The Canadiens were for the most part inactive today, adding Mikhail Grabovski and Jaroslav Halak from the farm. Grabovski has been tearing up the AHL for several weeks but his ability to compete at an NHL level is questionable.
The big news is that the Cristobal Huet era is officially over. It ended with a whimper, much the way it started. Huet was subdued in his comments to the assembled members of the media and made it clear that he was disappointed to be shipped out for a 2009 2nd rounder, what amounts to peanuts as far as most fans are concerned.
On the plus side, with the way Trevor Timmins handles the Habs scouting, that pick could easily become a blue-chip prospect, unfortunately not until well after the Canadiens centennial year in 2009.
Bob Gainey made it abundantly clear that he doesn't see his team as a Stanley Cup contender at this point. Mortgaging the future for a Hossa or Richards wasn't in the cards. Bob Gainey may catch some flak for his inactivity right now, but his is a longview.
Pittsburgh payed through the nose for Hossa and he's a rental player. With all of their young talent, the Penguins can afford to lose a few cogs like Erik Christensen and Colby Armstrong. They want to win now. Their priority is now to re-sign Evgeni Malkin and possibly Jordan Staal to long term deals. Hossa is reportedly looking for a 4 year deal in the neighbourhood of $34 million. If the Habs want him, they can offer him those terms when he's a UFA.
The chemistry in the Montreal room is something you can't easily quantify with trade terms. This is a team that's winning together and growing together. The next few years look just as bright as they did two weeks ago. Brighter! They have a 2009 second round pick!!
Keep the faith, Bob knows better than any of us.