Montreal - Two years ago, Bob Gainey tried to sign Brendan Shanahan. No effort was spared to unroll the red carpet for him. But all efforts were vain when Shanahan took a ticket to New York (Rangers).
Can Gainey give Shanahan a second chance to play for the greatest franchise in NHL history? Since July 1st, the New York Rangers winger is an unrestricted free agent. Now, he is two years older and the need of a player like him will obviously bring the Canadiens team to the next level.
This year, Montreal started to show the surface of their potential. The playoff loss to the Flyers showed a team lacking in tenacity and grit but on a positive note, young players gained valuable experience for the next seasons. Brendan Shanahan should bring all that to the Canadiens.
We all know that Shanahan is aging and will turn forty next season, but in many ways, adding Shanahan to the Canadiens roster can only be beneficial to the organization.
Gainey could easily offer Shanahan a 1-year contract with a 1-year option at a base salary of 2.5M$ (salary he earned with the Rangers last season) with performance bonuses. Once signed, place Shanahan next to Koivu and Higgins. That would give two solid front lines for the team.
Brendan could bring so much leadership size and toughness, things the Montreal Canadiens was lacking in the passed couple of years. One of the major aspects of the game, which Montreal showed weakness, was to send a player to pay the price in front of the opposing net.
Shanahan demonstrated many times that he is not afraid to get into traffic. He would also bring his well-known power play abilities and can easily notch 25-30 goals per season.
He could also act as a great mentor for the rising young players.
Shanahan has absolutely NOTHING to lose in signing in Montreal. Centennial year, the signing of Tanguay and Laraque, the team being a major Stanley cup contender, and everybody know that he loves Montreal. I think Brendan should seriously think about it.
If Mats Sundin can just come out and tell everyone if he will return to the game next season so Gainey can move on to plan B: Brendan Shanahan!