As we near
closer to the deadline, Bob Gainey has already made a couple moves of
significance. The latest of these moves was to trade heart and soul energy
player Steve Begin to Dallas for defenseman Doug Janik, who was promptly sent to
the farm to play in Hamilton. The day after the Begin/Janik transaction,
Gainey’s claim of Glen Metropolit off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers
proved to be the winning one. Unfortunately, ever since the news of Metropolit
being claimed by the Habs, some fans of the Montreal Canadiens have had the gall
to suggest that Gainey shouldn’t have “traded” a Francophone for an Anglophone.
ridiculous is to call Steve Begin and Glen Metropolit similar players. It is
even more ridiculous to accuse Bob Gainey of dropping a Francophone to pick up
an Anglophone. The only similarity between Begin and Metropolit is that they
both play in a checking line role. How they play that role is entirely
different. We all know Steve Begin as a rampant, physical, energy player. As for
Glen… well, some may mistake his last two seasons playing for the Bruins and the
Flyers as a symbol of toughness. What he does bring to the Canadiens in
comparison to Begin is more points, less penalties, and a right handed shot.
With that in mind, it can be said without question that when determining what
his team needs in the middle of a playoff chase, the last thing Bob Gainey was
thinking about was the nationality Glen Metropolit. What Gainey was thinking
about was adding a right handed centerman, as he had stated to the media even
before dealing Steve Begin.
With the Canadiens fighting for a playoff spot, it’s time for all
fans to look at team transactions based on attributes that matter to a hockey
game, and not to a hockey fan. In the case of this trade, the attribute that
matters is laterality, not nationality.