A trade made by Bob Gainey continues to pay off big today for the Montreal Canadiens

Published March 18, 2022 at 12:27

For many Canadiens fans, Bob Gainey's time as general manager between 2003 and 2010 does not always bring back fond memories.

The team's disastrous centennial season in 2008-09 and a few questionable trades come to mind, with Mike Ribeiro's trade for Janne Niinimaa often topping the list.

But when it comes to thinking about Gainey's best moves, one in particular comes to mind, and as unbelievable as it sounds, that personnel move is still paying off for the organization, even 15 years later.

As reported by my colleague Christian Matte of Marqueur.com, the Habs made a trade on Feb. 25, 2007, when veteran defenseman Craig Rivet headed to San Jose in return for young back Josh Gorges, along with a first-round pick in 2007.

Rivet, who became a free agent at the end of that year, did not have a very good relationship with head coach Guy Carbonneau, and was even passed over by him. But his veteran status still made him valuable on the trade market and Gainey didn't hesitate to send him to the Sharks.

In the end, Gainey got the upper hand with this trade, as Josh Gorges became a defensive pillar for the Habs for several seasons and with the first pick, the CH chose a certain Max Pacioretty.

As for Rivet, he had some success in San Jose, where he had 35 points in 74 games in 2007-08, but after that, he was a shadow of his former self and after the 2010-11 season, he was never seen in the NHL again. The following season, Pacioretty had his first of five 30+ goal seasons with the Habs.

But why does this deal still pay off in 2022?

Well, Pacioretty was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights in September 2018 in return for Tomas Tatar, a 2nd round pick and a certain Nick Suzuki.

The latter is on his way to establishing himself as the organization's long-awaited true first center for so many years and may also be the team's future captain.

We should also not forget that Tomas Tatar has been a great asset to the Habs in three seasons, completing one of the most consistent trios in Montreal in recent years with Phillip Danault and Brendan Gallagher.

And as Brian Wilde mentioned on his Twitter account, it was as if the Habs had traded Craig Rivet for Nick Suzuki.

Quite a trade!

March 18   |   199 answers
A trade made by Bob Gainey continues to pay off big today for the Montreal Canadiens

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