Sunday, June 17, 2007

Samsanov ships out

He said he didn’t think he wanted to play for Montreal anymore and on Saturday the Bob Gainey and the Canadiens management made his wishes come true.

Sergei Samsanov, the enigmatic Muscovite and less than enthusiastic habitant was sent to Chicago for defenceman Jassen Cullimore and forward Tony Salmelainen.

It makes for an interesting addition on the back end, that could provide some insurance when it comes to pending free agent Sheldon Souray and his decisions to be made over the weeks to come.

As for Samsanov, it’s doubtful they’ll hold much of a going away party for him in Montreal. With but nine goals and 17 assists in 63 games, and a healthy scratch in 18 games including the final 13 of the season, Samsanov become better known for being a distraction than a goal scorer. He picked the unusual time of the late season drive for a playoff spot, to wonder out loud if perhaps he had made a mistake when he joined the Habs at the start of the season. An outburst that probably reduced his trade bait potential at the time but surely sealed his fate in the rouge, blanc and bleu.

With the benefit of time and an approaching draft on Friday, Montreal finally were able to close the chapter on the Samsanov experiment.

Black Hawk GM spoke the words that he hopes might reassure the few remaining fans of the Chi Hawks these days, a group that must be getting beyond frustration with the stumbling, bumbling ways of their franchise, said Tallon of the Samsanov acquisition, “We believe Sergei can rebound and give us a spark on the power play and offensively as well as improve our overall skill level,” probably can’t hurt what has been a woeful squad of late, but will Samsanov’s baggage continue to haunt him in yet another NHL city.

That will be up to time to tell, but it won’t be something that Bob Gainey has to worry about. As they say in the mob movies, he just removed the stone in his shoe. And sold the stone to another organization.

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