Habs Draft Prowess Could Land Them Lecavalier

Much of the talk leading up to the trade deadline has been rumours circulating that Vincent Lecavalier could be headed to the Montreal Canadiens. There are many reasons for this, such as the fact that it’s the 100th season of the team and what better way to celebrate than taking a big run at a cup, led by a French Canadian star.

But the fact of the matter is the Habs are in the running because they’ve succeeded in large fashion building up a deep and talented organization.

When one speaks of building via the draft, the Habs are often mentioned as they have shown great success going this route after some tough times before the turn of the century.

Currently the Habs have 15 of their picks in the lineup:

1989 – Patrice Brisebois
1993 – Saku Koivu
1998 – Andrei Markov
2001 – Mike Komisarek, Tomas Plekanec
2002 – Chris Higgins
2003 – Max Lapierre, Andrei Kostitsyn, Jaroslav Halak
2004 – Kyle Chipchura
2005 – Carey Price, Guillaume Latendresse, Matt D’Agostini, Sergei Kostitsyn
2007 – Max Pacioretty

The Habs are without a doubt a top model to follow if teams are looking to find success via the draft. They did it building up draft picks in the lean years and finding gems outside the 1st round.

Having such great success with picks has allowed them to move other picks and prospects for quality veterans.

2008 – Their 1st rounder went in a deal that brought them Alex Tanguay. While he has had some injury trouble. He was arguably their best forward to start the season and a good bet to re-sign and help them for years to come.

2004 – The Habs traded 5th rounder Mikael Grabovski to Toronto for a 2010 2nd rounder. They then moved a 2010 2nd to pick up Robert Lang who has been a major cog to the team’s current top 10 standing. He has probably been their most consistent player this season up front. Its about building assets and these series of moves show what the Habs do best.

2000 – The team used their 3rd round selection Josef Balaj along with a 04 2nd rounder to pick up the All Star Game MVP, Alex Kovalev. While his play has been up and down as a Hab, he is poised to have a big 2nd half this season and will be a huge key in determining how far the Habs can go this season.

1992 – Who knew a pick this far back would be a key to the team’s future and current success. Craig Rivet was moved to the Sharks and the Habs ended up getting the pick they used to select Pacioretty in 07. But they also received a throw in Josh Gorges who has been one of their best defenceman this season.

Other Active Hab draft picks: Chris Chelios (81), Claude Lemieux (83), Mathieu Schneider (87), Craig Conroy (90), Darcy Tucker (93), Jose Theodore (94), Tomas Vokoun (94), Stephane Robidas (95), Brett Clark (96), Mathieu Garon (96), Aaron Asham (96), Jason Ward (97), Ben Guite (97), Mike Ribiero (98), Francois Beauchemin (98), Michael Ryder (98), Ron Hainsey (00), Andre Deveaux (02), Mark Streit (04)

The draft is a huge bloodline for the Habs and they need it to be as they have little to nothing to show for the likes of Streit, Ryder (UFAs), Hainsey, Beauchemin, Robidas (waivers), Ribiero, Tucker, Theodore (trades), Vokoun (expansion).

It is a bit of mismanagement of assets on their part. But this is why the team is not hesistant to move a veteran such as Rivet or Huet (whom they got a 2nd in 09 for) for picks and young players regardless if they are in the hunt for the playoffs or the Stanley Cup. Moves such as these have made up to some extent their asset losses.

Its really how they have to do things as they’ve struggled via free agency. Dandenault, Bouillon, Kostopolous, Laraque, Denis are depth players at best and the only decent name free agent they have is Roman Hamrlik. The team has been unable to lure a big name free agent (Briere is an example, Sundin another) and thus lean heavily on draft picks.

But, the possibility exists for the team to acquire a big name like Lecavalier via trade. Not only is their roster dotted with a ton of drafted players, they still have a good number of solid prospects in the system to use as possible assets for trade.

Top Rookies/Prospects:

Max Pacioretty (07) – Pacman has not disappointed bringing elements like size and grit to the Habs who surely need that presence in their lineup. He had a great camp, was pretty solid on the farm and earned a promotion thanks to some injuries. He will be a tough player to send back once the Habs get healthy.

PK Subban (07) – Subban is a folk hero in Canada due to his infectious enthusiasm helping Canada at the WJC. He is a riverboat gambler with lots of energy and skill and a big part of the Habs future. Potentially as well, he could be a big piece in any Lecavalier trade.

Matt D’Agostini (05) – Another player who has brought elements the team needs: Grit, Size, Willingness to play in traffic. He will likely be the odd man out once the team gets some bodies back, but he has emerged as a solid prospect. With Koivu back, he may get a chance to stay as he was hot on a line with the Habs captain.

Ryan McDonagh (07) – Not only would the Lightning be interested in acquiring the Habs top prospect, but so would 28 other teams. He is the kind of defenceman teams look for nowadays. Swift skating, highly skilled, good size. He is part of a deep U of Wisconsin defence and he is progressing as expected.

Kyle Chipchura (04) – Chipchura has been up and down with the big club the last couple of seasons. He is starting to score down on the farm averaging about a point a game. That and his skating were the big questionmarks surrounding him. But he is a character type forward who may find life as a quality 3rd line checker.

Others: Ben Maxwell (06), Danny Kristo (08), Matt Carle (06), Ryan O’Byrne (03)

The kind of assets are there to put together an offer for Lecavalier. Roster players like Higgins, Plekanec, Gorges, maybe even the Kostitsyn brothers could be offered. Prospects like McDonagh, Subban and/or Chipchura are most certainly going to be part of a package. And no doubt, the Habs will be comfortable moving their 1st rounder, perhaps even 2 to get the deal done.

It does not seem plausible for someone like Markov or Komisarek (as they have been rumoured) to be included in this trade and certainly Price is untouchable. But that does not mean the Habs have nothing to offer.

A deal like Higgins, Plekanec, Chipchura, McDonagh and a 1st for Lecavalier is a major package of assets to part with. But, Lecavalier is arguably among the top 5 players in the world. He is in his prime and has tons of good hockey left in him. The city and the team have been dying for a French Canadian hero to don a Habs jersey once again as they have not seen one since the day Patrick Roy departed. He was the last star to lead them to glory and he was a hero in La Belle Province. If the Habs acquire another Quebec hero in Lecavalier, the team only hopes that Lightning can strike for a 25th time.

27 Responses to Habs Draft Prowess Could Land Them Lecavalier

  1. drive425 says:

    wow! now this guy knows his stuff.
    very impressed, couldnt have said it better.

  2. 29teamsrock says:

    Very good fact based article. Lots of research went into this.  Montreal is quite stacked on the farm and in the bigs. I would think that a trade that involved a defense-man would be a step back tho. I'd walk away from any deal that would involve Morkov or Komisarek with no NHL ready D to replace them.   

  3. nordiques100 says:

    what shocked me most was the losses the team has withstood. and i didnt even mention debacle trades like:

    desjardins/leclair for recchi
    schnieder/muller for turgeon/malakhov
    turgeon for corson
    chelios for savard
    and of course….
    roy and keane for garbage.

    kudos to them for clawing back….but wow, that took like almost a decade.

    thats what leaf fans like me have to look forward to i guess….waiting.

  4. LEAFSLEAFSLEAFS1967 says:

    Komisarek is replaceable dude. Without his hard hitting tough style he is not even a shutdown defenceman. He doesn't really have as much intelligence as some defenseman out there, that's what montreal needs, a defensive defenseman with actual defensive smarts as well as toughness. When Komisarek isn't physical he isn't particularly hard to play against. I've always liked Markov though, he definitely deserved to be in the all-star game. Komisarek, not so much. I doubt he makes it into the game if he wasn't voted in as starter.

  5. LeafsNation91 says:

    Was watching the Leafs get massacred tonight, nice to see they are serious about tanking. Pogge, I do feel bad for, he played alright, but his teamates for sure left in to hang by himself. Antropov, well, he seemed to be the only player that showed up, and he still cannot score. It seems to really be eating him up, and these trade rumors have to stop so he can focus on hockey again.

    So why am I talking about this on a Habs thread, I would like to point out that tonight was the massacre of young Canadian team goalies in the Northeast division, besides the fact Pogge, and Elliot got beaten up tonight, so was Carey Price. For some reason, since the return from injury, he has not looked right in net. Making Montreal now on a three game losing streak. Maybe they should put Halak back in net, and Price back to Hamilton just to get a few games to get used to playing again. They threw in the water when Halak had the bad game, and he cannot seem to break out of it. He should, and wil break out of the slump, but he has not played well since the injury.

    Anyone watch the Boston/Washington game. It was shown on TSN(Leafs were geting killed on Sportsnet) and I watched most of the game. Yeah, that Tim Thomas guy is for real, and oh yeah, he might of had one of the saves of the year againts Backstrom. If not leading Vezina candidate now, I would be surprised.

    Personally, I do not think D'Agostini and Chipchura will be that great, I just do not see it, or even PK Subban. But Ryan McDonagh is for real, and he will be really good when he gets up to Montreal. The Habs keep talking about Subban, but McDonagh is one of my favorite defensive prospects out their, and he would be a dynamic duo with fellow American Mike Komisarek. And Pacioretty will be amazing to once given some time.

  6. Kramer says:

    Any Lecavalier trade needs to get "clearance" from the Montreal mafia in concert with the Tampa Bay mafia.

    All major trades need to get approval from the top because it could affect profit margins related to bets.

    Bookies also have a say in the matter, but The Boss in the white suit gets the final word.

  7. ChyldProdigy says:

    While they are well stocked for the future, Montreal will not be considered the model for building through the draft until they achieve the success that Detroit has had.
    I tend to dismiss any rumours of a french-Canadian coming to Montreal, but that new lightning management has made anything possible.  Not sure Gainey will pull the trigger, but in my opinion the team that will bring the Habs the big W is pretty much on the ice right now so its time to start sacrificing some future potential.  If the deal is even there, which it might not be.
    My prediction: Tampa finds some momentum in the second half, enough to placate the fans for this year.  They still manage a top pick and insert him onto the second line with Stamkos and all thoughts of trading Vinny become a thing of the past when the Lightning quickly return as one of the league's elite.

  8. barahir says:

    LEAFS2067, what do you know.  You sound very bitter and ignorant.  And there isn't supposed to be a question mark sfter "what do you know", because I know what you know.

  9. barahir says:

    That makes sense, because he is a manageable asset.  His cost will remain a known factor, and it becomes less onerous as time goes on, as well as being reasonable overall.  However, any assets received are going to be x factors when it comes to their future salaries.  For instance, Higgins and Plekanec both get under 2 million but are RFAs.  I'm not in the line of thinking that deserve more, but over a 3 year extension they would get 3.5 at least.  My point is getting 5 guys for one can turn out so many different ways.  They know what they have with Vinny, it is not a sure bet he's gone.  They showed no brains or plan with their other moves.  Maybe they want to fix that by milking a team for Lecavalier.

  10. Plekanec says:

     Nordique as usual "GOOD WORK", real Habs fans already knew this but it's nice to educate non-Habs fans out there!

     One thing though "I" don't think Chipchura and O'Byrne will ever make it to the NHL, like Bergy and Demers were saying at the ANTICHAMBRE last night, All O'Byrne has is size and doesn't use it at ALL, he doesn't produce offensively and constantly make mistakes in his own end, as for Chipchura, he's not even half the player Lapierre is becoming, I think Lapierre will soon be our 3rd line center and for years to come, the only spot i could see Chip play would be on the 4th line if he ever makes it!

      If the Habs don't go get a defenseman soon the last 5 years of great drafting could become a total waste of time as 70% of all Habs roster turns either UFAs or RFAs by the end of the season!

      It as been known for years that the Habs needed a big Center and now it is obvious that we need a top 4 D-Man if the Habs want to make a serious run to the cup, if Gainey fails to land that Defenseman soon we can kiss our Chance goodbye and become a seller at the deadline instead of buying!

      Few guys out there Boowmeester, Kaberle, Bieska, Robidas, Pronger, Niedermayer maybe even Havelid or Hainsey? Who do you guys think Gainey will land by the Dealine? I would be ready to give a lot of prospects and draft picks for a package involving Jay Boowmeester and Nathan Horton.


  11. Plekanec says:

    BTW regardless of what some of you think, Lecavalier will not be traded, not to Montreal anyway! I would bet my left nut on it! So lets stop wasting our time on trade rumors that will never happened, To all my habs co-Fans don't you guys remember the rumors involving Hossa, Lecavalier, Sundin ect ect..just not gonna happened!

     We do have extra players now with guys like Pacioretty and D'agostini coming up from the AHL, it's just not possible to keep all these players with the big club. Hopefully Gainey's trying to make a trade as we speek!

  12. lafleur10 says:

    hey plekanec,i agree with you as usual! i think we will definately go after bouwmeester big time! and if that fails we will go after kaberle we have the stuff to get both guys and to out bid most teams if it comes to a bidding war! i agree  we need a top 4 defenceman,really bad to have a serious shot at lord stanley,andd we need to lock that #4 guy up(if it's not kaberle) but first order of business and the most important signing is komisarek he needs to be done otherwise we'll suffer the same fate as ottawa!

  13. lafleur10 says:

    excellent job on this article! nordique100 this was very well done and prepared,as my fellow habs fan plekanec said though we already knew this stuff but for new fans or other teams fans  it will really help them! keep up the good work(eventhough) you are a leafs fan! lol hahaha!

  14. lafleur10 says:

    plekanec i think pacioretty is almost untouchable and is going to be the player we thought higgins was suppose to be ! it's nice to see that he drives to the net and isn't scared to go to the traffic areas for the puck and in the corners and as he develops i think he's going to be our 1st line forward that could score 35-40 goals a year1 as for d'agostini i see us using him  on a line with tanguay and kiovu and will develop into a solid 25 -30 goals scorer like ryder but a better skater! thank-god for bob gainey and trevor timmins! what do you think of this plekanec?waht do you think we wil do with higgins? i think he's too good to be a 4th liner but i'm afraid on our team for now that's where he's gonna play! because i don't want carbo to touch our 3rd line of lapierre,kostopoulous,latendresse!

  15. careyprice31 says:

    If Don Vito Rizzuto can pull this off god bless him.

  16. careyprice31 says:

    Just get rid of that *****ing higgins he suck the nuts plain and simple. I can't stand his ass

  17. TheStryker says:

    A.Kostitsyn,S.Kostitsyn,Subban,1st rnd pick
    To Tampa for

    Pleckanec,3rd rnd pick
    To Florida for

    To N.Y. Isles for



  18. Plekanec says:

     You know Lafleur I'm just tired of seeing the Habs going after big names(Sundin, Lecavalier, Hossa ect ect) and never being able to lure any of them!

     What do you think of Bieska, never really watched him but I heard Demers and Bergeron talking about him last night, they were saying that he was very big and very tough, exactly what we need to take pressure off Mike Komisarek!

     Anyway I can't wait for that trade deadline to come, only 5 weeks away!

  19. habs79 says:

    That was a well thought out article, you made alot of good points. However I am still against them getting Lecavalier simply cause of his contract. $8 million a year against the cap for the next 11 seasons. 

    I agree your offer of Higgins, Plekanec, Chipchura, Mcdonagh and a 1st is a solid offer, and maybe could land Lecavalier. However I still wouldn't make it.
    Chipchura as you pointed out can be a quality 3rd line checking center, which is something the Habs don't have now. I believe he can turn into a quality defencive center.
    I would not part with McDonagh as he can turn out to be a premier 2 way defenceman.
    Maybe the offer could be instead Higgins, Plekanec, Subban, Maxwell, and a 1st 
  20. lafleur10 says:

    i think bieksa would be a great addition !i'd like to see gainey go for him.

  21. lafleur10 says:

    i can't wait for ther trade deadline as well,i look forword to watching that on t.v. every year let's hope we do something big this year,because the last couple of years we anticipated us doing something huge and we did little to nothing(except trading huet away) then missing out on hossa and sundin!

  22. lafleur10 says:

    i think if your going to trade plekanec and a pick you can get more than  nick boyton! i'd try plekanec,2nd r.d pick,3rd pick,r.macdonagh, chris higgins for horton bouwmeester! boyntons a plyon and a broken down defencman which in my opinion couldn't help us all that much

  23. LEAFSLEAFSLEAFS1967 says:

    wow you learned how to make fun of my name, good for you! You deserve a gold star! =)
    What is this 2nd grade? I am neither bitter or ignorant, and my comments aren't really either. He would be a great #3 defenseman but neither he nor his style of play are cut out for a #2 spot. The guy has extremely limited offensive skills, and is not smart enough defensively to play great defense without physicality. That's not a shot at him, most players in the NHL without strength become decent defensively. So his defensive abilities come from strength. Little offense and lots of strength like that usually lands you a spot as the #3 or #4 defenseman. The top pairing guys that aren't really physical or tough are usually offensively gifted, and have decent defense. Somehow Komisarek doesn't match up to that kind of a player in my mind either. Don't get me wrong I think he's pretty good, I would love to have him on my team and he would probably be one of the best 2nd pairing defenseman in the league but top 2? I don't think so. And look in the mirror before you label someone else as ignorant bud.

  24. Habfan17 says:

    Excellent posting! I am very happy to see that you didn't include Subban in your propossed trade. He truely wants to be in Mtl, which seems to be rare these days and after the world juniors he has had, and the progress he has made, I would trade McDonough before I would trade Subban.

    If you go to the Montreal Gazette and look at who they say is Mtls' all time unsung hero, it is none other than the little M, Pete Mahovolich. He brought that enthusiasm and sense of humour that lightened everything up, as well as contributed on the ice. Subban seems to be in the mold of the little M.

    If Subban and Weber could translate their offensive abilities from junior into success in the NHL, then look out! Mtl hasn't had two d-man that could contribute offensively  like they do in junior, on the big club at the same time, in many years.

    As much as everyone, including me, would like to see Lecavalier in a Habs uniform, I wouldn't want it at any cost. I would rather have a top contender every year, rather than a mid level team with a superstar. Your trade of Higgins, Plekanec, McDonough, Chipchura, and a 1st round is more than fair and would not remove too many current or future assets from the team. 

    Pierre McGuire keeps saying that the current losing streak and poor performance is due to the fact that many players are at the end of their contracts and are unsure of their future with the team. I don't buy that, players usually will take it up a notch to prove they are worth a bigger contract and that they belong. I think the problem is the trade speculation surrounding Lecavalier and the Habs.Their slide coincides with the strong rumours and I think it has had an adverse affect. They probably don't think they need him and that they had proved that they could get the job done while they had all the regulars out with injuries. Chemistry can be fragile and since these guys have for the most part, developed together, it may have messed with that chemistry!

    Having said that, if they are succumbing to the pressure of the 100th anniversary, then maybe the ones that can't take the pressure of being a winning team, should be traded!

  25. Habfan17 says:

    I think trading Subban would be a huge mistake. We have seen him develop and excel on the world stage, he made the all star team, Mc Donough did not. We also don't know that Mcdonough has his heart in Mtl, which is an intangible that is very important, Subban sincerely does!

    McDonough may turn out to be a premier 2 way d-man, but ,maybe he'd rather do it elsewhere! Remember Rod Langway? I hated to see him go, but he wanted to play in the US. They were forced to trade him. I personally wouldn't take a chance and trade away a skilled player like Subban(check out his stats this year), who already bleeds bleu, blanc, rouge! With players like Emelin, Valentenko, and possibly O'Byrne, Mtl needs strong puck moving d-men a la Coffey.

  26. Habfan17 says:

    Of couse it would land them Lecavalier, but it is way too much and would turn Mtl into a mid level team with one superstar!

    With the other trades, you have removed the nucleus of the team and to build new chemistry would take them out of the picture for winning the cup.

  27. Habfan17 says:

    I agree, I don't think that Gainey would ever give up what Tampa would want, even if they would trade Lecavalier!

    Sometimes it's best to just leave things as is. The young guys proved they can get the job done when Mtl had all the injuries, and they all are YOUNG!
    There are a few who could be moved for the right player, maybe a strong puck moving d-man.
    I have no idea why so many so called fans, and self proclaimed knowledgable fans keep throwing Subban into trades. He made the world junior "all star team" He is a top d-man in the OHL, and he has done everything MTL has asked of him in terms of his development. How many players have you heard speak that are sincere when thet say that they want to help bring the cup to MTL. he already bleeds Bleu, Blanc, Rouge!

    I think all the trade talk has caused the current slide and hiccup with the team. It's time to stop the nonsense and let the guys play!

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