Habs Free Agent period over?

Currently the Habs have 10.845 million dollars in Cap space available to them at this time. After Ryder’s arbitration, we’re looking at him getting roughly 3-4.5 million, depending on what he wants and what Gainey is willing to give him. A worst case scenario is the Habs having 6.345 million in cap space to cover anymore possible holes. Also, Josh Gorges is an RFA and i know how most of the Habs fans on this site feel about him but he will contribute more to the Habs then he did in his brief stay last season. Remember, he was a top shot blocker in San Jose at the time of his trade having something like 64 shots blocked. That’ll leave the Habs with roughly 5.345 million to spend. Now the question here is, do the Habs want to shore up anymore possible holes now, or wait out the season and if a play off spot looks to be within their grasp, use the 5.345 in space to shore up a long play off drive?

Now, the possibilities of who the Habs could potentially get is pretty much endless. They could go tough (Andy Sutton, Darren McCarty, Jamie Pushor, Matthew Barnaby, Chris Simon, Todd Simpson, Dale Purinton, Mike Ricci, Eric Cairns, Luke Richardson),

or shore up the Defence (Joe DiPenta, Ric Jackman, Andy Sutton, David Tanabe, Ossi Vaananen, Bryan Berard, Jon Klemm, Danny Markov, Daniel Tjarqvist, Jamie Heward, Sandis Ozolinsh, Josef Melichar, Nolan Pratt, Brent Sopel, Yannick Tremblay)

or maybe sign a crafty veteran to work with the young guns (Teemu Selanne, Jason York, Tony Amonte, Jeff Friesen, Anson Carter, Petr Bondra, Patrice Brisebois, Eric Lindros, Petr Nedved, Martin Gelinas, Grant Marshall, Erik Rasmussen, Jason Wiemer, Pascal Rheaume, John LeClair, Glen Metropolit, Tyson Nash, Trevor Linden, Bryan Muir)

or just go with getting the most talent that is still available (Jean-Pierre Vigier, Nikita Alexeev, Pavel Vorobiev, Patrik Stefan, Alexei Semenov, Jamie Lundmark, Alyn McCauley, Adam Hall, Marian Cisar, Peter Forsberg, Alexei Yashin, Arron Asham, Dmitri Afanasenkov, Dave Scatchard, Nils Ekman, Ronald Petrovicky, Milan Kraft, Jani Rita, Peter Sejna, Mark Smith, Jeff O’Neill, Mike Peca, Marc Chouinard, Jan Bulis, Jozef Balej, Kris Beech, Rico Fata)

or hell, maybe even shore up the goaltending situation by signing a veteran goalie to possibly work with Price in the AHL if Halak beats him and the veteran out of the back up role in training camp (Phillipe Sauve, Ty Conklin, Jamie McLennan, Brian Boucher, Jussi Markkanen, Alex Auld, Ed BelFour, Sean Burke, Mike Dunham, Robert Esche, Curtis Joseph, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Mika Noronen)

Now, I obviously know that goaltending is the furthest from Gainey’s mind at this current time, I just added them in my list because I felt sorry for most of them and wanted to include them somehow in my article.

But, at the same time, none of the players mentioned above offer Montreal any type of long term gain. All are short term gains at best. Either age or inexperience at the NHL level hamper all of these remaining free agents. Which is my reasoning as to why Gainey said he was done with signing anymore free agents. But also, Gainey is known to pull off pre-pre-season trades and we could see the likes of Bouillon and Dandeneault on their way out of Montreal in the coming months. Which would open the door for Gainey to utilize his top defensive prospects and/or to sign a defensive free agent. As forwards are concerned, I would like to say that Montreal’s roster is as good as done but seeing as anything can and will happen, another low budget free agent could be on Montreal’s radar as we speak.

Personally, what I would do is spend roughly half or less on getting another defenceman, so as to push others to their full potential and so as to make others (ie, Dandeneault and Bouillon) expendable. Other than that, I would save the remaining cap space for the trade deadline, if the Habs are in full contention or for next summers free agency.

Now, I don’t want to hear things like “You’re delusional” or “You’re retarded” or anything like that, this is what’s still at Montreal’s disposal and I’d like to hear other’s thoughts towards Montreals remaining cap space and what they should or should not do with it.


12 Responses to Habs Free Agent period over?

  1. habswinthecup-again says:

     Ryder will get atmost 3mill/yr. Danny Markov would be a great signing for the Habs, other than him I don't think anyone else except maybe Peca would be worth signing.

  2. bleedingblu says:

    So you're basically saying that Montreal is desperate and should pick up ANYBODY just for the sake of filling up the roster and using up cap money?
    Come on! 
    To be honest, 80% of the guys you mentioned won't make a difference on the team! Gainey should focus on 2 forwards ( Selanee and Yashin ) and 1 more defenseman ( Markov ). These guys would make a difference!

  3. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    well, if nothing else, you gave a very in depth look at the available UFA's. nice work.

  4. loco42 says:

    If Gainey is going to do something, he’ll do it during the course of the season. I think Dandenault should be traded, he has some value. Bouillon could come around, but this will be his last chance. The only two players I’d like are Markov and Selanne from your list.

  5. Komic-J says:

    There's not a lot of names on that list that I would want. Danny Markov would've been a very solid pickup, however…I don't think it would be a wise decision to spend another couple of millions on another defenseman at this point. Unless Bob Gainey can find a way to unload Dandenault's contract, I can't see it happen. Markov and Hamrlik are already over $5.0m and I wouldn't be surprise to see Komisarek signing a very lucrative deal next time. He'll be a somewhat experienced 27-years old un-restricted free agent right-handed defenseman, who's very reliable in his own end, and will probably be in the leaders in terms of bodycheck in the league…how much do you think that's worth on an open market ?

    I think Ossi Vaananen could be a pretty good, and cheap, pickup right now. I don't have a lot of faith in Gorges, and I think Carbonneau should keep using Streit as a forward. Meaning we need to add someone on the blueline right now. And please…no matter who it is, don't overspend this time.

    The Habs should definately keep their money right now. In fact, they should've kept it from Day 1, when they realized they couldn't get the players they wanted (Brière and Smyth). Instead, they overpaid for Hamrlik, and added depth with Smolinski and Kostopoulos. And we all know what these types of signing mean, we've seen the effects in the last 10-15 years; it means will be there, again, fighting for the playoffs and either miss them, or be eliminated in the 1st round. Same old, same old… eventhough I do not have the skills to be a GM in this league, even I can take the hint; it doesn't seem to be working !!!

    At this point, I'd like to see the Canadiens rebuild completely. Start fresh…keep the young guys, allow them to gain some NHL experience, trade the vets and start over. It'll be horrible for what ? Two, three years ? But in the long run, it'll pay benifit…and we'll finally be able to reach the next step.

    Sometimes, you gotta go down to reach the top…and I'm tired to see us try the same thing, over and over again, then watch the management of the team tell us how great we are just because we've reached the playoffs, or missed it by one point. We're not missing much ? No Bob…we're not even close.

  6. Ariel1 says:

    Bob Gainey is definitely giving top priority to developing young potential from WITHIN the organization: Higgins, Komisarek, Plekanec, Latendresse, Lapierre should all have better seasons than last year and this years potential: Chipchura, Price, O'Byrne and maybe Grabovski will have a chance to play a role as well(If somewhat limited).

    BUT, keep in mind that a season is long and injuries can always occur so Bob needs some veteran depth on the third and fourth line. It's a good insurance policy.

    Also, you cannot make these young guys play 81 games at the NHL level and expect them to perform above their capacity. There has to be a transition period where they adapt to the NHL which is bigger, faster and better than the AHL. Chipchura admitted to learning a lot when he started last year in the AHL. Latendresse said the same thing when he sarted in the NHL. These guys need time to develop.

    In the meantime, I think Mr. Gainey did the right thing by signing Smolinski and Kostopulous for limited contracts. Smolinski is a sure bet for a third line centre. He will probably score as many goals as Bonk (8-10G) but is a better set-up man than the latter. Kostopulous is another Begin type player. probably 8 goals and 25 points in the season but a lot of energetic play, checking and disturbing the opponent.

    Now I agree that the Canadiens need one more forward. However free agency does not have that much in stock for a premium forward besides Selanne, Forsberg and Yashin. All of whom whom most likely would not play in Montreal.

    I say expect a trade instead of free agent signings. Montreal has a lot of young potential to trade, similar to F. Beauchemein, that might never make it in the congested habs system but still make it in the NHL: Lahti(LW), Danis (G), Locke(C), Ferland(C), Milroy (C), Côté (D), Archer(D), Valentenko(D), D'Agostini (RW).

    There is also a few newly established NHLers that might interest other teams: Halak(G), Grabovski(LW/C)… or simply veteran NHL players ( Dandenault, Bouillon (D), Bégin (LW), Ryder(RW) and Kovalev(RW).

    All have their plus and minuses, but I guess it depends on what the other teams are looking for.

    A first round pick in 2008, young recent NHLer or young prospect plus a veteran NHLer should be able to grab a decent top six forward for next year. To me, that will probably be what will take up the additional cap space.

    It will probably be decided when the other teams start completing their rosters later on in the summer, or during training camp, like Ribeiro last year. Hopefully the result will be better though.

  7. mtlman2005 says:

    agreed! Selanne would be really good, and Yashin could be a nice gamble if the price is right!
    Markov could be a good addition and would give us the depth in D we haven't had in a while…

  8. jayhabsjay says:

    id love to see them sign either danny markov or andy sutton and get rid of dandenault. i still think bouillon has some upside to him. he was awesome the year after the lockout but he was horrible last year, i think it was because of his knee. i hope he rebounds this year. and please, for the love of god, do not get rid of begin, he is all heart and he plays every shift like it will be his last. id also love to see selanne in a habs jersey since he plays amazing with koivu, but that is very doubtful, and after all their is a salary cap. GO HABS GO

  9. habsrock99 says:

    I'm not saying the Habs are desperate, all i said is that they could potentially spend their money on grit and toughness, veteran help, all out talent or just leave it be. Now, if any of that do I sound desperate, please let me know. And as I said, personally, I'd go out and spend half or less of the Habs remaining cap space on either veteran help or go for the pure talent. I know that the majority of those players would help Montreal, its just thats all the proven NHLers left in the free agent pool.

  10. ferron says:

        Besides Danny Markov, nobody is worth signing and we have to save our money for next year so we could offer Danny Heatly 8 mil/year for 7 years!

  11. habsrock99 says:

    no, we won't

  12. habz2007 says:

    yes the habs have over $10 million of cap space but we don't know is what candiens owner has set for gainey's budget Bob can only work with what the owner says there r teams that work with budgets under the cap due to owners budget ..if habs owner has set a budget it don't make sence cuz if u have a winning team in montreal he will make money cuz ppl will be going

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