In his first major move as general manager of the Minnesota North Stars, Bob Gainey traded left winger Brian Bellows, the team's all-time leading goal-scorer, Monday. Bellows, who turned 28 today, was sent to the Montreal Canadiens for right winger Russ Courtnall, 27.
The deal ended a 10-year career in Minnesota for Bellows, who scored 342 goals but regularly sparred with coaches who wanted to make him a better rounded player. The latest was Gainey, who arrived in 1990 and took over the role of coach-general manager this off-season when Bob Clarke resigned.
Minnesota has had a winning record in only one of the last eight seasons. Bellows scored 30 goals and a team-high 45 assists in 1991-92. It was his seventh season of 30-plus goals, but it was accompanied by a minus-20--meaning opponents scored 20 more even-strength goals when he was on the ice than the North Stars did.
The 5-foot-11, 183-pound Courtnall was the seventh player drafted in 1983 but has never had a 30-goal season. He had 26 goals and 50 assists in his personal-best 1990-91 season but only seven goals and 14 assists in 27 games last season, when he was hampered by injuries.