As we kick off the 2016-17 Canadiens hockey campaign, all eyes will be on the Canadiens biggest acquisition this past summer; Shea Weber.
Weber was acquired in a one for one trade with Nashville in exchange for fan favourite PK Subban. The trade is seen as winning it now, despite the fact that oddsmakers have given the Canadiens the 22nd best odds of winning the Stanley Cup.
Immediately following the trade back on June 29, listening to TSN690’s Mitch Melnick, he called it a legacy trade for Habs GM Marc Bergevin, four years into his tenure as Canadiens GM whereby Bergevin will always be defined by this trade.
So I decided to go back in time … past four decades to see the legacy trades of prior Canadiens GMs.
Pierre Gauthier (2010-2012)
In his brief tenure as Habs GM Pierre Gauthier made what was the strangest deal I could remember. He traded Mike Cammalleri to the Calgary Flames, while the Canadiens were playing a game!!! Ordering Cammalleri off the ice after the 2nd period and to wait for the trade call back at the team hotel.
Bob Gainey (2003-2010)
Prior to the 2009 free agency frenzy, Habs acquired Scott Gomez from the NY Rangers in exchange for Chris Higgins (F), Ryan McDonagh (D), Pavel Valentenko (D), and Doug Janik. Obviously McDonagh was the steal in that trade and a throw in for that deal because Gauthier was unimpressed with his college development until then, despite the fact that Gomez was starting to slow down in his career. McDonagh is currently the captain of the NY Rangers. All the players Habs acquired in that trade are no longer in the NHL, and Scott Gomez retired prior to the start of this season.
Andre Savard (2000-2003)
Andre Savard’s biggest trade was in 2001 trading away team leader Trevor Linden to Washington Capitals for Richard Zednik and Jan Bulis. To be fair to Andre Savard, he came in to fix the disaster that Rejean Houle caused prior.
Rejean Houle (1995-2000)
The trade everyone still talks about to this day, and how it set the Canadiens back for a generation, trading away Patrick Roy to the Colorado Avalanche for Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Rucinsky, and Andrei Kovalenko. And to boot, House threw in team captain Mike Keane in the deal too.
Serge Savard (1983-1995)
Although Serge Savard is the last Stanley Cup winning GM in Canadiens franchise history, and although his deals acquiring Kirk Muller, Vincent Damphousse and Brian bellows were instrumental In the 1993 Stanley Cup championship season, it was the trade Savard made in 1990 off season when he traded away Norris trophy winner Chris Chelios to Chicago for Denis Savard. Serge Savard was under pressure to trade Chelios more so for off-ice reasons. However Denis Savard’s career was winding down playing only three seasons with Montreal. Whereas Chelios went on to play for 23 more seasons and win two more Stanley Cups!!!
Irving Grundman (1978-1983)
Irving Grundman’s 5-year tenure as Habs GM did cause a few ripples to be felt especially when he traded away a future Norris trophy winner Rod Langway to the Washington Capitals along with Brian Engblom, Doug Jarvis, Craig Laughlin, for Ryan Walter and Rick Green, who played pivotal roles years later in the 1986 Stanley Cup winning run.