and its the bottom line that matters.. winning is not nessessarly winning.



    “After 13 years, I couldn’t accept to be number two.“ Guy Lafleur.

  5. mbplekfan says:

    Two home playoff games is money in the bank for the franchise. Three or four is great. We arent expected to win much but we still need to make the playoffs.

    We didnt give up much and if there is a chance that Wiz and Sopel resign then our defence got better.

  6. punkster says:

    Last year’s playoffs? Hey, Rome wasn’t…blah, blah, blah…


  7. Barts says:

    Remember 2003 when Bob Gainey embarked on the ‘five year plan’? Did I miss something?

  8. icemachine says:

    I don’t think we are 3 or more years away from Cup contention, I think it will be 2 years. Salary cap creep is going to help us and only Gomez’s contract will be a heavy weight. Our young guys  are developing and in 2 years I think Price, PK, MaxPac, DD and Eller will be among the top of their age group. Hopefully Bournival, Tinordi and LeBlanc will be making valuable contributions in Montreal and then we are perhaps 2 FA’s away from a solid cup run, no Cinderalla slippers required.

    Its time to switch to whiskey, we’ve been drinkin’ beer all night

  9. Chorske says:

    OMG, massive HIO meltdown.

    I am going to play with my 7 month old son, maybe read Barnyard Dance, have some Cheerios. And then come back in a couple days when the crazy dies down.

    This is Penner we’re talking about, guys. Come on. I can see getting excited about Lecavalier or Hossa or even Shanahan (the first time round) or Briere, but Penner?! A guy who has been benched for being fat and lazy? Really?

    See you in a day or two.

  10. MathMan says:

    Boston is a flawed club. If they fall in the first round, I wouldn’t be overly surprised. If they end up opposite the Habs, I think the Habs have a good 55-60% chance of coming out.

  11. SeriousFan09 says:

    Boston won’t make it to the Finals, it’s the Flyers unless injuries cripple them, DET/VAN out of the West.



    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  12. MathMan says:

    “Did you like Jarred Tinordi and a first for Dustin Penner?”

    I did. Very much so. Two peripheral future assets for an impact player who might be part of your core for 5 years? On a team whose window is the next 1-3 years? In a heartbeat.

    Mind you, I don’t much like the Tinordi type of D-man, but still.

    I can see why PG might not want to do it, but I think it would have been a great move for the Habs.

    “If the Canadiens fail to make the playoffs – and they’re not a lock – it will be a long, hot summer in Montreal.”

    I said this before, but it would take a massive meltdown for the Habs to miss out. If they do .500 the rest of the way, they might very well end up in 6th.

  13. sidhu says:

    The idea that it had to be the Penner deal or nothing else is a false choice.  Moreover, we don’t have to be a contender to make a deal.

    All I was hoping for today was some deal to IMPROVE, however incrementally, the team that we put on the ice.  The most we did today was weaken that team by sending White to Hamilton.  Yes, we made a deal — for a backup in Hamilton. 

    We have made deals for The Wiz and Sopel, but those were in response to injuries — to get us back whole. Trades can happen — if Gomez can get moved, if Gretzky can be moved, we could have done something modest to improve the big club today.

    The Habs management is too complacent — we haven’t made ourselves better now, nor have we made ourselves better for the draft.  We, like other teams, are going to rely heavily on our scouting to find the next PK or Price. 

    The Habs management seems to think that our veterans will turn it on and things will click in the playoffs like last year.  I hope for their sake and ours their speculation is right, but there’s little reason for confidence based on the season and the teams we will play in the playoffs.  As long as the team squeaks out another win here and there, the management gets by as well.

    The truth of the matter is that the Habs management has little incentive to change — 21k continue to pack the stands, merchandise is sold, money is made, etc.  They can give Molson the appearance of a solid team because of the standings.

  14. ricardamundo says:

    Trade deadline = Tempest in a teapot

    Trade deadline = Much ado about nothing

    Trade deadline = a Jason Blake shift as a Leaf

    Trade deadline = a Georges Laraque fight as a Hab

    Trade deadline = a Jacques Martin post-game press conference

    Trade deadline = wake me up when its over

    How can anyone get excited about this? Hockey flottsom and jettsom. Penner? He’s been overrated for a couple of years and now he’s a saviour? Get real. A lot of Sturm und Drang over nothing.

    And by the way Mr Boone, I don’t check out the blog much any more ’cause the new format stinks and your web cam image scares animals and small children. Get some better lighting around that web cam … it makes you look like something from the land of the living dead … do you have the Zombie Woof?


  15. Chris says:

    I wouldn’t be any more surprised to see the Bruins in the Finals then I would the Flyers.

    If you make it in, you’ve got a good shot.  I do think the Flyers are the best team on paper, but I don’t discount the Bruins.  And I think Washington has the horses to knock either of them out if those horses show up to play.  Add Pittsburgh (only if Crosby returns) and Tampa Bay into the mix as teams that you don’t know what you’re going to get, and a tough out in Montreal (although I would be shocked to see them win two rounds this spring…Price will need to stand on his head).

    The Wales will have some interesting first round matchups.

  16. 4EverHabsFan says:

    You said it! Improvement of any would have been nice, or cutting out over-priced dead weight… GOMEZ…

    The bottom applies to all the Leaf fans who think their team is improving… minus the standings part of course

  17. doug19 says:

    OOOHH that sounds scary!

  18. Led says:

    I’m fine with not throwing good picks away but why not take a chance on Sturm for free?

  19. Mike Boone says:

    It’s the Boone Witch Project. And I may be scary looking, but I can spell flotsam and jetsam.

  20. TheMock780 says:

    The Habs didn’t have the cap space, nor the resources to go out and make a huge move today. Not only that but GM’s tend to regret big trades on deadline day because they usually drastically overpay. The Habs don’t have the picks, nor a bursting stable of young high-end prospects like the LA Kings do. I’m not suprised the Habs didn’t make a move nor am I mad that they didn’t.

    They don’t have the organizational depth to give up a first round pick + Tinordi (whom I don’t want to trade at all cause the Habs don’t have much in the way of 6″7 physical, nasty dman who can skate in the system) for an overrated Dustin Penner. I watch a lot of Oilers hockey, he’s a floater who tries maybe 1 game out of 4 and even though he’s big he can be as soft as Scott Gomez out there. And if not Penner what other players were available for big deals? Brad Richards? Ok, the asking price would have been Subban, Pacioretty and a 1st rounder. Willing to pay that price for a UFA centre with a concussion? Stephen Weiss? Ok just Pacioretty and a 1st rounder is what Tallon would have asked for. No thanks. Ales Hemsky? The Oilers would have charged Pacioretty, Tinordi and a 1st rounder.

    Subban, Pacioretty, and Price are untouchable in my opinion with Eller being close (I like him as a player. Watch how good he’ll be with some more muscle packed on his skinny frame and some experience), cause that’s who they’d have to give up. It’s going to take time for Gauthier to build up the assets and cap space necessary to make a big trade. We have to see how the new, revamped amateur scouting staff does (it has to do a better job then under Gainey, otherwise Timmins needs to go) and they’ll have to wait till at least Gomez comes off the books in 3 years (good luck finding some sucker to trade for him and the Habs aren’t a franchise that can send him down to the minors without their reputation taking a hit among players in the league unlike the Rangers who get away with it cause it’s New York or the Oilers who every player wouldn’t want to play for anyway right now) till any big trades will happen.

    The book is out on Gauthier’s work this season (if he can re-sign Wiz to a long term deal it will help a lot. I’d rather have Wiz and Sopel re-signed for the price of Hamrlik then Hamrlik back) but all the injuries on D have backed him into a corner this season. But getting a 26 year old puck moving defenceman (Wiz), a quality forward prospect (Bournival) for a Dman that was never going to blossom here (O’Byrne), and a shot blocking PK expert to replace JG (Sopel) is a good job given the crappy hand Gauthier was dealt. 

    The Habs aren’t going to win the cup this year, they’re probably not going to win it next year, or probably the year after. Once the Gomez, Gionta, and Cammy contracts that Gauthier was sattled with are off the books and the young players have developed, then we will see just how good of a job he has done. He can’t be judged for one day

  21. Ronin says:

    Just as expected.  Gauthier’s track record indicated no moves and the amount of space used up on repairing our depleted defence corps left little room.  All true…but unfortunate.<p> Those of us are dwindling who can remember clearly the glory days of the 70s and soon mediocrity will not only be the norm, but accepted as business as usual….

  22. Keith says:

    Once again Mr. Boone YOU are the voice of reason. Great analysis!

  23. Habsfan2310 says:

    Your argument confuses me.  It is widely accepted that Gauthier was Gaineys right hand man, and as such, would have been involved in all player decisions.  You say he was ‘sattled’ with contracts that we are waiting to get off the books.  Cammy was looked at as prob the best signing last year and he is still a young guy.  Every team needs a leader to go by example .. name one better then Gionta.  Obyrne was mishandled by the coaching staff but they did get a good return for him.  Look at the minutes Hammer has logged. Hammer and Gill have been mentors for the young guys.  Do you think the Habs would have had a chance against Boston last year instead of Philly ?  Did you think we could have beaten Pitts and Wash last year ?

    Heres my issue with Gauthier.  He dished cash for Mara and Sopel.  If Spacek is not hurt, Mara will prob be sitting most games. We had cash .. I don’t like where he spent it.  When it comes to our draft picks, Gauthier was there with Gainey .. nothing has changed since Gainey left.  But maybe you should take a look at what state the team was in before Gainey took over.

    I am soooo happy you spoke about the Gomez contract.  For one, before Gainey no big center wanted to play in Montreal.  None.  now, players want to play here.  Gio and Cammy came after Gomez.  Maybe you would rather have Finger and Komo, or Redden, or Vinny , or rick dipetro. 

    The habs depth is actually pretty good. You mentioned 6 great rookies and you forgot Desharnais, .. not to mention Leblanc, Kristo, Gallagher,Nash .. and Dawes … a young guy who just may surprise you. Check which team has the most young guys on their roster.  The habs are definitely up there

  24. TheMock780 says:

    True. Within the 2-3-4 years is where I was aiming with my view. Another couple of guys that could be of help up front are Palushaj and Avtsin in the minors depending on how they develop and Danny Kristo is he can get whatever has been going on with him this year under control and Brendan Gallager who continues to rip up the WHL. The Habs have a lot of organizational depth coming up on the wing. We’ll just have to see how they do helping up the middle and on D.

  25. Bill says:

    I was pretty sure that Gauthier was done, so I wasn’t expecting anything much. I did sort of laug at that minor-league swap, I sort of felt like Gauthier did it just to have a laugh at the fans online and on the air. He’s prob still laugin so hard the salad dressing is coming out of his nose. Anyway. The only question I have left is why, if Gauthier is essentially writing this season off, did he bother trading a decent pick for rental Wizneiwski and a pick of any kind for Mara? And why give up anything for rental Sopel? You get rentals for a playoff run, do you not? If he wasn’t serious about getting offensive help, then he wasted resources for nothing to acquire some short term spare parts. Seems like he tried to have it both ways there.

  26. ricardamundo says:

    Touche (and no I didn’t forget the accent on the e, just too lazy to switch to the French keyboard).

    So you really want to get into a spelling spat? While I don’t read the blog much any more, it is still a great source of spelling errors and typos (in addition to the scary images). Let’s just say we’re even on that score.

    Try a mask or some Groucho glasses. It would soften your image a bit.

  27. Arrow77 says:

    “if Gomez can get moved”

    That’s the biggest “if” I’ve seen in a long, long while…

    If Gomez could get moved, I suspect it would have happened a long time ago. As of now, I fail to see which team really needs a 3rd line center with a superstar salary. Next summer, many big contracts will be over, the team will be able to bury Gomez’s salary in Hamilton if they want to and they might still have an excess of healthy, NHL caliber defensemen to make a deal.

    If last summer was about managing the salary cap to keep both Price and Plekanec, next summer could very well be the one where the team tries to make significant steps forward.

  28. Bill says:

    I think what you missed was a history lesson, specifically the ones about Communist Russia that taught us never to listen to anyone peddling a five-year plan. Habs have been rebuilding for nearly 20 years, it’s getting freakin’ embarrassing! We’re becoming The Leafs … the horror.

  29. Shiloh says:

    Cap space, you say? We have about three million with the room we picked up for losing Markov and Gorges. There was space to pick up a spare part to finish the season with. Now I’m not sure there was much he could do, but Kovalev for a 7th was doable. Maybe Gauthier should have used some of that space before the deadline when it wasn’t necessarily a sellers’ market.

    But, at the end of the day, maybe standing pat wasn’t the worst that could have happened.

  30. WestHab says:

    The pieces we are missing are the ones no one else has either #79 and #26.

  31. Keith says:

    Don’t EVER say we are like the laffs! That almost made me hurl!

  32. mbplekfan says:

    no chance at all.

  33. samTHEman says:

    Not implying he should, but is there a possibility Markov attempts a return for the playoffs?

  34. solomio says:

    Thank gawd for spell check eh Mike?

  35. ricardamundo says:

    Forget spell check. Mike goes back far enough he could use a couple of proofreaders from Aquila BST. Ring any bells Mike?

  36. likehoy says:

    accoridng to who?- Gomez is holding down the “overpaid” button

  37. Displaced says:

    For the people happy that PG didn’t  “mess with his Kiddie Corps and/or mortgage the future by dealing what few draft picks he has, the wise move was no move“, we better win a couple of rounds and make a serious efforts to re-sign all the UFAs and RFAs on this team.

    If not, we wasted a rare opportunity to shed players with expiring contracts or not essential to a future Cup run for the picks and prospects that we will ultimately need to replace the expensive leadership we signed as free agents as their contracts expire.

    In a league of filled with uninspired management, PG ranked ahead of Murray who started blowing up the Sens and still ending up holding onto a lot of players who will make no contribution to a team in full swoon for the next couple of years.  Second, third and fourth rounders have more value to Ottawa then the Alfredssons, Gonchars and Phillips of the past team, add to that middle-aged luxury items like Spezza and they get a big ouch.  Ditto Florida for holding onto Vokoun, Booth, and an assortment of other spare parts that Tallon will unload in a less heated market a few months from now after his team misses the playoffs.  But the award for the biggest loser has to be Dallas for holding on Richards with some reason to believe they’ll miss the playoff and all reasons to believe they’ll lose Richards come the summer.  Seriously, most of these asset managers need to take a crash course in objective cap management from the New England Patriots, one of the few organizations in any capped league willing to make the dispassionate moves about players that allow organizations to stay ahead of their antiquated brethren.

    Whose leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  38. Duracell3 says:

    I’d be suprised if anyone from the organization has had higher hopes than a playoff birth maybe 2-3 times in 18 years.

  39. Bill says:

    Yeah, but we didn’t have to trade for Wiz or Sopel to sign them in the summer. Also I think I’ve learned how to channel Gauthier’s brainwaves, and let’s just say I’d be pretty surprised if either of those guys is resigned. They’re stop-gaps. Also, are you saying that Gauthier made those moves just to squeak into the playoffs and not as part of a coherent building strategy? Cause if that’s the organization’s goal, I want some money back.

    Full Breezer 4 Life

  40. EricInStL says:

    21 273, is what is important.

    “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”–Winston Churchill

  41. Chuck Chuck Goose says:

    Rivet in exchange for Gorges and the pick that brought in MaxPac is “overpaying”…..?!?

    I think anyone on this site would do that trade again in a second


  42. ricardamundo says:

    And the bullpen?

  43. Displaced says:

    Excuse me?  Punkster, we go way back….

    Whose leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  44. punkster says:



  45. 24 Cups says:

    I’m glad that G&G did nothing after seeing what teams paid to get rentals  such as Kaberle, Penner (two years) and Arnott.  The only way those teams can justify their deals is if they win the Cup this year.

  46. Mike Boone says:

    By which you mean McLean Computer Graphics. Oh yeag, bells chiming loud and clear.

  47. Habnofear says:

    Hey Melo from Ontario”Home of the Laff’s, who are so bad for so long that soccer is a way more popular sport now in lil New York”….you know ,where you live,lol. So…ah… what did Tampa do last year and the years before?? Oh ya ,DICK ALL !In factoid that’s how they got Stamkos smart guy.Secondly ,Who the puck is BB???? ..Bob Berry? DD …this I know. Thirdly, oh the “I don’t go for athlete’s with funny names thing”,you are obviously Don Cherry’s illegitimate 52 year old son,Sucks to be Don eh?Look ,if anything I don’t want my team following the Leafs down the road of NO RETURN,and that’s the road their on ! Right Now!! And OH YES … I do blame management and in my opinion they’re absolute hacks ….totally suck and ya ,I’m not the best speller but I can read and count real good and right now I wish the Habs had Philly’s success “but you don’t know what I’m saying so it’s pointless”.By the way,I am sure you own a Golden Retriever and a big can of Pencils:)

  48. jdemelo11 says:


    Are you sure your not a Leafs fan masqerading as a habs fan to cause a ruckus on this board? You must be your spelling is all F’ed up (shiet what is that?? not sure if it even moves, less up or down hills) Leaf fans can’t spell so that’s what gave you away LOL. I know I live right in the middle of them.

    Look I think having guys like Vinnie, Martin St.L., Stamkos had more to do with your so called turn around than Stevie Y, and Boucher jumping on board. Until then all they had were a bunch of yahoos who owned, managed & coached them. Don’t you think Washington’s problems is helping thier place in the standings? Another clue your a closet Leafs fan, a GM change and suddenly your a good team. Last year all you guys thought that BB was the salvation.

    Look how far any team goes is based on matchups. In my playoff pool here last year I had no capitals because I knew they would be out 1st round. Bad record against habs and too confident. This year I’m not planning on putting any Flyers on my pool, How can you win with a goalie called Bob for short lol? Remember Jim Carey with tha Caps a few years ago, goalies with funny names no success.

  49. HardHabits says:

    I would have hated to have Penner to the Habs for the price LA paid. What I would have preferred was AK gone for what Edmonton got.

  50. matrags says:

    our d  would be in transition with those young guys , now it is just decidly old and expensive. Maybe when the roof blew Gautier could have rebuilt it instead of just patching it,

  51. matrags says:

    A tough call , spent all our money on rebuilding a broken defence. I note McDonough and Obyrne are now twenty minute a game men on their respective teams. Ah we had to rebuild our defence. I wonder , are we better off with our rebuild d  or would a Subban , Mcdonough , and Obyrne , defence have represented the kind of rebuilding that would have made a real long term difference.

  52. HabFanSince72 says:

    I wonder if we shouldn’t have taken advantage of the seller’s market. If Lappy gets a third then what might you get for Moen? Losing him would not hurt us much as Pyatt and White can bith take his place in the lineup. If Campoli gets a 2nd maybe the Hamr gets you a first?

  53. Adam says:

    How exactly is a team that’s 3 games over.500 a losing team?

    And if it’s just now occurring to you that the profit-making venture that is professional sports is a business, I’m afraid that you’re going to be heartbroken when you find out that the people who make most of your favourite movies, books and TV shows were also sort of hoping to make a bit of cash for their efforts.



  54. zak says:

    the Habs have young players and nothing up the yin yang

  55. zak says:

    Pouliot takes a penalty and he’s benched. Gomez takes DUMB  penalties and JM keeps him on the ice.I’d like to know what the players really think of JM

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