Breaking News: Kovalev Traded to MONTRÉAL!!

Bob Gainey made a big move, folks!! Tonight he obtained Right Winger Alexei Kovalev from the New York Rangers in his quest for playoff success.In exchange for the talented winger, Gainey had to give to the New York Rangers promising winger Josef Balej & a 2nd rounder in 2004.

Kovalev isn’t exactly the power forward the Habs really needed but he is certainly one of the best puck handling guys of the league.

He will get plenty of ice time to show his skills and will be paired with either Saku Koivu or Mike Ribeiro which will give the Habs 2 powerful offensive lines.

On the other hand the Habs gave alot for an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Josef Balej will be very good and as already shown he has lots of potential and a 2nd rounder is nothing to spit on.

So this is clearly a proof of the organization’s desire to win in these playoffs and the Habs will have to be taken very seriously this year.

Montréal have won their last 5 games and are now heading to a Western road trip…

Kovalev has 13 goals and 29 assists in what can be considered an off year for him so far.

Balej, 22, has played 55 games this season for the Hamilton Bulldogs, scored 25 goals and 33 assists for 58 points.

Update: My take on the trade… This is a very good move by Gainey to bring an amazing scorer to compliment Either Koivu or Ribeiro (he’ll probably play with Koivu). We haven’t had a pure goal scorer like that since Stephane Richer in Montreal, so it’s about time.

However, If we can’t resign Kovalev and lose him to the UFA’s at the end of the year, it’ll mean we overpayed BADLY for his services. Bob Gainey is an experienced GM and knows what he is doing though so you can bet he’s had talks with Kovalev’s agent before pulling the trigger. I guess we’ll have to wait and see… for the moment, this is very exciting for us. Bob Gainey isn’t done dealing yet and I see another big name coming to town soon. He proved with this deal that he wants the team to go far THIS YEAR.