Habs on right path, GM says

Gauthier’s plan: ‘We want to keep a good part of the core’

By HERB ZURKOWSKY, The Gazette May

“I think we have tangible evidence that we’re moving in the right direction,” said Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier (front) during a news conference Tuesday with head coach Jacques Martin at the team’s practice facility in Brossard

“I think we have tangible evidence that we’re moving in the right direction,” said Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier (front) during a news conference Tuesday with head coach Jacques Martin at the team’s practice facility in Brossard

We can tell you this much about the Canadiens as they head into a long summer, wondering what might have been – when the team reconvenes in September for training camp, the club will have a familiar look, according to general manager Pierre Gauthier.

“Last year, we changed almost half the team,” Gauthier said of last summer’s remake by predecessor Bob Gainey, who resigned in February. “You can’t do this every year.

“We want to keep a good part of the core and continue to build,” Gauthier added.

“I think we have tangible evidence that we’re moving in the right direction. We learned to appreciate our team more with the playoff run.” A day after the Canadiens’ elimination by Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference final, Gauthier – flanked by head coach Jacques Martin during a news conference at the organization’s Brossard training facility – shed little light on what lies ahead.

The team’s management group must decide on two primary issues: S What to do with goaltenders Jaroslav Halak and Carey Price, both of whom are eligible for restricted free agency.

S Whether to re-sign centre Tomas Plekanec , the team’s leading scorer during the season whose production stopped as the playoffs wore on. Plekanec, who earned $2.75-million, can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Gauthier refused to tip his hand on the delicate netminding scenario, although admitting he’s operating from a position of strength.

“We’ll take the best decision to make sure the team grows in the future,” Gauthier said. “We’ll do the right thing for the organization and them. I won’t speculate. Honestly, all options are open.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/hockey/montreal-canadiens/Habs+right+path+says/3071339/story.html#ixzz0p2myQ0xm


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