Montreal Canadiens: Bob Gainey to Activate Plan B?

Dominic PampalonAnalyst IJuly 10, 2008

In a previous article, I raised the possibility of Bob Gainey signing Brendan Shanahan. I might have overlooked a player who, for some reason, just disappeared from the rumor chart after July 1.

This rumor was quite alive in Montreal during the last season—and especially in the last few days before the trade deadline.

Many people wonder "what if Gainey is unable to land Sundin?" There is about $8 million of cap space for Montreal to offer to the caught-in-limbo Swede. There would be no problem for the Montreal GM to make any needed moves, or send guys to the AHL, to free up the missing $2 million needed to match Vancouver's offer.

But should Mats Sundin decide to go elsewhere, what then?

Well, it is obvious that there is a plan in place. It appears it would have something to do with the often-rumored Patrick Marleau. Naturally, Marleau would have to waive his NTC—but it rumors are that he may seriously consider Montreal as his next destination should the deal details be right for him.

Another contingency may be Anaheim defense-man Mathieu Schneider. Markov is a great D, but Mark Streit is in Long Island—and no one can score the way he scored form the point on the power play.

Will the Canadiens be as strong as last year on the power play without Streit? We can argue that until the next coming of Jesus. Montreal fans were worried when Souray left for Edmonton, but it turned out that the only reason why we remember Sheldon is because Hamrlik wears his number.

Bringing Schneider might just put a placebo on the void left by Streit departure. Schneider is an aging player—and the main question is if he will be able to take the pressure on and off the ice.