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?


8 Responses to Off-Season for Habs

  1. Avim86 says:

    Very nice article , I agree with most of the stuff you listed. Habs can't go for the quick fix , and waste all our prospects on risky trades. I'd let our youngsters develop those that make the line-up will and those that don't will make it next year. If we get a free agent star to help our youngsters then it would be good but trading off our future is not the solution….Only time will tell. Go Habs Go

  2. MtlHabs09 says:

    Awesome, down-to-earth article. Realizing that we won't be able to sign a dream team this year, but are still able to grab some more than decent players. Thank you for the Huet thing, he's an amazing BACKUP goalie. I can easily see Price starting around mid-year with the team, in my opinion, struggling off the bat. Good article man, keep it up.

  3. Antero says:

    really, you're a habs fan.
    i couldn't tell.

    i think most of what you propose is plausible.
    i don't see this being a cup contender anytime soon.
    and i'm pretty sure Walker resigned already.

  4. sakurulz says:

    ironic how in a ''realistic post'', you're pretty far from reality….

    why would SJ trade their 2nd centerman, which gives them their offensive strength, for a michael ryder, when they have lots of great yung talent on the wings?

    Why would SJ want Halak when they have nabokov and toskala in nets?

    also, begin is a fourth liner, scott walker a potential top-6 forward (who just resigned btw)…so how do you consider ''replacing begin by walker''????????

    also, it's like you guys don't really read what's going on before coming posting your articles here…..gainey mentionned more than once that Price would be a n.1 goalie next season so if it isn't with the habs, it's back to hamilton!
    He needs to play doesn't need to heat the bench….so either n.1 in mtl, either n.1 in hamilton!got it?

    in case you don't live in mtl, emelin will stay in Russia for now…..

    trading bouillon? last yr he wasn't that good it's true but he missed training camp and was injured so….he'll probably be back better than ever….even if he is small, he is one of the hardest hitting players on the team……+ he has a NTC with a contract signed just last summer so i doubt gainey will start tading every player he just signed….

    the kost. bro's won't be on 4th line….andrei will prob have top 3 line (possibly even top 2) role while sergei will prob start the season in AHL….
    putting lapiere with kost???really?
    you're mixing a 4th liner no talented but a lot of heart player with one of the most skilled young players in the team offensively….are you kidding me???

    aside from that, not bad!

  5. habsrock99 says:

    ok, just one thing, i hadn't heard about Walker and putting the Kostitsyns with Lapierre would be a smart thing considering he centred Andrei in Hamilton before ther call ups. And ya my solution may be a "quick fix" but wat else r u gonna do with the empty roster spots? by feeding the rookies to the fire will hurt more then it will help so by adding players to help with the here and now lets those potential stars develop at ther own pace. And no, Bouillon won't bounce back cuz he was a one year wonder and having him on the team will hurt more then it helps. like ive always said, they should move Bouillon to the wings, put him on the 3rd line maybe.

  6. habsoverserver says:

    this is possible if you are talking about an aggressive gm, but gainey doesn't do that kind of stuff. 

    briere isn't leaving a team that dominated the regular season to play for a team that missed the playoffs.  marleau has only one year left on his contract.  emelin won't be here til 09 at best.  schneider isn't coming back.  habs can't trade bouillon, they have no depth on defense.

  7. habsrock99 says:

    if Emelin isnt coming til 09, then why are all the sports stations telling everyone that he was signed and that he has the best shot at making the team among the rookies? not only have they said this, so did Gainey in an interview like 4 days ago.

  8. habsoverserver says:

    the website i checked say the following:

    The Canadiens have confirmed to CJAD's Abe Hefter that defenceman Alexei Yemelin,  Montreal's third-round pick in the 2004 NHL entry draft, has signed on to play in Russia.  However,  Russian law stipulates that Yemelin could get out of his contract with two weeks notice.  The Canadiens appeared to be primed to announced Yemelin's signing, but Yemelin was apparently already deep in conversations with a Russian Elite League team to pull out of those talks.

    Alexei Emelin, a member of Team Russia at the '07 World Championships and the Montreal Canadiens' third-round draft pick in '04, has turned down a contract offer from the Canadiens to sign a two-year deal with Ak Bars Kazan of the Russian Super League, as announced earlier today on the Ak Bars web site, as well as by Soviet Sport.

    The Soviet Sport article quotes the 21-year-old defenseman as saying that by the time the Canadiens had offered him a contract, he already had an agreement in place with Ak Bars, and that the negotiations with Ak Bars had been on-going since prior to the World Championships (in late May). When asked if his contract with Ak Bars included an out clause if he were to sign an NHL deal, Emelin either seemed unaware of such a provision, or refused to discuss it, saying, "I play for Ak Bars now, and I will only think about this team."

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