Do They Really Need That Many Skaters?

The Montreal Canadiens in the 2009/2010 season will likely look different then the one that just finished last season. But will there be more new faces from outside the organization than inside? Everyone speak of how Bob Gainey needs to sign many players to ice a team next season, in all reality the Canadiens could ice an a team of NHL players, it would just be many young players who got a taste last season needing to step it up.

With Koivu, Kovalev, Komisarek, Tanguay, Lang, Bouillon, Dandenault all UFA and Higgins, D’Agostini, Latendresse, Stewart and Plekanec RFA they do have some big holes to fill. But will the likely signing or compensation from the RFA and the amount of games lost to the UFA there are not that many holes that do not have an NHL ready replacement.

Games Missed (The noteable amount):
koivu (17)
Tanguay (32)
Dandenault (41)
Lang (32)
Komisarek (16)
Bouillon (28)
Higgins (25)
Latendresse (26)
Price (14)…He was playing well before the injury.

Barring another season with those kind of injuries, without the UFAs there will be about the same line up.

Rough look with RFA’s signed with a slight increase (numbers rounded up).

1)Kostitsyn (825k) – Plekanec (2M) – Kostitsyn (3.25)
2)Pacioretty (925k) – Lapierre (700k) – Latendresse (1.5)
3)Higgins (2M) – Chipchura (1M) – D’Agostini (1.5)
4)Stewart (900k) – Metropolit (1M) – Laraque (1.5M)

Markov (5.8)
Hamrlik (5.5M) – Gorges (1.1)
O’Byrne (1M) – Webber (900k)

Price (2.2M)
Halak (800k)

Cap Hit: Approximately 34.4M (Needing To Sign 1 D-Man & Depth Players)

With an approximate 54M Cap, that leaves 19.6M.

Using only players who played last season in the NHL the Canadiens can ice a team, not a really strong team, but one with lots of potential. The departure of Komisarek would really leave a hole as they don’t have anyone in the system appearing to be ready to step in next season. Cleary line 1 would be a line 2 and line 2 would be better at 3, but it just shows that other than Chipchura (who will be with the team or another team due to waiver restrictions) and Weber the team would look relatively the same.

Do the Canadiens take the 19.6M and sign the 3 Top six forwards and 1 Top four D-man they realistically need? Or do they sign a Center and D-man and just barely come over the cap floor and wait for next years UFA crop?

Regardless of what they do, they do not need to acquire as many players as it would seem with the RFA’s signed (They Have All been Qualitfied).

One UFA prediction, Ian Lapperierre signs with the Canadiens (1M-2M, 1-2 Years).