In 2004, Bob Gainey picked up superstar Alexei Kovalev from the New York Rangers for Josef Balej and a second-round pick.
Now, Gainey has brought some fresh talent into Montreal for nothing more than the 25th pick in 2008 and a second-round pick in 2009.
Dare I say Gainey has just pulled the wool over the eyes of 29 other GMs twice in the past four years?
If no one has noticed, Alex Kovalev has put up 227 points since joining the Canadiens, including the playoffs.
Josef Balej has put up six points while only playing 14 NHL games since being traded, and Bruce Graham (the player the Rangers selected in 2004) hasn’t played a single minute in the NHL. That's a 221-point difference in favor of Bob Gainey.
Now, Alex Tanguay—formerly of the Calgary Flames—is a Montreal Canadien.
He is a skilled player, speedy, and French Canadian—the perfect fit for the Canadiens. Tanguay is what the standard Quebecois Habs fans have been asking for since Gainey inherited the throne in Montreal.
With the Habs having so much young depth on the team and in the AHL, it was an easy decision for Gainey to give up his first-round selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
With that 25th slot in this year’s draft, the Flames selected Windsor Spitfires Center Joel Gistedt, the 22nd-ranked North American skater. He put up 67 points in 68 games this season in the OHL.
It is expected Joel will take a few years to work his way up to the NHL, and even then, he will be a second-liner at best.
Even though the Canadiens also gave up their second-round pick next year, they still have one more from Washington, from the trade that sent Cristobal Huet to the Caps on deadline day.
This is two steals for Gainey—and none for the 29 other GMs in the NHL—since his highness arrived in "La Belle Province."
Lets see if he can get another check in the win column before the season starts in 2009.