Gainey You Need To Start Negotiating Now
First of all, I have been saying all along that now is not the time for major changes in Montreal, it is time for some minor tweaks though. The maojor changes I would make now is to sign some key players before the July 1st deadline in 08, and start working on some UFA’s for 09.
The number one thing the Habs need to focus on right now is signing both Huet and Streit. These two guys are key to the future of the Habs for different reasons. We need Huet to bring Price along slowly, and Streit will be a solid #3 defenseman for years. Currently the Habs are paying Boullion 3 times as much as Streit (1.89M vs 600G), so I would expect him to want in the 2Million dollar range. I think he is worth that number, but Bob would have to find a way to unload Boullion, that would be my first tweak, Boullion for whatever we could get.
Secondly we have to look to 09, where Koivu, Kovalev, and Komisarek are UFA’s. I think now is the time to try to lock up Komisarek for as long as we can get him because he will be one of the cornerstones of this team in the coming years. As far as the other two, Bob needs to look at how our prospects are developing, if there are no goalscorers in the system, we better go get one soon, because if Koivu and Kovalev were to leave today, our already bad 5 on 5 play gets even worse, and the playoffs would only be a dream. Also on that note, if Koivu wants to sign in Montreal, we need to sign him. He is still the heart of our team and he deserves to bring a cup back to Montreal.
Lastly Bob had better take a long hard look at both Ryder and Halak. At the end of the year these guys can walk. (Halak is a RFA) And Halak already wants to be in the NHL where he belongs. If Ryder isn’t in Bobs plans, (its pretty obvious that Halak isn’t) then they need to be packaged together for a goalscorer, or a couple of blue chip scoring prospects.
Some of the goalscorers names that keep coming up are Cheechoo, Hossa, Richards, and Tanguay. However from what Ive seen from Gainey you never know where he will go for a trade, I just hope he makes the sighning soon before we loose a couple of very good players.