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Just when we thought the month from hell was almost over, this final week of February (which will go down in the record-books as one of the worst months in recent Habs’ history) has brought even more upset.
First, Georges Laraque complained to the media that he hadn’t been used in enough games. Not only was this an inconsiderate thing to do in terms of being a team player, but way to get on Carbo’s bad side Georges! Someone needs to tell him the story of sorry Sergei Samsonov: the player who blabbed to the media and was never seen in a Canadiens’ uniform again. Not that I’d mind if Georges wasn’t playing in a Canadiens’ uniform. I have nothing against him personally, in fact, he usually seems like a nice guy, but I find that he doesn’t really have a role on the team. Gainey got him for toughness, but I can’t even recall one time when he stood up for a teammate (unless you include the voluntary hook he made on Bouillon’s behalf a couple of games back, you know, the one that led to the other team getting a powerplay goal? Well you get the picture…). He doesn’t fight unless someone from the other team willingly consents, and who in their right mind would agree to fight him? All this would be okay, if his salary were not more than, for example, Jaroslav Halak and Maxim Lapierre’s combined!!!!!! He wants to play more, but he is not useful hockey-wise, and doesn’t add much on the toughness side of things (especially considering that Greg Stewart is now playing and can definitely hold his own, as seen by the fight the other night with Shane O’Brien). But unfortunately, he will be in uniform Friday night, and he has disclosed to the media that he has a no-trade clause (what were you thinking Gainey?!), so I guess he’s safe. For now.
Next came the wonderful news, that in the wake of the Kostitsyns and Hamrlik’s link to a drug dealer that the whole team was tested Monday, and if anyone is found abusing any substance, they’d get a 20-game suspension. I’m not saying that this isn’t necessary (it definitely is in pro sports), in fact, I think that IF all the players are clean it will clear the air a little bit with the media, but this extra media attention, on something that probably would have gone unnoticed if it weren’t in this absolutely dreadful month, is a bit unnecessary.
Then came the announcement that Steve Bégin was traded. I feel quite bittersweet about this. I’m so sad to lose him. He is a member the Tom Kostopoulos school of work ethic, and I’d so much rather have him on the ice than Laraque, but seeing as we probably wouldn’t have been able to resign him at the end of the season, and that he wouldn’t be able to play many games because of all the young players coming up, like Stewart, I feel like he’ll have a much better opportunity in Dallas (I can just see the smiles when he and Ribeiro reunite!). He will definitely be missed… especially in the locker room. He was always one to give tons of his time to the media, and was always smiling, with that little twinkle in his eye.
Oh and then came this wonderful tidbit: Doug Janik (who we received in return for Stevey B.) had to be put on waivers to go down to Hamilton! So there is a chance that we will get NOTHING! And while this seems unlikely… it’s still February, which means that anything horrible that can happen to the Habs usually does! (On a side note, this actually did happen recently, when the Islanders asked Wade Dubielewicz to come back to the NHL from the KHL (since their number 1 and 2 goalies were injured) only to have him snatched up by the Blue Jackets since he had to be put on waivers… which is kind of sad, since not only did he come all the way from Russia to play with them, but they were also (standings-wise) the worst team in the league… so it was a little bit scheming on the part of the Blue Jackets, but enough said).
Then, TSN reported that Dandenault had “politely” asked for a trade. Is it just me, or did these past few weeks seem endless? It’s one scandal after another…
I’m not sure what tomorrow or Saturday will bring (though I’m at least hoping for 2 wins!), but all I can say is that come Sunday it will no longer be February, and hopefully the team and the fans can finally put this atrocious month behind them, where it belongs.