Because, as usual, as we're all nauseatingly familiar with, the Montreal Canadiens have never traded away a good player who was a good person. Magically, anyone who leaves the organization is a dirtbag who chooses not to play well. Every team pumps up its new arrivals, of course. But it's a uniquely peculiar Montreal institution for interesting, questionably sourced stories—often originating from the bastion of accuracy and independence from institutional commingling and bias, the Francophone hockey press—to show up and help sell it by making the organization look like beleaguered victims in the matter. None of this is changing, though, so whatever.
Domi is a worse player than Galchenyuk. I don't wish ill on the kid but the team is worse off for the trade and I don't see the point in pretending that it might work out wonderfully. All of this "tougher to play against" stuff is of course garbage, as it always is. The hows and whys of not choosing to allow yourself to be deceived by sample sizes and event magnitude are readily available these days. Anyone who chooses to apply the kind of straightforward, day-to-day observations and choices people make by observing simple statistical methods and probability to hockey can stop pretending that this game is somehow more difficult to quantify than medicine or advanced materials engineering. Then, they're empowered to stop being shocked when these kind of players deliver nothing consequential. For the rest, pardon if some of us don't share your surprise. It'll be interesting to see what the excuses are this time. Too many miles on Price? Some pesky lingering talent on the team tragically keeping all that character from soaring majestically? I don't really care anymore. But luckily neither does the front office of the Montreal Canadiens.
This isn't even an innovative way to waste time and screw up hockey operations. Say what you will about Toronto, Edmonton, or some others, but they're at least doing stupid things in a new way for the most part. Speaking of the Oilers: remember the Oilers from ten years ago? They're back! In Hab form. This is a bad team which is also too old. That's a recipe for spinning wheels. There is no "retool" for this anymore. There is no surgical rebuild. We are two seasons overdue for a serious, no-nonsense rebuild. This move is not what a smart front office does in this situation. Based on everything coming out of the organization recently, it will be at least one (if not two!) more seasons until it starts noticing it. Not acting on it, but noticing it. And it will take a minimum of 4 to 6 seasons from that point to get somewhere.