Savard Knew That Hackett Was Going To Boston!


André Savard knew that Jeff Hackett would be going to Boston when he did the trade with the Sharks…

The famous file of the Montréal Canadiens goaltenders is finally closed. GM André Savard finally traded the veteran Jeff Hackett to the Sharks thursday evening in return of the right winger Niklas Sundstrom and a third rounder. But the 34 years old goalie, who’s been wearing the color of the Sharks from 1991 to 1993, will have done nothing but pass in San Jose.

In fact, Montréal are likely to re-examine Hackett as of February 6, in Boston, since Sharks at once dispatched him to Boston in company of the young defensemen Jeff Jillson, a 22 year old American.

In return, San Jose received coveted d-man Kyle McLaren, whose contract problems held him out of the rink so far this season.

In a conference call, Savard affirmed that he knew that Hackett would be traded to the B’s when he pulled the trigger.

” That belonged into the diagram. The only way that we could prevent Hackett from going to Boston, was to keep him in Montreal, answered Savard “, from a Peterborough amphitheatre.

” I admit that the Bruins are better today with Jeff Hackett, said Savard. But we had the choice to make this transaction with the Sharks or to keep Hackett in Montreal. But the probability of losing him without obtaining anything in return was very strong. ”

Savard also ensured that the Bruins never wanted to trade McLaren to the Canadiens.

” One would have liked to have him, declared Savard about the robust defender, but they did not want to pass him to us. In any event, he launched to the journalists, it never had Hackett-McLaren discussions there; that comes from your imagination. I spoke with Boston last week, and they only offered us a 4th round draft pick. ”

” If we look at the transaction between the Sharks and Bruins, Savard compared, it would have been necessary for us to let go Hackett and Ron Hainsey or Mike Komisarek to obtain McLaren. ”

” Bruins never proposed us such an exchange, but in any event, we would not have done it. It is not the direction we want to take “, Savard connected, according to which Komisarek is higher than Jillson, of the defenders to the similar styles.

Numerical inferiority

Sundstrom, who is 27 years old, is at its eighth season in the national League of hockey.

A New York Rangers first round draft choice in 1993, Sundstrom spent four complete seasons there, from 1995 to 1999.

He had there his best season of his career, in 1996-97. In 82 meetings, he notched 24 goals and obtained 28 assists.

After being exchanged to Tampa Bay in a transaction implying d-man Dan Nailsmith, Sundstrom was exchanged again, this time to the Sharks.

In 2002-2003, he registered two goals and had 10 assists in 47 games. In career, he scored 98 goals and reached the 300 points mark in 596 games.

Sundstrom is under contract until the end of the season 2003-04 and Sharks agreed to defray approximately 25 percent of his salary until the end of the agreement.

According to Savard, Sundstrom will be really usefull to the Canadiens, especially when the team plays on PK.

” We are one of the clubs which has the most problems in numerical disadvantage “, pointed out Savard, who could not say if Sundstrom would be training with the team saturday for the game against Washington.

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