Sunday, October 9, 2011
Habs Return Injured Betts to Flyers
The NHL announced this morning that the Montreal Canadiens have returned center Blair Betts to the Philadelphia Flyers as he failed his physical. NHL by-law 11.8 (a) and CBA clause 13.20 (a) allow the league to reverse/cancel a waiver claim if the claimed player is deemed medically unfit to play for his new team. Betts had an undisclosed knee injury which was keeping him out of action.
This is bad news for the Habs who could have really used a player like Betts to center their fourth line. Until/unless another move is made, the job is back to being Andreas Engqvist's, despite his unimpressive play.
As we reported earlier, this story was first broken on Twitter by TSN 990 Radio reporter Amanda Stein, and later confirmed by a number of journalists and sources.
With this plus the news of Chris Campoli expected to miss a number of months of action, it will be interesting to see what Pierre Gauthier's next move might be. There are some UFA fill-ins still available on the market, including Bryan McCabe and Paul Mara on the back end or John Madden as a defensive center, but in all honesty, at least in this fan's view, it is time for Mr. Gauthier to make a bolder move. It seems clear the defense needs some healthy help instead of continuing to play plugs, while the lack of top end talent and grit up front may continue to be a problem throughout the season. It may be early to switch to "panic mode," but with such parity in the East, the Habs can ill afford to fall way behind their competition even in October or November.