In his first taste of trade deadline day as Habs GM, Pierre Gauthier did exactly what he set out to do when he rolled out of bed this morning—continue building on his team’s chemistry.
“We wanted to add a veteran presence and we did that by acquiring Dominic Moore before the Olympic break, but keeping our nucleus together was our top priority,” affirmed Gauthier via conference call from his hotel in Boston. “We didn’t want to make too many changes and our plan was to keep our team intact.
“We have so many new faces on the team this year and we’ve yet to really have everyone in the lineup at the same time due to injury. We’re looking forward to seeing what this group can do when they are all back healthy and in the lineup.”
Teams jockeying for the last three playoff spots in the East all opted not to take part in the deadline day festivities, with the Bruins, Thrashers, Panthers, Rangers, Lightning, Flyers and Islanders all deciding to not pull the trigger on any major moves. Postseason berths will instead come down to which teams did the right thing by not making any trades on Wednesday.
“I wasn’t surprised to see so few trades happen today,” said Gauthier. “Things are so tight in the playoff races in conferences that there are far more buyers than sellers out there. This was a direct result of that.”
With much of the Canadiens trade buzz centering around the Habs’ goalie tandem of Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak, both remain on the roster and that suits Gauthier just fine.
“These two young goalies are very good and are a very strong part of our team this year,” reiterated Gauthier who praised both netminders the day he was named Habs GM early last month. “Our best chance to make the playoffs is to keep both goaltenders and that’s what we did.”
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com
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