Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Danny Kristo for Christian Thomas: Running to stand still.

So the Canadiens, mere weeks after signing the long-awaited, dare we say recalcitrant Danny Kristo, flip him to the Rangers for Christian Thomas.  Hmmmm....

So we had a skilled, speedy but relatively small (by today's NHL trends) right winger, and decided to trade him for a skilled, speedy but definitely small right winger.  That's not even "quatre trente sous pour une piastre".

To get on my hobby horse again, I would have preferred that we trade him for a bigger, grittier forward, even if he was a more marginal talent, to even out our prospect and forward mix in Hamilton.  Instead, we've gone sugar for brown sugar.  Slightly different flavour, but essentially the same.

Of course, since this is the dawning of the age of Bickell-rius, the odds that a team will give up a big bruising forward for a smaller guy who actually knows how to play hockey and put the puck in the net are slim to none.  Every team will hitch their wagon to the Chicago star, and brood over their big guys for years until they incubate, as Mr. Bickell did after four seasons in the AHL.

The reasons for this trade are obscure, unspoken, but it's easy for aggrieved Canadiens fans to leap to the conclusion that Danny Kristo never wanted to be here in the first place.  His signature on the contract this spring was nothing more than a marriage of convenience, expedient to knock a year off the wait time to arbitration.  We were used, abused, and now feel unclean.

That stinging feeling we're experiencing about the cheeks is because Mr. Kristo was a dark horse candidate to replace Michael Ryder, if not right out of training camp, at some point this season.  He was more mature, we convinced ourselves, after four years in college, and was ready to step up, or very close.  Now we have another guy in Hamilton who made the AHL last season, to go with our own cavalcade of sophomores.  Again, the mix isn't quite optimal in that regard.

I could rant and rave about this trade, and assail Marc Bergevin, but I suspect he's well aware of all these issues, and did the best he could under the circumstances.  It's hard to believe he wasn't under some duress.

Farewell Mr. Kristo, we hardly knew ye.  We'll warm up our pipes and give you a lusty greeting when you first set foot on New Forum ice.

And to Mr. Thomas, welcome, I hope you enjoy the show.


  1. I wouldn't be surprised to find out if Kristo signed with the Habs, rather than become a UFA, was a handshake agreement between him and Bergevin to trade him in the off-season. If MB knowing Kristo had no intention of ever playing for the Habs; he signs him to a PTO for the Bulldogs then trades him in the off-season so the Habs can get at least a prospect out of him rahter than have Kristo walk away as a UFA and the Habs get nothing out of the 2008 Draft. If this was the hand MB was dealt, I think he did ok to get a younger but another small prospect.

    Hence your earlier post in HIO abt passing on William Carrier is even more valid. Yes, Gallagher was a revelation and yes, the Habs drafted McCarron and de la Rose but both players are projects. If you also add Carrier to that mix then the odds of one or two of them panning out increases but yet MB adds another small prospect to the others Timmmons dalready rafted. Its insanity.

    We are watching a re-run of the same movie.

  2. This was a business transaction disguised as a hockey trade.

    Kristo had all the leverage here. He was literally months away from becoming a UFA. So by signing a PTO with the Bulldogs, he got 1yr removed from his Entry-Level deal just for playing 8 games. Now, if he goes out and has a ROY-type year this season with the Rangers; he is looking at negotiating the max on his next RFA bridge-deal and then ultimately 1yr closer to becoming a UFA. Ka-ching!!

    For MB and the Habs; he had a prospect basically giving them the finger. This was straight out of the Justin Schultz playbook. So MB does his best to secure some kind of return from the teams Kristo selected and gets a younger player. MB was not in the best situation to get equal value. Hence all these rumours abt the Habs moving up in the draft and Corbin Knight's tweet. Kristo was part of a package to move up that never materialized. Its too bad because if that did happen; I doubt MB would be receiving alot of the undeserved criticism he is getting.

    My only thoughts now are about a bigger picture concern for a team that likes to draft alot of american college players. A precedent has been set. Fortunately in over 10yrs with Timmins at the helm, this has only happened once.

    So do we push our most recent American collegiate player, McHulk, to play for the London Knights or go via US College route? After gettting Danny Kristo'd we should hope he goes to play for the Hunters.