I’m sure all three players are breathing a little easier after receiving the news they will be staying in Montreal for the remainder of the season. I have to admit being a bit surprised that Mikhail Grabovski will be staying the rest of the season as he hasn’t been overly impressive so far this season. It’s obvious that he still needs time to adapt to the NHL game, gel with his line mates and most of all needs to work in practice on his play along the boards where he gets pushed off the puck too easily. There have been some rumblings that Grabovski would not report back to Hamilton if he were demoted and would instead sign with a Russian team in the RSL which might explain why Gainey has made this commitment to keep Grabovski in Montreal.
As far as Price and Chipchura are concerned, they have earned the right to remain with the Canadiens and are starting to play important roles with the Habs. Both players have been solid and will only get better as the season progresses.
It is becoming more and more apparent with Carey Price’s strong play in net that Jaroslav Halak stay in the AHL will be longer than he anticipated which has started rumours of Halak requesting a trade through his agent (neither the Canadiens or Halak have confirmed this situation).
Unless Bob Gainey gets blown away with a great offer that helps the team now, there shouldn’t be a rush to trade Halak who still has great untapped potential and would make a formidable goaltending tandem with Carey Price for years to come. Gainey knows his greatest trade assets will be his two UFAs, Cristobal Huet and Michael Ryder who will be hot commodities when the trading deadline approaches. The Canadiens can’t have another Sheldon Souray situation where their left empty handed with nothing to show for it