Last Smurf Standing, Next to Go?
Brian Gionta is the last of the dubbed three little smurfs which were signed by then Montreal Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey. Will Gionta be the next Hab to go this season?
A few days ago GM Marc Bergevin traded Erik Cole and his remaining eight million for two more years salary to the Dallas Stars for forward Michael Ryder. The move was in my opinion a cap flexability move both for this year and next as the Habs save $500, 000 in salary, $one million on the cap this year and are free of Ryder next season. Cole was not playing well and the talks of him possibly hanging up his skates after the current season disturbed a few people.
Gionta does have four goals and five assists for nine points in 20 games so far, but is not playing well when facing bigger teams.
With twitterverse blowing up after the Cole trade saying “Gionta next!”, one would think the fans would gladly appreciate Captain Gio to go, sooner rather than later. However, one would need someone acceptable in return as Gionta may be small in stature, but can still produce 20-30 goals in a regular season barring injury.
With the fast development of Brendan Gallagher, it would seem as though Gionta might be expendable now, afterall, how many small forwards do the Habs need?
Gionta has playoff experience which Gallagher does not, but trading Gionta would give Bergevin another $five million off the cap for next season in which to add to the 4.5 million which was left by trading Cole.
If the Habs are to get bigger and have Gallagher quickly showing he’s ready for the NHL despite his size, one would think that Gionta would be next on the list.
Marc Bergevin will have to think this one through if it is to happen, as I mentioned above, the need for scoring will have to be dealt with along with increase in size.
Last smurf standing from the three little smurfs, but for how long?
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