The WAITING Game

As the summer drags on with little or no hockey news, the Sundin Saga remains front and center.


I have just read that many Vancouver companies are offering freebies to Mats, a Volvo, sweedish meatballs, a radio station has even said they will play more ABBA! Although they may think this is flattering to Mats, he appears to be more receptive to the soft sell approach. Past experience seems to demonstrate that he prefers to deal in private with issues, so this may all backfire, at least as a Habs fan, I hope it does!

Having said that, and knowing that this has been debated to death, do the Habs really need to make more moves. I read yesterday that if Sundin signs in Mtl, then Selanne may follow! If he did, and if Mtl wants him, that would relegate S. Kostitsyn to the 3rd line. I guess for 1 year that wouldn’t upset the young players or hurt the chemistry. It would also give guys like Pacioretty an extra year to develop in Hamilton. There are a couple of prospects that have been flying under the radar, J.T. Wyman and Andrew Conboy. Both are big wingers and Wyman plays the right side. This is what was posted on hockeysfuture.com…

A league coach had this to say about Wyman: “Wyman has the ability to single handedly change the game in one shift. He is very explosive and is a pure goal scorer. He has a tremendous first three strides, has nice hands, and a quick release. He will have to develop his play in the last 100 feet to make himself a more complete player.”

The fact that he is 6’2″ and around 200lbs doesn’t hurt. Conboy may round in to a solid 3rd liner and at 6’4″ would also help. With him and Pacioretty knocking on the door, Latendresse will HAVE to have a breakout season!

Kovalev only has 1 more year and who knows if he will want to resign, or if Mtl will want him. A lot depends on how this season goes. If Mtl doesn’t get Sundin and if Ottawa does end up making the rumoured deal with Chicago for Khabibilin and either Seabrook/Barkerl Chicago may be willing to make another deal to acquire some defence. There are 2 players that would fit in nicely in Mtl, Blunden, a big right winger and Nathan Davis, a centre with the following attributes..

Davis is a highly skilled forward who has become an excellent special teams player for Miami-Ohio this season. Of Davis’ 14 goals, four came short-handed and six came on the power play. Davis makes great use of his 6’1 frame, particularly when driving to the net. He is strong on the puck and intensely persistent in his pursuits for possession. Davis is an outstanding skater with powerful strides and good speed. He is defensively sound and transitions very well. Davis possesses a good, quick release and plays well around the net. He is very good on draws. He also has good vision. As Davis continues to acclimate himself to the collegiate game, his overall confidence level and decisions on the ice should improve.

Based on the most recent ratings of Mtl defence prospects, I would send Fischer and Emelin to Chicago. Valentenko, Carle, McDonough, and Subban are solid prospects and now with Belle in the fold, Mtl is more than covered even with those 2 gone. There is also Greg Pateryn HT: 6-2 WT: 212

60 games played, 3 goals, 24 assists, -1, 145 pims. 137 shots

These are pretty solid numbers and he has size

Any other ideas as to what Mtl should do? Let’s hear them!!


40 Responses to The WAITING Game

  1. Nobesadados says:

    The wait is definitely getting on my nerves.  IF Mats does sign in Mtl and IF Selanne does the same, BG will have to get rid of some contracts to make room for them both.  I assume Dandeneault is on the outs.  Good for BG to wait for the Mats saga to end.  As far as I can tell, there is barely enough money for Mats. 

    Some of the names you mentioned are new to me.  I assume that Conboy, Davis and Wyman are drafted and part of the Habs organization?  Or are they potential draft picks.  Either way, it's nice to hear that there is some size coming.  I totally agree that G. Latendresse needs to come to camp looking like a brick s**t house and ready to score and throw his weight around.  He is really young but you can always be replaced even if the media loves him.  Hopefully he continues his growth and shows Carbo and BG that he belongs.  The future looks bright and hopefully Mats understand that if he wants a cup his best chance is with Mtl.  Imagine Detroit and Mtl in the cup final!  I can see Komisarek dropping the boom on Hossa'a head.  Should be an interesting next week or so.  GO HABS GO!

  2. Milohabs says:

    All I can add is that Gainey is very methodical. For the first time i feel like he is now ready to make a serious cup run and if it means losing some prospects of young potential he’ll do so to try and win THIS YEAR.

    IF Sundin signs, he’ll be done with the exception of a demotion or trade (Dandenault) to free up cap space.

    IF Sundin does not sign, I think he’ll be looking to trade for a top tier forward. In other words, he is looking for a big center and will do what he can to get it. (Marleau?) San Jose DOES have cap problems. Some prospects and picks could work in that situation.

    Gainey has patience and lots of cap room to take his time and make the right move when & if he needs to. Another name that I’ve heard buzz around as a deadline trade could be for a guy like Havlat. I think Selanne is a plan B for if Sundin does NOT sign. I can’t see how Gainey could fit them both under the cap.

    I think if the depth is so great that Koivu & Higgins or Plekanec end up on 3rd line duties that means we are VERY strong up front.

  3. Benstheman says:

    I think its Sundin or nothing but i wouldn't mind seeing Selanne in a habs uniform.

    One sure thing is there is no room for both. Anyway, we will be stacked up front if Sundin signs and there will be no room for Selanne on the first two lines.

    And i prefer keeping the money (if there is) to get a top 4 defensman at the trade deadline.

  4. TimTheBone says:

    well look at things this way, we do have a BUNCH of young talent in the waiting. And sooner or later someone in the line-up will eventually sign elsewhere (for cap reasons or others), its just logic that you can't keep a team together for that long, so if were looking to make a cup run, we might end up having to trade a top player on our team in order to fit everyone in. and with all the talent comin up i say for a possible cup, i'd be willing to lose a higgins or plekanec to fit sundin and selanne under the cap. Pacioretty is looking good so why not. IF it comes to that i won't be so disappointed

  5. muckies says:

    I think Montreal is definetly in a great position for next season and for the next 3-4 seasons, no doubt Gainey is in the top 3 GM's with Wilson and Holland.

    The thing in MOntreal is they aren't big enough up front, and their players don't play big even if they are, guys like Kovolev and Latendress don't bring any kind of Jam to the Habs.
    If they get Sundin that all changes because he is just such a horse with the puck, and is so good in every way. 
    Montreal wil probably win their division, but they are a young team, have a ton of ego, and they didn't seem to have great chemistry in the playoffs when the  going got tough, they lacked seriuos leadership and the youth of the club really became apparent.
    The coach and key players ego isn't leaving, so that is their biggest stumbling block right now, that's the main thing Sundin will bring, a desperation to win that is lacking on the ice, he'll translate Gainey's expereince and desire to win onto the ice. 
  6. Habfan17 says:

    Waiting for Sundin is nerve racking because I think he would make Mtl a strong contender. Conboy and Wyman are currently Habs prospects. Davis and Blunden are 2 forwards prospects in Chicago that If Chicago were to trade Khabibulin and one of either Seabrook or Barker to Ottawa, I would like to see Mtl trade Fischer and Emelin to get. Chicago has lots of depth up front and Mtl has tons of depth on defence.

    It would be awesome to have Mtl and Detroit play for the cup. Mind you, I would prefer to have Calgary and Mtl in the finals.

  7. Habfan17 says:

    The lack of size is one of the reasons I suggested the trade of Fischer and Emelin to Chicago for Blunden and Davis. Davis plays in all situations, is a short handed threat and is great at face offs. Blunden is a big right wing, power forwrad who played for Canada at the World juniors a few years ago. He would be a better right wing than Ryder. Mtl is strong at left wing, but could use a bookend at right to play with Pacioretty. Wyman might be the guy, I guess we will see!  With all of the defencemen Mtl has, they can afford to move Fischer and Emelin to get a couple of strong forwards who will grow with the team. Chicago has lots of depth at forward.

  8. Habfan17 says:

    I would say that Dandenault is probably done in Mtl, especially if Sundin signs. If Sundin does not come to Mtl, then I wouldn't trade for Marleau. True he has size, but he is soft and come play off time, he does not elevate his game of that of those around him. In my opinion, he would eat up a good chunk of the salsry cap but would not be a player that would make Mtl a true contender.

  9. Habfan17 says:

    Don't get me wrong, I am all for waiting for Sundin and hope he signs. I was just quoting a rumour that mentioned Selanne coming to Mtl if Sundin signs. I am not sure that he would be the best thing, but for 1 year, it may help. He has won the cup and has played with Koivu before.

  10. Habfan17 says:

    There is a lot of talent in the wings, but more so on defence, that is why I suggested the trade with Chicago. I do agree, if the right player was available, one of the established forwards could be moved. It would have to be a very good impact player, not Marleau! He has never been an impact player, especially come play off time.

  11. tizucker says:

    Ill tell u all right now Sundin is not going to the Habs, he is way to loyal to the leafs and would never go to their rival, plus he is not gonna want to play his old team 6 times! Plus if he was gonna sign with them he would have when they traded for his negotiating rights. It is either Vancouver or the leafs so sorry habs fans but i would get all your attention instead focused on Selanne because with him at least u have a chance.

  12. Plekanec says:

      Who cares about Sundin or Selanne, if it takes all this time to make their mind up, obviously they are not motivated to play for the habs anyway! Sundin isn't here yet so lets talk about thing that we can actually do, not what we will do if! The habs have a great team as is and couldn't afford Sundin anyway! Keep in mind that the Canadiens have to extend some key players contract during this upcoming season, players like Komisarek, Higgins, Plekanec, Chipchura, Koivu, Kovalev will all ask for a tremendous raise, plus Gainey  will have to replace Bouillon, Dandenault and Begin who are not likely to resign.

      Right now we only have around 7.5 millions left to extend the contract of player who Gainey wouldn't want to hit the RFA or UFA's market. First we have our UFAs Komisarek, Koivu and Kovalev. I believe Gainey will reward Komisarek with a long term contract at around 5 millions/year, As Komisarek is a much better defenseman than guys like Hannan, Wideman, Finger, Streit who all make above 4 million/year. 

      Koivu will resign short term for around 5.5 million/year, experience centers come at a big prize nowa days, if he tried the UFA market, i bet Koivu would get offers above the one above.

     I wish Kovalev would be extended but he's russian and will probably wait for the UFAs market to open, if Sundin was offered 10 million look for some GM to offer Kovy 7-8 million/year next year. Keep in mind all the taxes these players have to pay every year!

     I think that Dandenault Bouillon and Begin will all be let go of by next summer.It leaves Tangay who could surprise and also will become unrestricted next summer.

     Next we have our RFAs Higgins, Plekanec and Chipchura. If it the RFAs"I" doubt either one will be given an offer sheet but lets see what an Arbitrator would give them.

    Higgins will make close of what Hartnell, Malone, Tangay are making as their stats have similarity.

    Plekanec could make even more if keeps playing the way he has been. i say just above 5 mil/year.

    Chipchura will probably make the same, it all depend on how many games he plays.

     as you can see with all the raise we have to give out this season, we can't really afford Sundin, unless it's for one year.  But we have a lot of prospects that could also surprise at training camp Pacio, Maxwell, Wyman, Conboy, Valentenko ,Subban, Carle ect.. But why is Bob has been trading centermen(Grabovski, Locke) on an already weak team at center, It obvious that Bob 's up to something "I" think he's waiting for Sundin and if not he will resign Smolinski just in case of injury. This is my line-up for the upcoming season.

    Kostitsyn-Plekanec- Kovalev
    Tangay- Koivy- Latendresse
    Pacioretty-Higgins-Kostitsyn S.
    begin- Lapierre- Laraque/Kostopoulos, Stewart, Chipchura,Dandenault

    Markov-Komisarek
    Hamrlik-O'Byrne
    Bouillon-Gorges/Belle/Valentenko

    Price/Halak/Denis

      As you can see even if Sundin doesn't come to Montreal we still have to make a trade or else as the habs have to many fowards.

  13. TimTheBone says:

    Well first thing your "speculative" raise for Chipchura is WAAAAAAY too much. Unless he has an incredible insane season he won't break the 3 mil mark. Think under that number somewhere.

    Stewart will only see call ups incase of injuries to 3rd or 4th liners. Pacioretty could prove himself but in all likelihood will see action in the minors and be a call up for 2nd and 1st liners. Dandenault i just dont see a place for him at all, one way or another i see him on the way out. He'll be moved. Lapierre and Chipchura will be centering the 3rd and 4th lines. Higgins will almost certainly be playing alongside koivu. So this is what the line-up as it stands will look like (more realisticly).

    Kostitsyn-Plekanec- Kovalev
    Tanguay-Koivu-Higgins
    S.Kostitsyn-Lapierre-Latendresse
    Begin-Chipchura-Laraque/Kostopolous

    Your defense are fine!!     Although we'll see what belle can do at camp.

    And come free agency time, I highly doubt bob will be able to sign the entire team again. So be prepared to see a few players on the move. And hell, who knows if Bob isn't thinking about letting certain players go and just not resigning them. He's got all this planned and in his mind. That's why he's the GM and not us.

  14. Plekanec says:

     When I said chipchura  was going to make the same, i met the same as what he's making this year witch is around .950 K/year.

     It also looks like Gainey's trying to put together 3 offensive lines and I don't see Lapierre on any offensive line as he is a defensive foward, So if a rookie impresses at training camp it won't take much to demote Lapierre and make that 4th line the checking line. I would also love to see Higgins to be strickly offense this year and leave the dirty checking line to someone less Talented(Begin, Chipchura, Lapierre ect..).

      I think that getting some muscle in the off-season will transform the Habs, if you though they were good last year, wait to see this year Montreal Canadiens with a George Laraque who will command respect and make players such as Maxwell, pacioretty ect.. to have an easier start with the big club and also make a very young team much more confident by having NHL toughest GUY!

      I think we might be surprise cause with all the talent, dept and flexible foward that Carbo can play with,  we might see totally different lines than what "ME and YOU" both though it would of been on opening day! Hell we might even see something like this

    Tangay- Sundin – Kovalev
    Kostitsyn- Plek- Kostitsyn
    Higgins – Koivu – Latendresse/Prospect
    Begin – Lapierre – laraque

    who knows?

  15. DoubleDown says:

    would be shocked to see sundin go anywhere but back to toronto. he likes it there. the money is there. my favourite part of this saga is listening to the canuck fans and mike gillis. gillis's conjecture today about it being down to the canucks and toronto was precious.

    i gave up on him coming here a few days after the draft. no loss. we never had him to begin with. at this point, i'm just sick of seeing his bald dome plastered everywhere.

    what will be funny, though, is if he doesn't sign in vancouver after that offer gillis made and the comments he's made this past week. way to open your organization up for merciless ridicule.

  16. muckies says:

    I think the thing with Montreal si they are commited to playing a fast transition game like Detroit, and is it wprks it will be amazing, but to plug a few grinders in doesn't change the fact that the players on the top 2 lines are all little skilled, not tough at all guys, and having rookies and tough guys in the bottom line like Laraque and these guys above won't change the fact that Montreal needs it's top 6 plyers, the Kostitsyns, Koive and Kovalev to make it happen, not sure if that is going to happen with those players, maybe they should pick up Glenn  Murray and see if he has anything left in the tank. 

  17. oilcountry88 says:

    MTL should take a run for Tkauch.. I heard Selanna only had two teams in the running for him..Mtl and Edm..

  18. habsrock99 says:

    Montreal can most certainly afford Sundin for the proposed 2 year/14 million dollar deal. Higgins hasn't done much to warrant any type of significant raise. He might if he turns in a good season which I believe he will. Koivu will do one of 3 things after this year. ONE, Retire after winning the Cup(if we do). TWO, re-sign for 2 years at around 4 million a season(hometown discount) or THREE sign with Minnesota if we have a disappointing season or Play-Offs(To play with Mikko).

    Kovalev will re-sign for 2 years at around roughly 5.25-5.5 million. Tanguay will likely re-sign for around the same if not less then he makes now. Chipchura will get nothing more then 1.5 million. Not to mention Bouillon, Begin and Dandenault will be gone leaving us with roughly an extra 5 million in Cap Space(around 3.5 with the replacements which will be rookies or players making less then 900K). Komisarek will likely sign for 5 years at around 25 million dollars. Depending on what Plekanec does this year, he could be making anywhere between Andrei Kostitsyn money to Kovalev money.

    Also, Max Pacioretty is nowhere close to being NHL ready. He needs at least one more year in College plus a possible additional year in Hamilton. The last Power Forward we drafted we rushed too quickly(Latendresse) and now everyone hates him and his development has been hurt drastically. Look for Pacioretty to be a major fixture in 2010. Any earlier and the Habs would risk hurting his development like they did to Latendresse.

  19. Plekanec says:

     Pacioretty isn't allowed to play college anymore, he's a pro, so AHL or NHL for Max regardless nothing else!

     Beside nobody hurt Latendresse' s development,he is lazy and never made an effort to train in any off-season unlike players like higgins and Komisarek who constantly work on themselves, Guillaume might be one of NHL worst skater on one of the fastest team it doesn't make sense to me? If Pacioretty is ready he will play with the habs remember last year same thing Sergei Kostitsyn isn't ready bla bla, who cares how old the a "player"  if he's gonna be great he will learn how to deal with the pressure and just play. Latendresse is nowhere near what Pacioretty is at the same age.

      any "good to great" player in history, started their career at a young age, for a player to have a long career, it has to start early! Plus 19 going on 209 isn't that young and at 6,2", 220 lbs! I don't think size is an issue.

  20. turdfergusson says:

     Gainey's in a really good spot here. If I were him I wouldn't do anything until the trade deadline. There's six and a half million bucks to play with and he should wait till then so the team can aquire what it really needs down the stretch, whatever that may be. What Sundin could bring to the table , I think the Habs have enough of already.

     

  21. TimTheBone says:

    o my bad on the chipchura thing. and yeah it could very well look completely different. And i do think lapierre has somewhat of an offensive upside given he's playing with the proper players. For example a S'kostitsyn would be good for him. Lapierre is a fast skater and a banger in tyhe corners… a good contrast for a Skostitsyn

  22. habsoverserver says:

    S. Kostitsyn already is on the third line. higgins, tanguay koivu, kovalev, plenaec, a. kostitsyn are frist two lines. if montreal gets sundin, then koivu or higgins gets demoted to the third line. selanne has no interest in montreal and montreal has no room for sundin on the roster.

    montreal should wait for sundin to decide.  if sundin declines, then montreal should try to trade for a big center. but that is easier said than done.  gainey could spend part of his $7 million on smolinski. 

    there is no room on the team for davis.  he has no nhl experience and montreal is stacked with prospects.   

  23. Habfan17 says:

    I am confused, you say Mtl has no room for Sundin, then go on to say that they should wait for him. S Kostitsyn has also played on the 2nd line and should move up based on his play. There is definitely room for a player like Davis given that Koivu will probably be gone in the next couple of years and Mtl does not have any strong 1st or 2nd line centres in the system.

    I was quoting an article which stated that Selanne may want to come to Mtl if Sundin signs. Neither you or I know what Selanne really is thinking of doing.

  24. Habfan17 says:

    Good point about waitong for the trade deadline! I agree, Gainey is in a good osition. I do think though that Sundin would add something the Habs are lacking, skill and size down the middle. The bonus with him is he also adds tremendous character, and experience.

  25. Habfan17 says:

    Sorry, who is it you think Mtl should take a run at? I hadn't heard that Selanne was looking at either Mtl or Edm, interesting!

  26. Habfan17 says:

    It is getting very tiresome reading the " no news " about Sundin every day. From the articles that I have read lately, it would seam as if he is leaning toward Toronto. Never say never, but in a way, I hope Vancouver does get him at that ridiculous salary and they tank. It would also give Burke another target to rant about raising salaries!

  27. Habfan17 says:

    Sundin has already gone on record saying that he would only sign a one year deal, possibly with a one year option.

    If Kovalev decides he wants a lot more money, then let him go. Who knows which player Mtl will get this year, last years model, or the one from two seasons ago. He doesn't have consistently strong seasons and although I like him when he competes and doesn't go around trying to get revenge for dirty hits, you never know what you will get.

    Mtl will have to re-sign players over the next year, Komisarek is a no brainer, but depending on the year some of the other players have this season, Gainey may choose to move some of them to make room for less expensive prospects, that is the salary cap world.

    I don't think Selanne is needed and I don't believe that Koivu would ask for that much money if he decides to stay after this season. He knows he is on the downside and would probably take a home town discount to stay if he thought that Mtl was a contender again.

  28. Habfan17 says:

    Theya re definitley committed to playing a speed game, but in my opinion, you still need some skill guys with and edge. S.Kostitsyn has an edge, but not a lot of size. I agree with your take on Kovalev, he only starts throwing his weight around when he gets mad at someone. Mind you, he is hard to move off the puck. Koivu is probably the feistiest forward, pound for pound, but he is not the same player who once knocked Messier hard into the boards and shocked him. It isn't about being tough in the sense of fighting, but in going to the tough places like corners and the front of the net and standing thier ground. Most of the time, if you aren't the first one in the corner, you won't get the puck. They also have to fihgt harder to get it back when they do lose it!

  29. Habfan17 says:

    I don't buy your theory that he would have signed when they traded his negotiating rights. Sundin is an introspective person and I think he wanted to see 2 things, did he still have the drive to commit to the grind that is required to compete the way he does, and, he wanted to see what the Leafs would do, and if he would want to play based on the changes they made. By all accounts, he was upset by the way he was treated. I would be too! If you give me a no trade clause, fine, ask me once if I will waive it, but then let it go! It is definitely not about the money, he doesn't really need it. I would agree that he might need time to decide if he would be comfortable playing the leafs 6 times. That could be uncomfortable, but he is a pro and if he does come back, I would think it would be ebcause he wants a legitimate chance to win the cup. neither Toronto or Vanvouver would give him that shot. Mtl is closer right now, but who knows, maybe he will surprise everyone and sign somewhere else.

  30. Habfan17 says:

    You must have missed the announcement that Pacioretty signed with Mtl and will be playing in Hamilton this season.

    I do agree, your numbers make more sense, but a lot will depend on other teams. If a player thinks he will make more as a UFA, then they may not choose to resign, then Gainey will have to move to an alternate plan.

    Depending on the year Komisarek will have, he may end up with a bit more than $5 million/year. Again, it will depend on what is more important to him and if he feels like staying in Mtl over bigger bucks elsewhere. The Finger signing in Toronto really skues things.

  31. muckies says:

    As a Sens fan, when Havlat was young we used to think he was fiesty because he would swing his stick and get angry on the ice after the whistle, push and yao, and we thought he had an element of Theo Fleury in him, but after a few seasons of grinding NHL hockey it becomes evident that that element of emotion isn't really part of their game, and they don't provide that all-out inspirational emotion teams need in big games to give them the edge and win.  

    These types of players are good when they score, but I still believe in the top 6 you need a few big, grinding, super talented all out forwards that can turn a game around by not scoring and by simply pounding and intimidating people. 
  32. TimTheBone says:

    Although i do agree with you about the kovalev thing, I do happen to enjoy his mean streak sometimes. Granted those times are very limited but when they come well justified i just absoluteley LOVE it. For example ——->  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khywEqMgtUI ………………. This is just absolutely GOLDEN !!

  33. habsrock99 says:

    In Latendresse's first training camp, he was the best player by a mile because he had to earn a spot. Last year, he was given a spot on a silver platter. Gainey's made just one real mistake in his tenure and that was putting Latendresse on the team at 18 instead of doing what he did with Kostitsyn and starting him in Hamilton(Kostitsyn was one of Montreal's best players last training camp and still went down). But unfortunately, Gainey gave in to the media and made Latendresse the 4th line RW and he saw no action until Higgins was injured.

    I also haven't heard anything about Pacioretty declaring himself a pro but I'll keep looking and for now I'll take your word for it.

  34. Habfan17 says:

    I agree that having a guy like Neely on the top 2 lines is important. Nobody wanted to get him mad, and he would go out and lay a few guys on their butts to make a point. He didn't fight much, but after the first couple of seasons, he didn't have to. Just like Iginla and Robinson when he played. Those are the types of players I respect the most. They have tons of skill and will do the grunt work too!

  35. Habroller says:

    Pacioretty has indeed just signed a 3-year pro contract. I confirm.

  36. habsrock99 says:

    Indeed he did and a smart move for both sides. Still, Pacioretty will be in Hamilton until at least December(like Kostitsyn was). The Habs roster is pretty much full and they should not do what they did to Latendresse and feed him 4th line minutes and have him up just for the sake of having him up. I firmly believe had Latendresse started in Hamilton in 2006-07 and he received Top Line minutes even for a little while, it would of given him confidence and an edge, like it did to Kostitsyn last year.

    Hmm, I wonder if we've stumbled upon a new trend in the NHL that has followed in the MLB's footsteps(recently MLB teams have been starting their Superstar prosects in AAA for a month or so then called them up after they received an extra boost of confidence and thus far, it's generated a Rookie of the Year in 2007 and quite possibly another one this year).

  37. habsrock99 says:

    Actually, you are wrong, Montreal indeed has at least one strong Center that will be a 1st but more likely a 2nd line Center at the NHL Level. His name is Ben Maxwell and he plays a very similar game to Koivu(speed, determination, can be tenacious at times) and he's quite decent on defence too. Only problem, he has one other Koivu attribute, his knack for getting hurt. His last 2 WHL seasons have been wiped out because of an elbow injury in 2006-07 and another injury last year(just 70 games over the last 2 years though he tallied 80 Points). If he stays healthy he'll put up very similar numbers as Koivu(75-80 Points).

    This is his Scouting Report according to Sportsnet.ca:

    Assets– Has a projectable frame and excellent playmaking instincts. Already displays a defensive conscience and can be trusted in critical situations.

    Flaws– Needs to add more bulk in order to withstand the constant pounding of the NHL game. Must initiate more contact to be most effective.

    Career Potential– 2nd Line Center

    He's probably the best Option to succeed Koivu when he retires.

  38. Habfan17 says:

    I am aware of Maxwell, but as you mentioned, he is injury prone and lacks size at the moment. At 6'1" and 183 lbs, I am not sure that he will crack 200lbs. His scouting report is not as good as Davis's. I just think it wouldn't hurt to add another talented prospect at centre.
    Mtl also has Ryan White, but again, he looks more to be a 3rd line centre and based on his numbers, 89 points in 73 games, 97 pims 2 years ago and, 18 games, 14 points, 36 pims this past year. Again, here is a prospect who may be injury prone. The knock on him has been conditioning. That is something that I would think would be addressed when he gets to Hamilton. The dark horse is Brock Trotter. Mtl signed him out of university and apparently many teams wanted him. He may be more of a Koivu clone as he is only 5"9" and Trevor Timmins says he is great from the blueline in!

    That is only 3 prospects and non of whom have impact player written on them. The numbers for Maxwell and White indicate that they could have decent offensive potential, if they can handle the physical aspect of the game. At best, I don't see them ever being more than 2nd or 3rd line centres

  39. Habfan17 says:

    Uou don't have to take his word for it, just go the the Canadiens website, the montreal gazette website, faceoff.com, or any of the sports websites like TSN or sportsnet. Mtl is down playing the signing saying he will spend the year in Hamilton, but who knows!

  40. ICELIZARD says:

    I'm not sure I agree with your assessement of Maxwell & White… Until they play in the NHL, you are just speculating…  If we think just a few years back, Perezhogin was supposed to be the can't miss blue-chiper that will fill the net; Higgins was to be a 3rd line center (similar to Carboneau) and Plekanec was too small to make it to the NHL…After a few years in the NHL, Perezhogin was becoming a defensive expert and packed his bags for Russia; Higgins just completed consecutive years of 20+ goals playing LW on the top 2 lines; Plekanec has developed into a very skilled and honnest working 1st line centre with the Habs…

    Maxwell or White can very well be the next Plekanec…

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