Fans will love new Habs goalie

MARTIN BRODEUR -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

I guess that many Montreal Canadiens fans were shaken last week by the departure of Jose Theodore at the NHL trade deadline.

But if it's true that the Canadiens have just lost an excellent goaltender, it's also true they got one back in David Aebischer.

Montrealers are going to love him. Aebischer is capable of big performances when he's on his game. That was obvious during the Winter Olympics at Turin when he backstopped the Swiss to a 3-2 win over the Czechs, making 40 saves.

I'm of the opinion that this deal will be profitable as much for the Canadiens as for the Colorado Avalanche.

The biggest surprise to me wasn't the Theodore-Aebischer trade, but rather the fact that Canadiens management didn't take advantage of any money saved in salaries to go for the reinforcements they are going to need in the coming weeks.

I really believe that general manager Bob Gainey was prepared to make a big move before the trade deadline, but maybe he prefers to wait until the off-season to make further moves.

Getting back to Theodore, I don't know too much on why the Canadiens management decided to deal him. But you have to believe that events off the ice as much as his heel injury dealt a blow to his trade value.

Colorado GM Pierre Lacroix is hoping that Theodore will repeat the exploits of another Canadiens goaltender dealt to Denver: Patrick Roy in December, 1995. I understand why he's talking that way, but you have to understand that Roy and Theodore represent very different cases.

Patrick came along in Denver after two Stanley Cup wins with the Canadiens. Jose had some success with le Tricolore, but he had, after all, only one big season. That was in 2001-02, when he won both the Vezina and Hart trophies.

I'm convinced that Theodore will succeed with the Avalanche, once he's had the chance to adapt to the style of game which is different in the West. The first few weeks are bound to be difficult for Jose.

However, he quickly will learn that happiness exists somewhere else than Montreal. For that he has only to speak to Patrice Brisebois!

It's going to be strange to play the Canadiens without Theodore. It was always a good challenge to measure up to him. Aebischer and Cristobal Huet speak French well, but they are not Quebeckers. It won't be the same.

Several teams made big deals before the trade deadline and I am very happy that my team, the New Jersey Devils, picked up two veteran defencemen in Brad Lukowich and Ken Klee, in addition to a good defensive forward in Jason Wiemer. That gives us depth in an important position.

In closing, I wish to pass on my most sincere condolences to the family of Bernard Geoffrion, who died Saturday of cancer, just hours before his No. 5 was retired by the Canadiens.

This sudden death sadly deprived Geoffrion of an evening which would have been magic for him.


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