The question entering free agency frenzy was how many All-Star defensemen could the Montreal Canadiens lose in the shortest amount of time. By the end of the day, Canadiens proved they could move the total to three in three years, losing Michael Komisarek on top of Sheldon Souray and Mark Streit.
The Canadiens ended the day losing just Michael Komisarek to the enemy while adding Jaroslav Spacek, Hal Gill and Mike Cammalleri on top of getting Scott Gomez the day before.
Questions arouse of if the Canadiens improved or just took one giant step to the side. Adding veterans with large contracts who aren’t superstars while having tons of youth ready to enter the NHL questions what direction the Canadiens are heading into towards with such a young goaltender. Going into free agent day, Canadien fans were in uproar but soon calmed down as Bob Gainey added some replacement pieces.
Cammelleri played with the Calgary Flames last year and was a product of Jarome Iginla will look to shed that title while most likely playing beside Scott Gomez in Montreal.
Hal Gill won the cup last year with the Pittsburgh Penguins will have to fill in huge with Josh Gorges to be the number one defensive defensemen on this Canadiens team.
Jaroslav Spacek fills the void of Francis Bouillon which turns out to be one of the biggest upgrades for the Canadiens. His 45 points last season will have to be duplicated for any success on the power play for the Canadiens as he should be a great partner with Andrei Markov.
Scott Gomez was the first pick up as he was traded for Chris Higgins and highly regarded prospect Ryan McDonagh, which had many writers and fans in uproar as Gomez is neither the big centre Gainey was speaking of, or a first line centre the Canadiens were in need of. Gomez does bring leadership and defence on the back check which will be huge as he could turn out to be a favourite of Jacques Martin.
Though from first assessment, the day does not look well as they did lose their All-Star defensemen, they also picked up pieces that are unable to make an assessment until they hit the ice considering a new coach and a new system will be incorporated.
The Canadiens still have many holes to fill including a new captain which will make for an interesting couple weeks. While the day began on a low note, Gainey and the Canadiens could turn out to be a bigger threat than with the current roster. Only time will tell as Gainey puts in some more calls before training camp.