Sunday, February 24, 2008

Trade Deadline

So a lot of us here in Montreal are waiting with bated breath to see what our beloved Canadiens are going to do before the trade deadline on Tuesday. Montreal is a crazy hockey town where even the smallest misunderstandings are inflated into trade rumours of remarkable proportions - see the stories earlier this week where some gloves for former Hab Marcel Hossa arrived at the Bell Centre and some retard got all excited because of the unsubstantiated rumours that Marcel's significantly more talented brother, former Ottawa Senator Marian, might be coming to Montreal.

I swear that there are Montrealers (including those working for La Presse) whom, upon reading a posting from Eklund (the world's most excitable rumour-monger) assume that it's fact. Here's some news for some of you: Hossa is not coming to Montreal (nor would we want him at $7 million/season). Dan Briere and Vinnie Lecavalier were never coming to Montreal, and neither was St. Louis - some Quebecker heard that Tampa was considering shopping a forward and let his wet dreams about francophone loyalty to Les Tricouleurs go spurting all over the media.

There is no such thing, and we'll continue to have trouble attracting top-notch players in Montreal for two reasons - media pressure and taxes. First of all, income tax is higher in Quebec than anywhere else there's a NHL team, and players will be less likely to take a job here when it means less take-home pay. Getting paid $3 million by the Habs will net you significantly less than getting paid 3 million from Nashville. Plus, you make one bad play and the fans are all over you. Have a bad game or a slump and you're the goat, with three or four newspapers crying for your blood in both official languages. Some fans are hoping we'll trade Koivu (!!!) just because he's not scoring enough coming off his career-best 22 goals last season. Then they turn around and talk about how players like Lacavalier should be loyal to Quebec.

Personally I hope for no trades before the deadline. We have a great team and if the media and fans show a little bit of patience I think we can make the deals this summer to make the Cup finals next season. Seriously. But one thing Bob Gainey has made abundantly clear since the beginning of his tenure as GM is this - him and I agree on nothing...