Mathieu Schneider left the Canadiens in 1995 under cloudy circumstances. Rumours of a fight with Patrick Roy still exist. However, what's not in question is that Schneider went on to have many productive years, an all-star American defenceman who could run a power play well and won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007. He went from a rookie in Montreal, learning under the tutelage of Chris Chelios, to a veteran in Atlanta, mentoring the young Zach Bogosian.
Today, there are two Canadiens defencemen left in the NHL from the 1993 Stanley Cup winner, Patrice Brisebois and Mr. Schenider. And they're both back where they belong. Montreal sends Anaheim's 2nd round pick in 2009 (which they previously acquired), along with Montreal's 3rd round pick in 2010, for Schneider and a conditional pick. The conditional pick is dependent on how deep Montreal goes in the playoffs. It can be as high as this year's 3rd if they don't win a round.
What does this mean? Well, it means Montreal's top four looks a lot better, as Schneider slides in to run a power play that has been ineffective at best all year long. It also means GM Bob Gainey is working the phones trying to get things done. It also means that the Habs have made a preemptive strike against other teams in the Eastern Conference fight for talent at the trade deadline.
And it also means that cap space is running thin.
Bob McKenzie of TSN is reporting that the Phoenix Coyotes are "upset" with the Canadiens, as Phoenix believed they essentially had a deal with the Habs. Who knows what that deal is - perhaps Bob wouldn't allow them to keep pushing for more? One thing is clear: McKenzie says we should expect more trades from Mr. Gainey before deadline day.