Friday, February 27, 2009

So Long Stevie

We'll miss you!

I guess.

Hard to explain this trade, except that Begin was a UFA next year, and probably not going to be resigned. So Gainey "got what he could" for him I suppose, and did Dallas (his old club) a favour. I have no vision into what Doug Janik brings to the table... the Canadiens have lots of Defencemen. Maybe he is going to leverage Gorges or O'Byrne for something.

I always liked Begin's heart; he was a dedicated player for many years. Huge on the penalty kill, heart of stone, and unfortunately hands to match. I still remember when he out-raced the Leafs defence to the puck, short handed, and then deked a sprawling Belfour who was WAY out of his net... only to hit the post on the empty cage. That pretty much sums up Begin for me. I was a big fan, but knew he wasn't ever going to be a big goal scorer.

And then in the last cople years, this year included, it seemed as though Steve had lost a step. He was no longer the hungry forward he once was, he stopped winning those battles and blocking shots and really kinda disappeared into the background. Maybe being unsigned kind of took the wind out of his sail.

Anyhow, I'll miss the Steve Begin of old, and wish him all the best in Dallas. With Tangauy coming back, it ensures that D'Agnostini and Pacioretty can stay up.

As for Dandenault, I will be much sadder to see him go. Another awesome team player, accepting any role he was given. He was definitely one of the heart-and-soul players, giving everything he had on his shifts. He was trying to lead by example and get the team out of its slump on that horrendous road trip. I think his playoff experience is very desirable as well; it helped them in game 7 v. Boston last year, to be sure.

I know he was largely marginalised by Schneider coming on, and Gainey has almost too much depth on D. But whereas Begin kinda faded for me, Dandenault seemed to step up.

Maybe Bob is just doing another favour for a hard working player he has no intention of re-signing, but personally I feel better with Dandenault on the team than off. I guess we'll see what we get for him.

Update: Dandenault continues to be a positive team player. What a great attitude! I hope we keep him.

images courtesy of CBC and

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