Boy was Bob Gainey a busy GM signing the most players on the first day of Free Agency. He may have hired a French Canadian head coach, Hamiliton coach, and 1st Round pick, but his signings were all lumbering non-francophones.
The big signings were MIKE CAMMALLERI for $6 Million per year and BRIAN GIONTA for $5 Million per year.
He also signed JAROSLAV SPACEK and HAL GILL .
So the Habs have spent an awful lot of money. They still do not have a “Big” center, nor are they a “Bigger team” and they still do not have a true homegrown star ready to play. I don’t get not signing Komiserik who signed for a little over $4 million a year to play for the Leafs. I’d rather have Kommy than Hal Gill any day of the week.
Are they better so far than last year? I’m not sure yet. I don’t find that a lot of these players are prototypical “Habs” type players. I also have a hunch that some of them may not start the year with the Habs and could be involved with a trade or two.
What I can say is that Bob Gainey’s actions this year will play a big role in defining his legacy as GM of the Montreal Canadiens.
In other NHL news Chris Neil has given a home team discount and signed to stay with Ottawa for 4 more years.
The Rangers used up that Scott Gomez cap space to sign Marion Gaborik to a scary long and expensive contract that may make them wish they still had Scott, and the Minnesota Timberwolves signed Martin Havlat to replace Gaborik.
The Edmonton Oilers locked up Nikolai Khabibulin as their goalie.
And Devil’s Defensive Great John Madden signs a 1 year deal with the Hawks.