Bob Gainey, the Canadiens Vice President and General Manager finally made a move yesterday acquiring Mathieu Schneider in exchange for draft picks.
Mathieu, a third round draft pick of the Canadiens in 1987, played seven years for the Habs and was then traded away.
Mathieu will turn 40 this June. He says he could perhaps play another two years, as along as he feels good.
He is also a unrestricted free agent come July 2009.
So will he stay or will he go?
Bob Gainey feels he is a great passer, who is able to see the ice well and help with the power play.
There was quite a bit of interest in Schneider with in the upcoming trade dead line, March 4th 2009.
So Mr. Gainey pulled the trigger now before other teams who were willing to wait until the deadline, when they might have more cap space.
But my original question was will Mathieu Schneider help or hinder the cause of the Canadiens?
He is not a big defense men weighing only 195 lbs. Mr. Gainey has already indicated he will need help in tight situations. His experience is certainly an asset.
I think the main reason he was brought back to the Habs was because the All-Star defense of Komisarek and Markov has been faltering of late.
But how far can he take the Canadiens in the playoffs?
They still need help up front and perhaps now they can make a move in that direction, lets hope so.
I find at times that no matter what the Habs' fans feel, Mr. Gainey is very thoughtful and never shows his hand before its absolutely necessary in team matters.
Everyone who is a Canadiens fan thought that he might fire Carbonneau, but that his not part of his plan to rescue this team from the doldrums of a losing skid.
Mr. Gainey accepted the job as the Montreal Canadiens VP & GM with the idea of rebuilding through the draft, and so far that has been his path of choice.
He has made the odd trade getting such players as Robert Lang when he could not get Matt Sundin to come to Montreal and that deal has proved to be a valuable one.
His deal for Alex Tanguay has worked out quite well as he should be back very soon from injury. This will be a big help.
I believe that this team will pick it up now and get back on to a winning streak, which will carry them on into the playoffs.
In answer to my own question yes I think Mathieu Schneider will help the Canadiens blue line, as long as he can stay healthy.
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