A lot of posts are flying around right now about making moves for the present versus building for the future. I think the problem that some people have is they must realize that there is a definate grey area in this future/now mix.
I really believe that Bob Gainey's #1 priority right now is to see this current team get into the playoffs (and hopefully do some damage in the playoffs) but he also knows that there is a long term goal that he doesn't want to waiver too far off of. It's a case of one eye on the here and now and one eye on the future with the grey area being the area where the two eyes meet.
If Gainey could pull off a trade where we landed 2 'right now' very good players I'm sure he would part with some prospects and/or youth. Or if he could land a good 'right now' player that might be with our club for 3-4 years. But to land one decent 'right now' player for a short period of time and to part with a chunk of our future doesn't make sense. It doesn't balance.
Every team in the league has a different balance right now. Some like Toronto, Philly, Ottawa etc have they balance all the way to the here and now while teams like Pitt, Washington, Chicago etc have the balance all the way to the future side. We (the habs) land somewhere in the middle, imo, a little more towards the future side. That doesn't mean Gainey is not at all interested in hear and now trades or totally against trading any prospects but when competing with the total here and now teams for certain players you are going to find that in most cases the trade made wouldn't make sense as far as our balance goes. I think a good case of this was the rumored Nolan to Montreal talks last year. Andre Savard could justify the trade to a certain point (here and now vs the future), but after the leafs upped the anti he couldn't justify it anymore, but the Leafs could.
I think Bob Gainey will be working the phone alot between now and the trade deadline, and if he makes a trade or not will depend on how it affects us in both the short and long term.
Please remember...sometimes the best trade is the one you DON'T make.
If Gainey can put on his magician's hat and find of great player for cheap that will be with us a long time, of course he'll do it. But good, young players rarely come cheap as there are 29 other teams in the league. It's also a given that BG will be looking at the astonishing number of quality UFA's around this summer and realize that he can do some serious upgrading for free, so any deal he will make will have to be an amazing bargain.
Trouble is, the odds of finding a great bargain are very low, and if BG can't find one he'll be content to sit and wait instead of forcing something he'll regret later.
Making a move, any move, doesn’t necessarily mean the Habs get better. If we want an immediate impact player (i.e. Smyth), it will cost us the future. Trading for a guys like Sean Hill, or Boughner wouldn’t cost us a lot but they’re not going to be the deciding factor that would push us in to the playoffs.
Theo is the one that will decide our fate, and although Souray’s injury is a significant loss, he’s not the be all and end all of the team.