Samsonov a Hab !!
Bob Gainey was busy today as he made 4 moves which I believe will improve the club substantially. TSN.ca reports that Gainey has signed UFA Sergei Samsonov, re-signed RFA David Abeisher, Picked up Mike Johnson from Phoenix and dealt Zednik to Washington.
While you take all this in, I’ll give my 2 cents on the deals.
Samsonov is a no brainer. He will add MUCH needed offense to the Habs who have struggled in that department for a few years now. More importantly, it gives Kovalev a winger to play with and hopefully the two Russians will connect well together.
Johnson is actually a very good move on my part. I’ve always liked this guy and think his offensive upside has yet to be reached. look at his points per game over the past few years, you’ll be surprised. More importnatly, he’s responsible in his own end (a Carbo & Gainey MUST). Johnson can also play PK or PP and can fill in at centre or wing. He has also played a first line role & 2nd or 3rd line roles. He’s a team player and a leader in the room, and will add some great depth and versatility up front. He is an upgrade from Bulis and Zednik who never put up solid numbers. Zednik was also a defensive liability.
Which leads me to Richard Zednik going to Washington for a draft pick. I always liked Zednik, and think he could still do well with Washington (playing with Ovechkin specifically), but at 1.9 million, only getting 16 goals and being a minus player just won’t cut it in Montreal anymore. He seemed uniterested in making any efforts last year and he’s always been a very streaky player. My guess is that Gainey wants a more consistant club with players who show up every night.
Last, Abeisher re-signs. This is a VERY smart move. IF Huet does not repeat last years numbers, Abeisher will just be salivating at the opportunity to take over the #1 spot. Healthy competition between 2 above average goalies is excellent for a hockey club. If they both play well, Gainey will have some leverage at the deadline to move a goalie. Yan danis is fully ready to be a back up, but Gainey won’t let Abby go if he doesn’t get his value back.
FINALLY, the Habs have made some noise, and I am VERY happy with these moves. The question still remains, is he finnished yet?