Hanging on by a thread…off-season

Right now the Habs are playing better, but are still not to where they need to be! If they can keep making progress and win the majority of their remaining games, they should make it, especially if a couple of teams chasing them stumble.

If they do get in and can get on a roll, they can do some damage. They didn’t have a team of superstars when they last won in 93, with the exception of Roy. Price is no Roy..yet, but I think this team has more talent than that 93 team did.

As far as the off season goes, it is true that Gainey has a lot of work to do deciding who to sign and then getting it done, but I still don’t believe that this has been the problem with the team. There doesn’t seem like many top end players will be available through the free agent market, so maybe Gainey will trade a few of the players who he feels don’t have the character to flourish here. The Kostitsyn’s should be wary! Especially with the off ice friends they keep! I am not one of the fans who think Gainey made a mistake not signing the players during the season. he has worked the same way since he arrived and the players should be comfortable knowing the way he works, that they are appreciated and big members of the future…if they play to their potential. Komisarek can’t say that he feels unwanted or unappreciated, he was given the “A”

Higgins has not impressed of late and players like Brisbois, Kotsopolous, Boullion, Kovalev, and Dandenault will probably not be back next year. There will be some prospects that push for jobs, and then a few ” upgrades ” from the free agent maket. If Boivin truely wants a French Canadien superstar, they may want to sign Gaborik so they can package him to get LeCavalier, since he is the only true superstar that fits all their needs!

There are a few other players who may be available that would be upgrades and reduce the age of the team which has shot up the last two years. Franzen, Hossa, and a few others may end up being available…..who would you go after?


31 Responses to Hanging on by a thread…off-season

  1. DandoEagle says:

    trade Kosistin, Kosistin and Halak and a 2nd for Lecavalaier

    The Tampas need to shave costs. they save like 80 million moving lecavaeier. there are a team in troubledling times. They will have to move Vinny at all costs and he wants to play in Montreal. The bolts get two amazing young forwards who are speedy and fast and can create an amazing top line with stamos. Halak would be their top goaler and gives the Bolts an amazing young duo with Smith and him. And a 2nd rounder gives them a 2nd chance at maybe finding another Richards in round 2. thats why that pick is so amazingly valuable. Some idiots will dismiss it but its important for teams in money troubles.

    Vinny solves our center problems. Its a steap price but worth it.

    Trade Gorges and Chipchura for Pronger, Hillier

    The ducks are rebuilting so they will trade Pronger and the Habs are condtenders. Gorges is an amazing defender but we need PowerPLay help and Pronger gives us a major shooter. Chipchura is an elite prospect that will help the Ducks who have no gooder young prospect players.

    Sign Gaborik, Beauchemin, Fransen

    with Lacavaleier in towe, the Habs will be able to lore free agents to Montreal. he Gaborik and Fransen will be an amazing top line. with Pronger and Markov, they have an amazing defence and Price is a top 5 goalie defanetely.

  2. MTL_HABS_24 says:

    A couple of problems with your post:

    – Vinnie does NOT want to play in Montreal.
    – If the Kostitsyns were so amazing, why would we trade them?

    Also, do you really think we can get Pronger for Gorges and Chipchura, never mind Hillier?

    Does that make me an idiot?

    AMAZING!

  3. hockey_lover says:

    Oh where to begin …….

    1) It will take more than that package to land Vinnie, even if Tampa does want to shed salary.

    2) Vinnie doesnt WANT to play in Montreal. He WANTS to play in Tampa but will go to Montreal if traded there.

    3) The Kostitsyn brothers are not "amazing." Andre has never had more than 53 points. He is only 24 and will probably get better but at his peak, will not be more than a 60pt player. While that is very good, its NOT amazing. Sergei will never be more than a 35pt player. Like his brother, while talented, not "amazing."

    4) Halak is an interesting option. While he isnt an "amazing" "goaler" either, he does have some talent. I think the due of Halak and Smith would be interesting to watch. I dont think it has the capability to win the cup but stranger things have happened. Id like to suggest you calm down on calling everyone "amazing."

    5) The 2nd rounder could be good, it could also be a total bust. If ANYTHING, that package would include a 1st rounder as well.

    6) Gorges and Chipchura for Pronger? Really?  Gorges cant even tie up Prongers skates. Pronger, while well past his prime, is STILL a #1 guy on over 25 teams in the league. Markov is still the man in Montreal, so Pronger would be the #2 guy. Anaheim will want WAY more for Pronger than Gorges. Wayyyy more, rebuilding or not.

    7) Chipchura WAS an elite prospect. In the games that he has played, he has shown NOTHING that makes him elite. Talented? YES. Potential? For sure. Elite? Not a freaking chance.

    8) Im not sure if you have heard but there is this thing called the "Salary Cap." Mtls cap for next year – minus the brothers, Halak, Gorges, Chipchura – is about 15.5 million. Now ADD:

    Vinny: 7.7mil
    Pronger: 6.25
    Gaborik: at LEAST 5.0
    Beauchemin: 1.65 (when he comes off injury)
    Fransen: at LEAST 4.0
    Total: 24.6 for 5 players.

    Add:
    Markov: 5.75
    Hamrlik: 5.5
    Price: 2.2
    Total: 13.5

    Thats $38mil on 8 players. You have around 18 million left to sign 12 players. Im glad you arent the GM of any hockey team.

    9) Price is NOT a top 5 goalie. What in his play this year leads you to say that? WILL he be a top 5? I think its possible. But he is in NO WAY in that level now. More like top 20 .. MAYBE.

    10) And last but certainly not least … "Stamos," as in John, is an actor. He doesnt play for Tampa Bay.

    There are more points to make but Im getting bored.

    Thanks for coming out.

  4. reinjosh says:

    haha
    i still wonder why you still put comments like these
    lecavalier is worth way more than that
    they dont need a goalie either they have smith, ramo and tokarski
    they dont need to shave costs, he is the face of their franchise and if he leaves they will lose half their fan fare
    they dont have to move vinny at all costs and they wont
    and the kostitsyns are not top line players and wont be for a long time
    i guarantee this
    VINNY LECAVALIER IS NOT GOING TO BE TRADED TO ANY TEAM LEAST OF ALL MONTREAL
    you wont get pronger for gorges and chipchura and definitely not hillier also
    pronger would command a first, subban and higgins
    i dont know if their rebuilding yet, but time will tell
    and i can bet you wont get gaborik or beauchimin and probably not franzen
    gainey has never gone after top free agents and wont this either so that cancels out franzen and probably gaborik
    gaborik wont be signed because he will want a ton of money and gainey wont be willing to put that forward
    beauchemin wont resign because he was originally started on this team and they gave him a very rough time leaving bad wounds
    wont happen

  5. NHLman says:

    "they may want to sign Gaborik so they can package him to get LeCavalier"

    You can't sign a free agent to flip him immediately. First I'm pretty sure there are trading restrictions per CBA, and that would be a bad precedent for Montreal, no one would want to sign with them thereafter. Free agency is a player
    s opportunity to decide where he wants to play, why sign with a team that trades you to where you don't want to be?

  6. DandoEagle says:

    give me a brake.

    Lacavelier has 29 goals playing with ST Louis. Kosistin has 23 goals and thats just one of the Brothers. If Sergi played he would have more goals. Thats two strong elite young players for Tampa. Halak is more better than Rako and Takarski. He is still as young, proven and more steadied in net and hes played in teh playoffs.   

    you forget Pronger is older. The Ducks owner is in Jail so they have no money to spend so they are happy to move Prongers contract and get some good youth in return and Gorges is a good defender, gooder than what they have now outside Pronger and he is someone they know well from playing San Jose. They will cut costs and move Pronger at all costs.

    The Habs have lots of money to spend and will this time sign free agents. Gainey was smart to wait til the crop was good and its good this year and playing for such an amazing franchise will be a cup de grass for most players.

  7. ranger_fan says:

    Remember when everyone chastised playV2(‘en/US/df/dfdgdodgssstdnsod7gk’);playV2(‘en/UK/df/dfdgdodgssstdnsod7gk’me when I said Montreal would finish 9th right before the season? I had five points that I backed it up with, some of which came true.

    1. Carey Price is a 20 year old sophomore goalie who in my opinion will struggle and there is no one who can take over that #1 goalie role if he does.
    -Not exactly true. Halak has had flashes but I am still a skeptic of his. Denis did nothing as expected, and Price's numbers have taken a slight hit but still are respectable. The problem is respectable goalie numbers don't make you a great team.

    2. Alex Kovalev is a streaky player who can be elite or he has something else on his mind.
    I have seen Kovalev long enough to know that he could fall of the face of the earth, especially with something as important as the 100th season. He is an amazing talent but doesn't always show. I would call this a disappointing season.

    3. The Northeast will be a challenge.
    -I will be the first to admit, I thought that the Sens, B's, Sabres, and Canadiens would be in the same scenario, but Boston has come out of nowhere. Buffalo and Montreal are comparable in the standings, and Ottawa did get better – but I'm sad to say I had them in 3rd in the East.

    4. Last season (07-08) Montreal was a borderline playoff team! How do they instantly become favorites in the east???
    -This was where I was bashed the most(or may be everyone loving Price). I argued that Montreal overachieved the previous season and did not simply get better.

    5. Their PP without Streit may suffer.
    -Turns out this is indeed true. I agreed Montreal did have some guns at the point who could step in, but I didn't think they would produce like Streit and Souray once did.

  8. blaze says:

    Streit is a beast, the Habs were dumb to let him go.

  9. reinjosh says:

    lecavalier is having an off season yet he still has 30 more points
    the other kostistyn got sent down to the minors because he was playing badly
    they are far from elite. maybe strong but barely. and halak is not better. he will be a journeyman goalie not a top goaltender anytime soo as montreal has proven by giving a slumping price chance after chance. and ramo and tokarski are still growing and are prospects.
    thta along with the stellar play of smith on a crappy team means they dont need halak or any other goalie for that matter. with a number 1 goalie, and two very good propects you can kiss that trade goodbye. and lecavalier would already be in montreal if he wanted to play their and he doesnt.

    just because their owner is in jail doesnt mean that they dont have money. the owners been in jail for a while, yet they have still signed players. wont happen
    if they need to lose money they wont sign nieds to an extension. and gorges is not better than what they have right now. yes he may be decent but he isnt better than whitney or wisniewski and if pronger gets traded it will be for more than you said and likely at the trade deadline. gorges is also playing better right now because he is playing with your top defender markov. at least gorges a 1st and a prospect. pronger will command a 1st a propsect and a good player.

    the crop of free agents this year isnt that spectacular. if he was smart he would have left himself money for next year when the crop is beyond amazing. and im sorry but not everyone wants to play for montreal and many more wont want to after this year. after having your team tank and either miss the playoffs or barely make it, as well as having so many problems, i doubt any big name will go their for a while

  10. reinjosh says:

    good points
    and you forgot that toronto is in the northeast
    i know that they may be low in the standings and every montreal fan is gonna tear me apart
    but they are a tough team to play and they never give up. montreal has only won two of the 5 games against toronto, way to call this early
    i called it like two months ago but you clearly have me beat
    good catch

  11. Rico420 says:

    Leafs are always tough to play – whether any Habs fans out there like it I will admit it – they always are tough to play – even back in the 80's when the Leafs were absolute stinkers they always played well against Montreal.

    And yes you are right Wilson has instilled work ethic in that team they don't stop from the time the puck drops to the last whistle.

  12. Kramer says:

    BIG CONSPIRACY

    I told you there's a Big Conspiracy going on.  Watch this clip!!!

    Phil Esposito talks to George Stroumboulopoulos on The Hour.

    At 8:50 to 9:20 of this clip, Espo talks about how owners want their team to lose in the playoffs!!!!!

    But he can't give names for health reasons. The mafia doesn't joke around.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8sWYJwAOt8

  13. Hockeyjunkie says:

    Montreal is hurting big time.  Ok they picked up a couple wins last week, but they were against brutal teams in Atlanta and Tampa.  For them to have any hope of doing anything in the playoffs, they need to win bunch of their remaining games, if they don't, well they might miss or if they do manage to get that final spot, Boston will pound them.  I would be very suprised if they all of a sudden turned it on.  I don't care about the history either with the 2 teams, Boston would be heavy favorites to win the series and probably beat the Habs in 5 games. 

    As for Vinny Lecavalier, they need to let that go for a few reasons.  First, he makes 10 million a year and the cap is suppose to go down over the next 2 years, so he will take up a good portion of the teams payroll.

    2nd, he is overrated.  2 years ago he had a huge season, last year he had another good one but took a step back and this season he's not even in the top 30 in points.  Sorry, that's not good enough for a 10 million dollar player. 

    3rd, the asking price is just too much also.  You're going to lose the depth you have to get a 10 million dollar guy who isn't worth it.  The contract is too long also.  Really have no clue what Tampa was thinking. 

    As for next season, I don't think they are in that bad of shape.  Montreal only has 23.5 million commited to next season.  I think you keep Koivu but he definitely doesn't get anymore then he is getting now, maybe takes a paycut and signs for 4 mill or 3.75.  Let's be honest, he is a second line center, works hard and is pretty well respected.  But he is not the number one center the Habs desperately need.  The idea of signing Gaborik then trading him for Lecavalier is retarded.  Who says Tampa even wants Gaborik?  Tampa has a ton of good wingers too.  So brutal idea, forget about it.  You let Kovalev walk. Guy has amazing skill but he is lazy, and very inconsistent.  It's just too frustrating to see another season like this season.  Tanguay had a rough year with injuries and what not, but he is a solid player.  39 points in 44 games is pretty good and he is a plus 14 which leads the team.  Sign him in the 4-5 mill range.  On defense, Komisarek will look for a nice raise, but shouldn't be getting more then 4 mill either.  Maybe 3.5.  It's believe teams would pay up to 5-6 mill for his services.  But that's just ridiculous.  He's a great leader, team player, hits blocks shots, but he has zero offence, so that's why he shouldn't be getting that much.  Any GM who signs him for that should be fired.  One guy Gainey should go after, is Francois Beachemin.  Solid all-around player, plays tough and has a bomb from the point. If Gainey can get him and Komi back, then Montreals top 4 D is looking pretty good.  And there is still enough money to go around.  Montreal needs that big number 1 center though and another big winger who can score.  Hossa or Franzen I think would be great pick ups. I think Franzen would be the more affordable one though.  Maybe signing a Mike Knuble too.  Phily has cap problems and probably wont have enough money to re sign him.  Knuble has a few good years left, can play in front of the net on the PP, score goals, work the corners and along the boards and is a big body.  The Habs still have some good young guys and prospects and could use them to land the number one center.  But I think they need to let the Lecavalier thing go.  One thing for sure is Bob Gainey has a busy summer ahead.

  14. Stuv_Dogg says:

    Dude, for real.  I come here and heckle people like you and suggest ridiculous trade rumours as a joke, hoping that people see that I'm suggesting them tongue in cheek.  You come here, suggesting more ridiculous trades, and you're serious!  Come one.

    Lecavalier DOES NOT want to play in Montreal.  If he did, he would have waited until free agency and signed with them.  Instead, he signed a huge contract with Tampa.  That tells me that he kinda wants to play in Tampa.  Now he probably wouldn't mind IF Tampa traded him to Montreal, but I don't think he's got the Montreal CH tatooed on his ass.

    Next, your package of the AK's, Halak and a pick might get you a signed Lecavalier jersey, but they ain't gonna get you the man himself.  This is one of the elite players in the league you're talking about, and you want to offer a career 2nd/3rd liner, a propsect who can't stick with the big club, a young goalie who brings nothing more than what Tampa already has (lots of potential, unproven) and a 2nd rounder?  Take out your precious Kostitsyn's, throw in a couple of high level prospects like Subban and a couple of first and you might be getting close.

    For similar reasons as stated above, you ain't gettin' Pronger out of Anaheim.  Anaheim is short on defencemen for next year (which is why they traded for Whitney out of PIT) so they'll be holding onto Pronger a bit tighter than normal.

    The ol' salary cap also means that you ain't signing any of the three that you mention, and that even is before you make these magical trades.

    So seriously, we know you love the Habs (even though you aren't a Habs fan and love all Canadian hockey) but you should do a little research or even thinking before you start blasting whatever comes to mind down on a keyboard.  Seriously.

  15. jayhabsjay2 says:

    Please just shut the ***** up Dandoeagle. It's idiots like you that make the rest of us Habs fans look retarded.
    I have never once seen anything that even comes close to making sense come from you.
    You're grammar is attrocious and your trades make absolutely no damn sense. Grow up, learn hockey and then post on here. Until then stop making idiot remarks. MORON!!!

  16. Stuv_Dogg says:

    And another thing, CAREY PRICE IS NOT A TOP 5 GOALIE IN THE NHL.  Maybe in the AHL, ECHL, WHL, Toronto Adult Recreational Hockey League and most Bantam leagues, but not in the NHL.

    10 goalies that are better than Carey Price, off the top of my head: Brodeur, Lunqvist, Kipper, Nabakov, Fleury, Luongo, Mason, Turco, Thomas, Backstrom, Miller.

    OK, that was 11, not 10, but they're all better goalies than Price.  Five years from now might tell a different story, but right now Carey Price is not a top 5 goalie in the NHL.

  17. Kramer says:

    I got another clip on the Leafs new player Hanson.  This is how he's gonna play.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW1Grq1r3l0&feature=related

  18. mon167 says:

    Ok i'm sorry but too many dumb things being said by fellow habs fans…You can't sign someone and then trade him right after. You're not getting Gaborik Franzen pronger and Lecavalier, no one will get those four on a team its ridiculous. Plus Franzen and Lecavalier are both centres. Also, i'm not sure where ppl get this Lecavalier gets 10 million a season, maybe thats what he actually gets paid but his cap hit is 7.7 million, which isn't that bad for a star player. But yes, this season he is no star.

    Gaborik however is always injured so no matter what you pay him its a waste. Franzen would be great but i just dont see him coming here, Detroit would be better off to keep him anyway.

    Don't be surprised if kovalev stays but he better not get paid more than 3.5, same with koivu and komisarek. Montreal can afford to go after a star forward and sign their free agents instead of going after a defensemen cuz they should be getting a good defensemen in Alexei Yemelin who has great potential, is defensive hard hitting defensemen and has played 3 years in the KHL which is better than any league except the NHL (but better than AHL ECHL juniors etc). Maybe they can convince schneider to stick around for 2 or 2.5 to close out his career.

  19. i_know_hockey says:

    Remember NHL rookies that streaked out playing awesome there first year only to stumble a bit year 2 and then never recover??

    Brian Boucher – Philly
    Johan Hedberg – Pit
    Andrew Raycroft -Boston

    Carey Price – Montreal???

  20. Habfan17 says:

    First off, I didn't say anything about signing Pronger, and I didn't say sign all of the above. Franzen plays wing more than centre, but either way, he would be a solid addition. Teams have traded players, only to  move them right away, not often, but it has been done!

    If you had Franzen and LeCavalier as your centres, then Plekanec could be traded. Koivu could move to the third line and then you have Lapierre. I wouldn't want Schneider next season, I would like to see Yemelin/Emelin, not sure which is correct. Pierre McGuire raves about him and apparently he has said he plans to be in Mtl next season to earn a spot. He has fulfilled his contract in Russia! On Gaborik, true he may be a gamble, but so was Havlat and after the shoulder surgery, he has proven to be more durable. I'd rather sign Gaborik than Kovalev right now, Gaborik shouldn't cost too much because of his injuries and he ias younger and faster than Kovalev.
    Unless Kovalev wants to be a third line guy behind Gaborik and Tanguay, and at a discount, then let hin walk! Maybe Tampa would take our second line ( Plekanec, Kostitsyn's) and McDonough and Gorges for LeCavalier!

    Hamrlik is another guy that it might be good to move before next season. He hasn't been as effective this season. With Yemelin, Webber, Subban, and maybe Valentenko, there is enough depth on D and their are a couple of character 5th 6th d-men available through free egency.

  21. Habfan17 says:

    I think it would take more than that to get Vinny and it doesn't look like Tampa needs a goaltender. Plekanec, the Kostitsyn's, gorges and McDonough should do it!

  22. hockeylegend488 says:

    a more realistic trade would be kostians for jordan stall of the pens,,,
    sign gaborak, give komiserak a new contract. keep scheider if you can. throw a pitch at gaborak and hossa see where it goes. If you can sign a decent goalie off season, do it, and have some compition for price. If he doesnt work out next year some times might have for patience then we do

  23. jpmac says:

    It is too hard to tell with goalies.  Many people hailed Price as the next Roy, which was way too pre mature.  We have to remember the kid is only 21 years old.  The last goalie to come in at that age was MA Fleury.  He had a couple of mediocore seasons, but now he is a well above average goalie. 
    On a side note, did anyone see the game last night, it seems as though Price may be turning it around a bit…hopefully.

  24. SensFan1977 says:

    Maybe the Habs can bury that loonie at centre ice so that they can have a little luck on their side. God knows they need it. 

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  25. Habfan17 says:

    I don't think it would take both Kostitsyn's! I would send the younger one and a third round pick. I would only do this if Gaborik had already agreed to a contract as there would be a need for another right wing. With Gaborik and Tanguay aboard, I would not resign Kovalev. If possible, I would rather sign Franzen than Hossa, since Tanguay and Gaborik are already right wingers! Franzen can play centre and with Staal, that would be 2 big centres and then Koivu and Lapierre.

  26. Habfan17 says:

    I certainly got people talking! I would rather have a Gaborik, even with the injury risk, over Kovalev. He is younger, faster, and more consistent. Havlat seems to have finally overcome his injury problems, and Gaborik should come cheap because of the injuries and if he puts them behind him, he would be a steal!

    I agree that I would rather have Franzen than Hossa at this point. He would be cheaper and is a work  horse! Another poster suggested trying to get Staal from Pitts and that may be a good idea. I would not sign Knuble, he has never put it all togther and Mtl needs to get younger, not older. I would rather see how Lang recovers, he has more talent and skill than Knuble.

  27. pllt666 says:

    here the moves i would try to do!

    trades the 2 Kostitsyn brothers with Andrei Markov forVinny Lecavalier and Dimitri Arthyukin

    trade   Yaroslav Halak and Chris Higgins  to detroit for Nicklas Kronvwall

    sign those free agents:

    Johan Frenzen
    Jay Boowmeester
    Francois Beauchemin
    Yan Laperriere

    let go KOivu,kovalev,lang…and sign Tangay but at a lower price.

    here how the team will look like

    Tanguay   Lecavalier    Latendresse
    Frenzen  Plecanek      Dagostini
    Paccioretty  Lapierre  Artyukin
    Laperierre  Stewart   Laraque

    Boowmeester   Beauchemin
    KOmisarek  Kronvwall
    Hamerlik    Yemelin

    Price
    a good veteran 2nd goalie

    that would do a great team ……bigger and stronger in the corner!

  28. MTL_HABS_24 says:

    Price's game has changed. He was starting to get into some bad habits: too deep in his crease, never challenging the shooters, always on his knees, bad angle coverage and relying on his quickness. 
    Add to that a high ankle injury and his confidence took a nosedive, never a good thing for a goalie.

    Over the last 5-6 games, however, his game started to get better. His injury in all likelyhood completely healed, he started challenging shooters, is staying on his feet longer than he ever has, is playing his angles much better and as a result his confidence is soaring again which is good news for us Habs fans and bad news for the opposition.

  29. HABSSTAR says:

    How to destroy a man in ten easy steps.  LOL! 

  30. lafleur10 says:

    nicely said! i agree 100%

  31. pezzz123 says:

    none of your trades are happening. Forget Niklas Kronwall. And none of the players you mentionned will sign with Montreal. Oh, maybe Laperriere…lol.

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