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Former Habs GM Gainey opens up about Gomez trade

Is he ready to admit he made a mistake?

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Height years ago, Bob Gainey went all-in on a trade many Montreal Canadiens fans still think of it as one of the worst in franchise history. He traded prospect Ryan McDonagh, Chris Higgins, Doug Janik and Pavel Valenteko to the New York Rangers for Scott Gomez, Michael Busto and Tom Pyatt. At the time, that trade seemed to work well for the team who was celebrating their 100th anniversary. Well, at least for the first season. Gainey had just hired Jacques Martin to replace Guy Carbonneau, after he had been fired with 16 games remaining in the season, and with a more than acceptable record of 35-24-0-7.

The team needed to do something, after the decision was made not to re-sign Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev (you reminder the street protest, right?) Robert Lang and Alex Tanguay. Gainey needed a first center (seems familiar), and at the time McDonagh was still a prospect. After the Gomez trade, Gainey was able to sign free agents Brian Gionta and Michael Cammaleri, and many still think that without Gomez, these signings would have never happened. The first season went okay for Montreal, they managed to make the playoffs, and thanks to Jaroslav Halak, they eliminated both powerhouses Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins to reach the Eastern Conference Final. They eventually lost to the Philadelphia Flyers, but that unexpected playoff ride make the fans feel good. Gomez did pretty well in his first season in Montreal, registering 59 points in 78 games, and added 14 points in 19 playoff games. The next two seasons turned out to be catastrophic.

In 2010-2011, Scott Gomez scored seven goals, added 31 assists for a point total of 38. Not bad, but not good enough for a guy payed $7.4 million dollars per season. The next season (2011-2012), things became pretty ugly for Gomez. He scored only two goals, added nine assists for only 11 points in 38 games. Fans were making polls on how many games he would need to score his first goal of the season (he went on a one year goal drought). His contract was bought out by Marc Bergevin, who replaced Gainey during that summer.

Ryan McDonagh, a defenseman who was drafted 12th overall by Montreal in 2007, played his first full season with the Rangers in 2011-2012, and he did well, registering 32 points in 82 games. In 467 games with them, he registered 212 points, and he has an overall +\- rating of +134. He was named the team captain October 6th 2014.

« We went all in and we lost » Gainey said to « La Presse » columnist Mathias Brunet, as he was attending the book launch of longtime sports writter Bertrand Raymond in Montreal yesterday. We tend to agree with him.

Gainey joined the Dallas Stars organisation in 2012. Since 2014, he his completely out of the hockey world.