Needed: Scoring center (speculation only)
I really like the Habs this season. They’re playing well and seem to be all on the same page. Aside from a bit of inconsistent play, I only have one complaint:
the second line.
Now, to be honest, I can’t believe with the talent on that line they haven’t been scoring. Kovalev and Samsonov?? These guys have skill and the ability to score. Yes, they haven’t been playing up to par but I also believe that the Habs are rushing Plekanec into a role he just isn’t either a) ready or b) suited for.
We need someone who can set up these two wingers but who can also score too.
Now, that’s a lot to ask seeing what we are willing to give up. Aebisher and Niinnima are the two names that keep on coming up (Samsonov too, but I don’t think we are going to trade him unless it’s a major deal)
So, who is avaliable, and by avaliable I also mean affordable. The 2 names at center that come to mind are: Craig Conroy and Sergei Fedorov.
Conroy has a physical and defensive element that has been really missing for the lineup, while Fedorov is, well, Fedorov and it’s not hard to imagine that all-Russian line.
Both are under performing by a huge margin, and in both cases it’s somewhat of a risk (in the case of Fedorov, it also means have his next year salary at over 6mil). These players would have to turn around in a big way, but if they did it could dramatically improve the team. But that’s a big if.
In either case, with the Habs still playing well, I don’t see this or any trade coming in the near future. But, as it stands, the 2nd line center role is missing and needs to be filled.