The Upper Canadien
by The Upper Canadien on 10/05/11 at 04:00 PM ET
As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the Canadiens nabbed Blair Betts off the waiver wire. And for the first time in a long time, I can say without any hesitation that this is a great move.
That’s right: the acquisition of a fourth line centre for the Habs was a great move. Why?
As you may recall from my post just days ago, in my opinion the Habs glaring weakness was the fourth line. They simply lacked the big, solid bodies that other winning teams have to check the opposition. Blair Betts helps fix that problem. Betts is 6’3’‘, 210 pounds of solid, defensive ability. He helped anchor a very successful New York Rangers penalty kill a few years ago (under the tutelage of Habs current assistant Perry Pearn) and was used regularly in a defensive capacity with Philadelphia. Betts and Travis Moen give the Habs two mean, checking bodies. They haven’t had this kind of size on the fourth line - and don’t give me Georges Laraque, because he couldn’t really skate - in years. Such players are especially important in a system such as Jacques Martin’s.
Kudos to Pierre Gauthier. The Habs GM went out and filled the exact hole I felt needed to be filled. Sure, Erik Cole was a big, scoring forward, but the question there was salary. Betts makes $700,000. Can’t go wrong with that.
In adding Betts, the Canadiens are now able to send down the underwhelming Andreas Engvist. Aaron Palushaj and Jeff Woywitka also head down to Hamilton, who suddenly have a lot more depth.
The Canadiens kick off their 2011-2012 season tomorrow versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. Betts is expected to be in the lineup.
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The Upper Canadien is your one stop shop for all things Montreal Canadiens. Since the summer of 2010, I've been providing Habs related news, notes, and most importantly, opinions. As a blogger, I don't believe it's my job to report the news, it's my privilege to comment on it. You may disagree with what I suggest. In fact, you most likely will. But that's the great part about blogging: it spurs opinion, comment and engages all involved. I've really enjoyed all the debate and commentary from readers thus far and I encourage everyone to respond with ideas on lineups, trades, logos, sweaters, mascots, whatever. The Upper Canadien is a conversation for all hockey fanatics.
I've come to Kukla's Korner with four years of campus radio and three years of sportswriting from my time at Mount Allison University on Canada's East coast. Not only do I not have any professional journalistic training, after five years in the corporate world, I've spent much of the past two years completing an MBA. Business by day, hockey by night, I'm a Canadiens fan through and through. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing.
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