For me, this is the trade that should have been the original Danny Kristo trade, one where you trade something you have a lot of for something else that you're short of, that you need. In the Danny Kristo deal, we traded a slender offensively-inclined forward, for another offensively-inclined forward of smaller stature. That left me perplexed at the time.
In trading Christian Thomas for Lucas Lessio, we unload a small shifty scorer, of which we have plenty in the system, for a left winger who's got some size and decent hands, but also some wheels, which will allow him to play the Canadiens' game. This is a trade that I can give thumbs up to, trading our surplus to shore up an area of need.
Practically, we'd seen what Christian Thomas could do, with two stints in the NHL. He would have needed to progress much more than he did to hope for an NHL career. He might bloom late, but we couldn't wait.
As far as the late-night party video, I won't discount that it had an effect. Some comment that he's a young man and is allowed to go out and party like anyone else. Jacques Demers said as much on L'Antichambre a few nights back, he was blaming those who put up that video on the web for breaching his privacy.
That may be the case, that Christian can make acquaintances in the bar and further that acquaintance after hours as much as any welder or financial analyst his age, but it ignores the current reality of the NHL, of Montréal, of smartphones and social media. I'm sure the guys get lots of training and warnings in these areas. If you want to party like a plebe and be unrecognized, be a welder.
But if you want to be an NHL star now, and make the big bucks, you'll get the spotlight on you. That's the name of the game. Ask Julian Edelman.
So NHL'ers nowadays may not live the Hugh Hefner lifestyle they thought they'd be entitled to, they may have to take more precautions than they'd like, but they can't refuse to accept their situation. You can't be partying with a group of strangers in full confidence.
And yes, Nathan got a pass because he's more talented, and more valuable. That's also a pro sports reality.