Bob Gainey pulled off a shocker today folks. Brace yourself for this one, because Radek Bonk is coming to Montreal. The big, 6’3 220 pound forward comes our way, along with French netminder Cristobal Huet from LA in exchange for Mathieu Garon and a 3rd round pick, 95th overall.
Along with Kyle Chipchura, the Habs have added a ton of size at centre today, something Bob Gainey set out to do. It came at a cost, though.
Garon was a very good netminder and gave the Habs an exceptional backup to Jose Theodore. However, the 28-year-old Bonk has the skills to offset the loss of such a talented goalie.
Bonk, in his 10th season at 28 years of age, has often been knocked for his lack of physical play and inconsistency come playoff time.
He carries with him a 3.5 million dollar price tag, a figure which the Habs must qualify in order to retain his rights. Although, don’t rule out Gainey trying to rework his contract, considering that is a lot of cash for a player that put up just 44 points while playing in 66 games.
Bonk is a two time All-Star, but nonetheless this move is a total shocker. The implications could be huge. What becomes of Mike Ribeiro? It’s possible Bonk could move to the wing, but that more or less goes against the whole idea of acquiring a big centreman. However, he could also move into the third line centre role, seeing as Jim Dowd will be testing the free agent market and Joe Juneau is out of the business for good
Does this mean, for sure, that Alex Kovalev won’t be back? It would be a shame to lose him.
Huet, the other piece of the deal, is a native of France. The 28-year-old had a weak season in 03-04 after a strong campaign in 02-03 which had people thinking he was on his way to becoming a number one in Los Angeles.
Speaking of number one goaltenders, you have to feel happy for a guy like Garon who will finally get the chance to have that opportunity. With Theodore clearly the man of choice in Montreal, the talented Garon will be given the ball and told to run with it on a very talented young team in the Kings.
You have to wish the best for a class act like Garon who did all that was asked of him in a quiet, professional manner.