Montreal's Offseason Goals

The Montreal Canadiens will likely re-sign Jose Theodore to a incentive-based contract, or just give what he wants. But what other needs does Andre Savard have to fill this offseason?I personally believe the Habs’ goals this offseason (other than re-signing Theodore) should be these:

Grit: The Habs showed a lot of character in the playoffs, except for the now-departed Sergei Berezin. Their emotional leader was of course Saku Koivu, but Doug Gilmour played a huge role as well. Whether Gilmour leaves or not, the Habs desperately need a big forward who can hit and score. They already have Bill Lindsay and Chad Kilger, 2 forwards who can hit, but you probably won’t seem them on the top 2 lines. As Guy Carbonneau said during the playoffs, the Canadiens need a shotblocker.

Scoring: The Habs have a lot of smallish forwards who can knock in 40-50 points, but not many accomplished scorers. Koivu and Audette should benefit from playing full seasons, but without another scorer on the line they probably would only score 50-60 points. If the Habs can bring someone like Teemu Selanne in, he’d be a guarenteed 70 points each year because he would get loads of ice time. Selanne only struggled in San Jose because of limited ice time (14 minutes each game).

Defense: The defense will benefit next year from having Komisarek and Hainsey, which will make the Habs (in my opinion) well positioned at D with these possible pairings: Brisebois and Dykhuis, Quintal and Markov, Komisarek and Hainsey, 7th D: Sheldon Souray. There really aren’t any holes to plug on the defense. It wouldn’t hurt to pick a solid defenseman though. Francois Bouliion, Stephane Robidas and Patrick Traverse probably will be trade bait.

Coaching: Michel Therrien will probably have to win the back the confidence on his players after his rookie mistakes during the playoffs, such as sending out left wing Bill Lindsay to take an important faceoff in the Habs end against Brindamour (league’s 2nd best faceoff man), instead of sending out Yanic Perreault the league’s best faceoff man. If the Habs start poorly, Therrien could be on his way out. I feel they should have promoted Carbonneau to head coach, and if Therrien falters Carbonneau just might become the coach.

If the Habs want to contend next season, this is probably the way to do it: sign some good solid forwards who can score and add some grit. If I was Savard, I’d be interested in signing these forwards:

Teemu Selanne (Scorer and Grit)

Andrew Cassels (Scorer)

Randy McKay (Grit, Leader, Shotblocker)

Scott Young (Grit and Scorer)

Pat Verbeek (Grit, Leader, Shotblocker)


30 Responses to Montreal's Offseason Goals

  1. Habs4ever says:

    I don’t think the habs have the money to sign all of those players, but I think they could afford Selanne and Mckay. Those two would fit in well in Montreal. Young is incosistent and Verbeek is getting old although he would add experience. If Gilmour returns though, Verbeek is not neededd. Cassels would be a nice addition but the habs are strongest at center with Joe Juneau, Saku Koivu, Doug Gilmour and Yanic Perreault. I think they could add some tougher wingers though and I would like to see McKay and Domi land in Montreal. Selanne would be great with Koivu too. Anyway just my wish list.

    -Felix

  2. MossRocks says:

    McKay and Selanne would be good targets for the Habs. I’m not sure they can afford Teemu, but they should definitely try. Maybe Saku can help the deal along.

    Good luck playing Komisarek and Hainsey together. That sounds like the perfect way to ruin two young defensemen. I would expect that only one of them will make the lineup and they will NOT be paired together.

    Moreau or Grier may fit the bill for big, strong checkers who will block shots. The Oilers would probably be interested in Markov, Souray and, of course, Zednik. Maybe the two teams could work a deal. I think both clubs have players that need a change of scenery.

    You do know that Carbonneau works for the Stars now, right? It is not likely that he would coach the Habs if Therrien goes in the tank.

  3. bubbakazoo says:

    See above, and there’s no way Selanne, Young or Domi are coming to town. However, Mackay is- and oh yeah, do the Habs need another center like Cassels ?(Koivu, Perrault and Juneau are the same kind of player as him).

  4. Jonathane says:

    You stated, “the Habs desperately need a big forward who can hit and score.”

    I know Hab fans on this board hate when I bring this up, but does anyone remember Brian Savage? Sounds like he fits the requirements. Oh yea, they traded him away becaue they couldn’t come up with an extra $500,000 per season.

    The Hab fans seem to have a fascination with Selanne, if for no other reason than Koivu is from Finland. Selanne left a winning team that was offering a little over $6 million a seasona and the Bruins are offering $7.5 per season. Do you really believe that the Habs are going to be offering Selanne 3 years at $7 million?

    Cassels is a possibility, however with Lang getting $5 million how much is Cassels going to want?

    I’m not really sure about McKay or Verbeek, but I really think that Young is going to follow the money to Dallas.

  5. zednik says:

    To start it wasn’t that they COULDn’t come up with 500,000 its they didn’t feel he was worst it and they were right.

    He is gritty sure, but he has score more then 45 points ONCE in his career. There are also questions about how healed his neck really is. His money was better spent elsewhere. (see Cherkawski)

    Why would that Habs not spend the money tyo address their needs they made a higher offer for Hull last season and a huge offer just below what the Bruins paid to Martin Lapointe. The Habs managment will try to address the needs of the teams. If those needs call for signing someone like Sellane they will try they have the money its a matter of if they want to put all the eggs in one basket.

    -Z

  6. mikster says:

    Habs will go nowhere until they re-sign Theodore. First Theodore is signed, then you can talk at who they can sign.

  7. Stanajax says:

    We’ve got Hackett ready to take the job and prove he’s still a great goalie if Théo wants to hold out. But it won’t happen. Théo knows how bad it is for a goalie to miss a training camp….. What he wants before money is to be sure of being 1st Goalie (no problem with that, I think). Then, if Meehan makes difficulties, he’ll dump him to sign quickly a new contract (maybe short term, which would be better I think).

  8. Stanajax says:

    I don’t want Verbeek or Young. Verbeek is washed up and Young, well, I prefer Czerkawski-Petrov-Zednik-Audette as top wingers!!!

    Selanne would be great and his combo with Koivu should be lethal.

    Can Gillett pay him 7-8 millions a year???

    Yes.

    Does Savard want to pay him 7-8 millions???

    Maybe not…..

    Savard isn’t Sather. He may does not want to break the salary structure. As of now, Brisebois is the highest paid player with around 4 millions a year. Hackett has a bit less, Saku is at 3.3, Perreault and Audette at 3, and Théo is expected to get 4-5 millions.

    So, Selanne with 7-8 millions would change everything…

  9. Gold says:

    it’s not the 500 000$ the proble, the problem is Savage don’t worth it in Savard mind’s. I agree with him

  10. Gold says:

    Savard offered Brett Hull 6 millions last year. Why not 7 millions for Selanne, now that they increased their revenues?

  11. MossRocks says:

    Your problem is that Brisebois is your highest paid player. Even as the impending second highest (to Theodore) or third highest, it is ridiculous. I think they already broke the salary structure, why not add Selanne at $7million, but go no higher. He will not give you $8million dollars worth of production.

  12. chewy says:

    Watch for Hainsey and Komesarek to be traded at some point over the next two seasons, Montreal has a thing with its US and western born players, Chelios, Wilkie, LeClair, Cassels, it has been a long tradition in Montreal to draft from other parts of Canada and the US but then to dump the players, IE, Chelios for Savard, Cassels for a pick, Tucker for no one, LeClair for Reechi, who happens to be back with Philly. Cassels I can not see going back to the Habs, but the rest could be possilbe. Signing Theodore to a contract he likes is very important, then most important on the Habs list this year.

  13. revolution says:

    I know that Carbonneau’s with Dallas but he might be interested in coming back considering that he’s just the assistant GM. Probably just wishful thinking on my part.

    About those forwards, I didn’t mean he would sign all of them, but theyd still be pretty handy. Gilmour’s probably going to retire, so they would need more leadership and a scoring center to replace. Joe Juneau is simply a penalty killer now, he can’t score. Cassels could probably knock in 50 points. Selanne is probably going to Boston unless Savard gives him 7-8 million. Verbeek could come cheap, and be a good leader. Scott Young’s very underrated, he can get about 25-30 goals given the icetime. And the canadiens need that scoring. McKay wouldn’t be too expensive.

  14. Stanajax says:

    I can’t see Selanne in a Bruin jersey. That would be too awful!!!!

    And I don’t believe in Young’s future. I think his real level is more this year’s one (19 goals) than previous year’s one (40 goals!!!).

    I repeat, Czerkawski, Petrov and Zednik scored more than Young this year. Audette was injured but poster 79 points the year before. So, I can’t see Young take the spot of either of the four. Plus, Marcel Hossa may be ready, and Bulis may finally step up!!!

    Young isn’t a real improvement, he’s another good-but-not-great winger that we’ve got plenty of.

    Selanne would be the real improvement. And McKay could help with his grit if Gilmour retires. But McKay will have to prove, as Gilmour did, that he’s not washed up…

  15. wholefnshow says:

    Komisarek WON’T play next year. He has stated that he intends to complete his college eligibility before joining the Habs.

    Hainsey on the other hand is ready to step in.

    I really want the Habs to sign Selanne, but I understand that signing Theo is priority number 1.

    The Habs sure need a couple shot blockers. I don’t know why people speak so highly of Dackell and Juneau’s PK ability when neither sacrifices themself for the shot block.

    If the Habs sign anyone it should be Mckay(shot blocker), Selanne(scorer), and maybe a cheap but reliable defenceman.

  16. zednik says:

    First order of Business is to sign Theo,

    Pay him fairly he fought for his starters job.

    Once that is done they can focus on dealing Hacket and getting whatever we can. The safest bet is to hold out to see who doesn’t have a Goaltender when the music stops and shaken em down.

    Grit: Randy Mckay is the perfect fit but the Habs will not end up getting him I think this player will end up coming Via Trade.

    We have to remember the Habs don’t like the free agent market. Another thing we need to rememeber

    MONTREAL LOVES FRENCH CANADIANS ! !

    Therefore someone French has to be brought in. it may sound stupid but look @ the players they have added over the Years. SO Who is gritty and French?

    Scoring: I have a crazy Gut feeling that Savard will make a play for Vincent LeCaviller I have no source its just a Gut feeling. Vincent needs out of Tampa. and we know Gillette wants him. As for Selanne he had a good playoff I don’t know if we will ever see that 72 goal form again. If they sign him cool if not its money spent elsewhere.

    Defence: Hainsey maybe this season maybe not, Brisebois, Dykhuis, Quintal, Markov, Souray and Rivet are an ok core

    the Habs were looking @ Philip Bouchie till Dallas got him, I wouldn’t mind Seeing Eric Dejardin back in a Habs Uniform if he can be had for as little as some Philly fans have said. I don’t know how many Craig Ludwig dive in front of the puck face first defencemen there are that are available?

    I would be content to see Bryan Berard in a Habs uni as well he can’t want that much and he can still score.

    Coaching: Rookie mistakes aside, He has Passion and that is a great thing. I don’t think Montreal will flop out of the gate, his job is pretty safe,

    Sidenote: have the Habs resigned Fiset?

    -Z

  17. Bigman says:

    if they need a shot blocker maybe they should make a move for marchant maybe

    marcel hossa for marchant it would give the oilers more young talent too

  18. habs_88_4life says:

    If Savard is smart he will NOT trade Marcel Hossa because he is projected to be an NHL superstar.

  19. Habfan4 says:

    Funny you should mention goaltending. I can’t beleive that the Rangers are sticking with Blackburn next year!

    The Habs will address Theodore in due course. Outside of that I do not see them making any efforts to sign an expensive UFA. The only new faces in the Habs line up (besides Czerkawski) may be Marcel Hossa, Ron Hainsey and the long shot Komasarek.

  20. Habfan4 says:

    In case you haven’t read about it in a TORONTO newspaper, there is a new GM in Montréal. Serge Savard and Rejean “Peanut” Houle are gone so the Habs won’t be moving out prospects like Hainsey or Komasarek.

  21. Habfan4 says:

    According the Montreal Gazette, Komasarek has been contemplating leaving Michigna early. Even if he does, he’s still a long shot to step into the Habs line up (likely he’ll play a year in the AHL). But, never say never.

    Forget about the UFAs like Selanne, at the prices that they have been going for the Habs won’t be signing any of them.

  22. Habfan4 says:

    You have an inflated opinion of Brian Savage. He did not bring a physical dimension to the Habs line-up. He toughed it out for (8 years I think) and did an decent job. But one-timers were his forte not physical play.

    The reason he was traded was his salary demands (4+ million a season). He never really reached his potential in a Habs jersey – he wanted to be paid like a 30 goal man but could never pot 30.

  23. fatpuck says:

    Savard is smart. He won’t trade Hossa, nor Hainsey, nor Komisarek.. unless he can get a young player like Lecavalier. But he won’t trade them all, that’s for sure.

    The Habs have made bad 1st round picks in the 90’s: Turner Stevenson (over Keith Tkachuk, Martin Brodeur), Brent Bilodeau (over Glen Murray), David Wilkie, Brad Brown, Terry Ryan (over Kyle McLaren, Radek Dvorak, Jarome Iginla, Jay McKee, Petr Sykora), Matt Higgins (over Marco Sturm, Daniel Briere), Jason Ward (over Marian Hossa, Scott Hannan, Brenden Morrow), Eric Chouinard (over Martin Skoula, Simon Gagne, Jiri Fischer, Scott Gomez)

    Only Saku Koivu was a good 1st round pick in the 90’s. They got lucky with Theodore, he was a 2nd round pick. So if Savard decides to trade Hainsey, Komisarek or Hossa, the asking price will be high.

    About Selanne..

    Am I dreaming or I heard/read somewhere that Selanne was quoted to say “At my age, money is not that important” ??

    Why wouldn’t he accept less money to come to Montreal and play with Saku? He must have at least 25 million in the bank.. so what’s 1 or 2 million less? Hmmm.. money is a powerfull tool.

    Are the Bruins close to inking Selanne? Anybody have any news or reliable rumors on the situation?

  24. Stanajax says:

    Forget that quickly!!!!!

    For Marchant, you can have Bulis, no more!!!

  25. Stanajax says:

    No, Fiset hasn’t resigned and he won’t cos we’re loaded with 4 goaltenders (3 to sign….).

    Bryan Berard can’t score with his lone eye, he proved it with a don’t-take-care-of-defense team like the Rangers.

  26. wayne2 says:

    I dont know what your definition of grit is but Selanne is a scorer but a kitten type player,not grit.they can maybe afford Cassels and McKay,thats about it.

  27. zednik says:

    They did SIgn McKay !

    I never thought it would happen !

    As for Fiset

    I think they should sign him they may be knee deep in goaltending

    but Hackett is gone and a back-up with NHL experience may be the way to go.

    -Z

  28. revolution says:

    George Gillett has the money for Selanne, the question is whether Andre Savard thinks he’ll fit into the Habs plans. Selanne isn’ t the grittiest player, but he atleast fights his own battles along the boards.

  29. revolution says:

    Hackett will only be gone if some team is interested in him, which would be a longshot considering his 3.4 million salary. Fiset hasn’t played in the NHL for a long time ( struggled in the 3 games this year) and he’s as injuryprone as Hackett. The Habs are more interested in seeing how Mathieu Garon develops..But don’t count out Hackett, he’s a very capable backup. If he stays healthy he’ll keep the Habs in games when Theodore is fatigued.

  30. Bigman says:

    since when does selanne bring grit

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