Реклама в Интернет * Все Кулички
Gainey makes statement with Kovalev deal
By BILL BEACON -- Canadian Press
MONTREAL (CP) -- Bob Gainey believes the Montreal Canadiens remain a rebuilding club but he couldn't pass up the chance to add a skilled player like Alexei Kovalev for this year's playoff run.
The general manager of the Habs says the price was right, and the deal consumed late Tuesday night doesn't deter from the NHL club's long-term plans.
"We're certainly a team that has started the season and continue with the idea that we're developing younger players," Gainey said Wednesday at a news conference at the Bell Centre. "But we had the assets to satisfy the Rangers to make this deal.
"This team has shown the resiliency to stay in the fight. We're feeling more comfortable that we're in the mix."
The Habs have surprised this season by remaining in a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference thanks in large part to breakthrough performances from young centre Mike Ribeiro, defenceman Sheldon Souray and rookie winger Michael Ryder.
Gainey was able to add a major offensive force in Kovalev without giving up a player on his NHL roster. The Habs gave up prospect Josef Balej and a 2004 second-round pick.
"We have a bit of surplus (of prospects)," Gainey said, when asked about being able to give up Balej.
Kovalev was on his way to San Jose on Wednesday, where the Canadiens kicked off a Western road trip later that night.
"They've added a lot of talent to our team. It means they must think we're ready to take the next step," Habs captain Saku Koivu told TSN in San Jose.
Kovalev, 32, is earning $6.6 million US this year and will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, so his stay in Montreal may be short.
"The player has a contract until the end of the season," Gainey said. "We have other players with contracts until the end of the season. At the end of the season, we'll evaluate what do to.
"Rental or not rental, we're renting everybody for a period of
time, aren't we?"
Страничка Алексея Ковалёва на
сайте "Звёзды с Востока"
Алексей Ковалев: Мы раскрылись, как в боксе -
Алексей Ковалев: Мы раскрылись, как в боксе - "Советский Спорт"