Bob Gainey Will Not Be Influenced By A Protest
Total Pro Sports – The fans have spoken, but Bob Gainey is not about to listen to them.
Montreal Canadiens supporters staged a protest yesterday outside the Bell Centre in hopes of convincing the teams General Manager to re-sign their beloved free agent winger Alexei Kovalev. About 100 fans paraded around the building and chanted “Ko-Vy”, but the plan did not work.
Gainey spoke with the radio station CJAD today stating that Kovalev is not in the teams plans. Gainey said that they had given the Russian winger and offer last week, but his response came too late as the Habs picked up another valued free-agent who was willing to join the team. As a result, the money which was intended for Kovalev was no longer avaliable.
Last week, the Canadiens made several big moves in the days leading up to, and at the beginning of free agency. They first aquired forward Scott Gomez in a trade with the New York Rangers, then signed the likes of Mike Cammalleri, Brian Gionta, Hal Gill, and Jaroslav Spacek. The team now finds themselves roughly $9 million under the cap with four restricted free agents left to sign.
It is anyone’s guess at this point how the team will fair next season after undergoing a hefty makeover so far this summer. Along with the signings, the team has seen the likes of Saku Koivu, Alex Tanguay, Mike Komisarek, Robert Lang, and Chris Higgins depart, along with Kovalev.
The financial situation the Habs find themselves in may not allow them to resign the likes of Kovalev, Lang, or Tanguay, but don’t expect the die-hard fans of Montreal to accept such an explanation anytime soon.
Here is a taste of the fan protest outside the Bell Centre yesterday afternoon.