Is that a knife in my back, or are you just happy to leave me? And by me, I mean us...and by us I mean Habs fans.
As much as the loss of Komisarek from the Canadiens lineup is hard to swallow, the way in which it was done makes it all the more painful. Now that the details are coming out, it is looking like Komisarek went to Toronto for a measley 2.5 million more than the Habs were offering. Komisarek got a 5 year 22.5 million dollar deal from Toronto and it looks like Montreal was offering a 5 year 20 million dollar deal. 2.5 million dollars apart? Really? Is that all you left over?
From what Gainey said in his press conference, last night, it seems that he made an offer to Komisarek and never received a counter off. I imagine that Komisarek wanted to see what else was out there and what other offers he would get, but for a guy who seemingly 'loved' Montreal - the team, fans and organization in general - he sure made for the exit over a pretty small amount of money.
Komisarek is the guy that was being groomed to become the future captain of the Canadiens. By all accounts, he was universally liked by all of his teammates, management and ownership. They (Guy Carbonneau) even had him standing behind the bench, when he was injured, looking like an assistant coach. By everything that Komisarek was saying - all of it looking like lips service now - he loved this city and team and wanted to stay. But just like Sheldon Souray before him - he also said that he wanted to stay before bolting to Edmonton - Komisarek headed for the exit the first chance he had.
Now, I never expected that he would re-sign with the Habs. I always thought that he would head for one of the New York based teams. But to learn that he signed with our arch-rival Leafs for a negligibly small dollar difference, is very painful for me and most of the legions of Habs fans.
Komisarek's decision is a slap in the face. A knife in the back. A good friend kissing you on one cheek and slapping you on the other. Now, to add insult to injury, we are going to have to match up against Komi 6 times a year. 6 times per year, we are going to have to watch him bashing around our newly acquired, highly skilled, diminutive, forwards.
Its just gross. It makes me feel sick. Again, this is nothing against Toronto, it is more about the principle. However, if you want to talk about flawed principles, then I suppose we have to go back to Gainey's flawed (in my opinion) principle of not negotiating with free agents during the season. I get Gainey's logic. He wants his players to play hungry. The problem is that I think there were too many free agents, and Bob knew all along that he wanted Komisarek to remain a Hab. He should have, again in my opinion, been working to sign Komisarek in January. Komisarek should never have been able to go to market.
It seems the the Habs, up and down, are now an example of gambles that Gainey has and is taking. It seems like a bit of a 'hail mary'. If this thing goes off the rails, if there is no chemistry between Gomez, Gionta and Cammalleri, this Hal Gill proves to be as slow a skater as we all think, then the next season could get ugly REAL fast.
Somehow, I imagine that the Habs won't be terrible next year, but rather middle to bottom of the pack, kind of the way they were this year. But who knows. This is a Forrest Gump team......you never know what you're gonna get!
There is some good that come from Komisarek's choice, and that is that it will add that much more to the already furious rivalry between Montreal and Toronto. Imagine the cough, cough, warm welcome that Komisarek will get the first time he steps foot onto the Bell Center ice, weaing the enemy's jersey! The shock waves will echo all the way back to his new home in Toronto.
At the end of the day Komisarek was a free agent and had earned the right to go to any team he wanted to...and he did. I just can't get over the fact that going to Toronto for 2.5 million extra means that he never had any intention of signing with Montreal. All the platitudes he spewed about loving the city and fans, and wanting to be here were seemingly false. It feels like Komi betrayed the Habs faithful. It feels like we were lied to. It feels like our GM let us down. The whole thing just leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.
Good luck Komi. I hope you enjoy missing the playoffs for a few years.