Off-Season for Habs

Ok, i’m a life long Habs fan and as the end of last year came, i couldn’t help but think “i wonder who the HabsĀ will get and who the Habs can?” I’ve heard all the rumours surrounding Bergeron, Briere, Souray and Marleau and ya, it’d be great to get these guys but Habs fans everywhere have to more realistic. In order to get all four of these star players, the Habs would have to get rid of such people as:Markov, Koivu, Kovalev(plz do), Ryder, Higgins, Komisarek and a few others just to meet the salary cap. Now, if i were Bob Gainey, i would try incredibly hard to pursue Marleau, Briere and Souray. You can get Briere for 5-6 mill, Souray said if he got the right offer from Montreal, he’d take it(nething from4.5-6), and Marleau for 4-5 mill.

Now one of these players is coming to Montreal and we all know it and chances are its gonna be Marleau. If a trade were to be worked out, i see it looking something like this:

To SJ:Ryder, Halak, the 22nd pick

To MTL:Marleau, SJ 2nd round pick in 07, and a not-so-stellar prospect

Now, for the draft this coming Friday, I see Montreal getting 2 decent 1st round picks, that is if one isn’t traded. With the 12 pick, I see the Habs getting Angelo Esposito. Now before everyone jumps on me and says “he has no work ethic…blah blah blah”, getting Esposito is a great move because within a few years, Koivu isn’t going to be quite the same player. The Habs need a playmaker that can replace Koivu in about 2-3 years on that top line. With the 22nd pick, i see the habs getting Lars Eller. Let’s face facts, the guys a motivated Samsonov. He’s gonna play his ass off to make the NHL and i see him in a Habs uni by 2009.

Thus far, the Habs line up looks like this:

Latendresse-Koivu-Ryder
Higgins-Plekanec-Kovalev
???-Lapierre-???
???-Begin-A. Kostitsyn

With Garth Murray, Janne Lahti, Mathieu Aubin, Kyle Chipchura, Jonathan Ferland, Mikael Grabovski, Sergei Kostitsyn, Corey Locke, and any other rookies trying to make the team.

On D, Habs got:
Markov-???
Bouillon-Komisarek
Dandeneault-Gorges

With Mark Streit, Andrew Archer, Jean-Phillipe Cote, Andre Benoit, Mathieu Carle, Ryan O’Byrne, Alexei Emelin and Pavel Vetarenko vying for the last spot.

Goal looks like this:
Huet
Halak
Price

Ok, here’s what I propose:
-Trade or demote Begin, he hurt the team terribly in that last game in TO though he is an exceptional forechecker and penalty killer
-Try and trade for Marleau, and if the Habs land him, make him the #2 centre behind Koivu
-Try and get Souray back though, to this point, it seems hopeless that he’s coming back
-If Souray walks, sign Mathieu Schneider, he’s a perfect fit with Markov and he isn’t as big a reliablility as Souray on D
-Try hard for Briere if Marleau can’t be had
-Move Lapierre to the 4th line and team him up with the Kostitsyn’s
-For the #3 centre spot, try as hard as hell to sign Michal Handzus, he’s the best face off guy available besides Perreault
-On D, trade Dandeneault for a 4th or 5th rounder and in his spot put Emelin
-Trade Bouillon cuz the guy is way too small to play D and because of his size, he is a reliability on D when opposed by bigger stronger players
-Try and sign Andy Sutton, who’s 6’6 and is a brick wall against even Chara
-And to replace Begin as the teams spark plug, sign Scott Walker or, dare i say it, Wayne Primeau
-Something’s gotta be done at goal, either trade Huet or Halak. I say Huet only because he’s only good for 19 wins a season and he’s proven that theory 2 years in a row. Now all of you will say “oh, he was injured last year and he only played half the year the year before”. BS. Last year, Huet had 18 wins from January 1st to the game before his injury, almost a month without a win. the year before, he lost 6 of his last 7 to close out the year. I love Halak but he has no future in Montreal with Price here and ready to go. I say trade Huet and do what worked with developing Roy, have Price and Halak split the year, 41 games each. That’s what the Habs did with Roy, they played Roy every home game and Brian Hayword every road game and it almost won them 2 Cups in 4 years. I say, Halak start the road games and Price the home games, or if u want to relieve some of Price’s pressure, have him start the road games and Halak the home.

If Bob Gainey were to do what i have proposed, the team will look like this:

Latendresse-Koivu-Ryder/Higgins
Plekanec-Marleau/Briere-Kovalev
Grabovski-Handzus/Lapierre-Scott Walker/Wayne Primeau
A. Kostitsyn-Lapierre/Begin-S. Kostitsyn

Markov-Souray/Schneider
Bouillon/Sutton-Emelin
Komisarek-Gorges/Dandeneault

Huet/Price
Halak/Price

Now thats a Stanley Cup team right their, maybe not this year but within 2-3 years, a Cup will be in Montreal with this line up. Theirs potentially 7 30 goal scorers mixed with potentially 5 20 goal scorers and possibly the best goaltending duo since either Moog and Lemelin or Roy and Hayward.

Now the moment of judgement, how bad am i gonna get ripped for this?