Why did Pierre Gauthier trade for a journeyman centre who wasn’t good enough to play for Boston when the Bruins were lousy?
Because Andreas Engqvist (pictured) is not good enough to play for a Canadiens team that’s been mostly lousy through seven games.
The Canadiens’ general manager had to do something to improve the Canadiens’ fourth line and penalty-kill – two conspicuous weaknesses since the season began.
Patrick V. Hickey thinks Brock Trotter can score 20+ goals for Phoenix.
As we chewed over the trade at the training rink in Brossard Sunday morning, Hickey said the Canadiens have an unfortunate tendency to give up on players at an early stage of their development.
He cited Matt D’Agostini. Pat could have added Mikhail Grabovski, Sergei Kostitsyn and Ryan O’Byrne.
Farther back, François Beauchemin and Stephane Robidas.
Maybe Troter will blossom and give Gauthier-haters something fresh to rant about.
But it was a need trade.
Gauthier and his talent evaluators thought Engqvist could be a cheaper Jeff Halpern: a defensive centre who wins faceoffs and kills penalties.
They were wrong.
Enqvist is not ready for the NHL, not even on a fourth line and the PK.
He may never be.
Today’s other move, the call-up of Michael Blunden, is a consequence of the Leafs throwing their weight around on Saturday night.
Toronto bullied P.K. and ran Carey Price.
There was no push-back.
At a certain point, Aaron Palushaj started yapping at Jay Rosehill, who couldn’t have been bothered to swat his diminutive antagonist.
Mike Brown ran roughshod as well.
Blunden is not the toughest guy in the NHL, but he has some size and will drop ‘em.