What the 08-09 Habs is looking like+ Sundin.

I read the article about Koivu to the Wild and the horrible trade offer he porposed that Gainey should do and I just had to post something a little better.Now the Montreal Canadiens came off a spectacular year. A few days before July 1st we were informed that Bob Gainey trading for the rights of Mats Sundin. I thought right there and then Mats Sundin was going to sign with the Canadiens. I was surprised that Mats told Gainey that he was going to wait for July 1st and I honestly didnt beleive it was going to take him this long to choose. Retiring is out of the question now, there is no way Mats will retire if he wanted to retire he would of already and i hope he wouldnt pull a Favre:P. Now people who posted comments in other Habs things said the Koivu would move to the wing and I tell you right now Koivu is not moving the the wing he will be hte 3rd line centre(I have my sources). Its very hard to change someones position when they played centre there entire life. And the best thing Gainey has done all year so far is getting Alex Tanguay for the 1st and 3rd round pick. So here is a look at what the 08-09 Habs lines:

Alex Tanguay-Mats Sundin-Sergei Kostitsyn.
Andrei Kostitsyn-Tomas Plekanec-Alex Kovalev.
Chris Higgins-Saku Koivu-Guillaume Latendress.
Tom Kostopoulos-Kyle Chipchura-George Laraque/Steve Begin.

Andrei Markov-Mike Komisarek
Roman Hamrlik-Ryan O’Byrne
Josh Gorges-Francis Boullion/Ryan Mcdonough.

Carey Price
Jaroslav Halak

Let me brake down these lines for you. The first line consists of an amazing playmaker in Alex Tanguay. With Sundin infront of the net it would let Sergei Kostitsyn wide up his amazing shot and Sundin can bary the rebound. If there is a rebound.
Line 2: Are most productive line last year. This line only works if Kovalev gives us 82games again.
Line 3: Higgins and Koivu will never be seperated. And I put Lattendresse there because Koivu needs a big body infront of the net. If you watched last years playoff games against Philly, Koivu was always infront of the net making things happen. Koivu is 5″10 and Lattendresse is 6″2, imagine what type of player Latendresse could become if he stands infront of the net.
Line 4: Basicaly are checking line. You throw in Laraque who is the heavyweight champion of the NHL and nobody will dear to touch Kovalev, Koivu or Sundin. Nobody would dear to touch anyone on the team. Laraque was signed so Komisarek would see less minutes in the box and he wont have to do all the dirty work.

Defence: We have one of the best defences in the league. O’Byrne is a big boy, him with Hamrlik will be a great shut down defensive pairing. Komisarek with Markov gives us that mix of offence and defence. And are line of Gorges and Boullion is are line who gives us 82games. Dont be surprised if you see Mcdonough play a few games cause I find that Boullion is a little injury prone.

Goalies: Carey Price is without a doubt a future Martin Brodeur. Forget about the series with the Flyers the kid is 20 years old and he brought us to 1st in the east and he is the only reason we made it out of the 1st round against the Bruins. Price will play about 55-60 games and we have a solid backup in Jaroslav Halak. If Price or Halak were to go down, we have Marc Denis is the minors who is a veteran. Im not sure but I think I remember a game were Marc Denis played outstanding against us.

Now people are saying we need to shed some salary to sign Sundin. No trades need to be made, all Gainey has to do is buy-out Mathieu Dandenaults contract of 1.85mill a year and we have enough for Sundin.

Hope you like this article.

29 Responses to What the 08-09 Habs is looking like+ Sundin.

  1. habswinthecup-again says:

     I really do not think that Sundin is going to sign in Montreal, mostly because I think Cherry was right last year when he said that Sundin did not want to go through the punishment that is the playoffs. I think either he signs in Toronto because of loyalties and all the business ventures he has going on there, or he might just sign in Swedin and just play in his home country.

     In any event Montreal is still a very good team that with the addition of Laraque and Tanguay are that much better plus the fact that the young guys should improve themselves and you have probably the favorite team to come out of the East.

  2. Roadrunner12 says:

    Highly unlikely that Sundin will sign with Montreal.  In the event that he does Koivu will be traded. Guaranteed!  I like Koivu, he plays hard every game and is a character guy but with Sundin and Plekanec as your number one and two centres Koivu becomes expendible.

  3. oilcountry88 says:

    How many articles do we need about Sundin to the habs? Please stop its just getting boring.

  4. RealisticNick says:

    What about Max(s)?  Lapierre and Pacioretty.  And Mcdonough will not be in the NHL as he is not under contract, he is playing in the NCAA for at least another year. 

  5. Canadiens81 says:

    Koivu will not be traded he is the heart and soul of the habs, and their best player in the playoffs.  How is he expendable?

  6. habswinthecup-again says:

     I agree.

  7. pezzz says:

    NO, the Habs don't have one of the best defence of the league. O'Byrne is a rookie, and Bouillon/Gorges are no more than an average 3rd pairing. If you wanna have one of the best d-corp of the league, you MUST find a true #4. otherwise, you d-corp is average.

  8. pezzz says:

    + who will score the goals this year? you trade Ryder, a proven 30 goal scorer, for Tanguay, another playmaker. Kovalev scores 30 goals, but he's still a playmaker, not a sniper. your only sniper is AK. so who will score the goals??

    SK is a playmaker, Plekanec is a playmaker, Tanguay is a playmaker, Koivu is a playmaker, Kovalev is a playmaker.

    Higgins is a potential 30 goal scorer, but he flops every year.

    So who's gonna score the goals?

  9. habsrock99 says:

    When McDonagh was Drafted, he already committed himself for at least 2 years in the NCAA. This is going to be his 2nd year in University and when the NCAA season is over, he'll sign his Entry Level contract(much like Kyle Turris did last year and Jack Johnson did the year before that).

    "Its very hard to change someones position when they played centre there entire life."

    I have to say, this is the worst statement in an otherwise well written article. Centers switch to the Wing all the time. Joe Sakic did it in the early 2000's when Forsberg was healthy enough to play(and was doing so again last year at times). Steve Yzerman also played the Wing a lot more near the end of his career. Fact is, when you're entering the twilight of your career, you're better suited to play a less demanding position. Putting Koivu on the Wing would greatly help his production. The only time it's hard to switch positions is when you're going from defence to forward or from the Wing to Center. But if you're a Center going to the Wing, it's a rather easy transition because you have less responsibilities to look after.

    The odd men out this season are Steve Begin, Mathieu Dandenault and Francis Bouillon. All 3 are rather expensive and are not needed on this team. Kyle Chipchura, Pavel Valentenko and Shawn Belle can all provide much more to the team at literally half the cost(the only thing they lack is experience but you can't get that unless you play). Not to mention Montreal has a few guys in Hamilton that can fill in for injuries and cost less then 700K(like Alex Henry and Ryan Flinn). So what the smartest thing to do would be to trade 2 of the "unwanted" 3 and keep one(just in case). Only ask for low Draft Picks(4th-7th Round Picks, anything higher then a 4th Rounder is a steal for Montreal) and watch your prospects blossom or wilt.

  10. Promateus says:

    In the advent of Sundin coming (which i now think unlikely, i think the Rangers are getting him) i think the lines will not start like you suggested. I would see Sundin with Sergei but i'm fairly certain they will let Tanguay play with Saku (he was quoted as exclaiming in joy when he heard, or my memory is nothing but a fan-twisting aesthetical hallucination). Which means that Tender should start to play with the Swede for a tryout (MaxPac will be waiting though) and that Higgins should play Right of Saku. I think the're will be subtle attempt to make Saku feel better, and the're should be. It would just suck to play with the same teammates as the years before, when there was ample proof that something was missing (although i DO think that your line are optimal and that Tender should play with Saku). I guess it will all boil down to management's assessment of how much Saku likes Tender already, but in any case, i think he will START with Tanguay. Let us not forget that Tender as shown problems with right wing, so management will probably want him at the left, hence is line match is different than Tanguay, whom should play with Saku, which is basically my point here.

    In the abstract (with Sundin), the lines you've sketched are probably one of the two optimal combination (with the variation i have sketched) but you have forgotten Lapierre who will also be alternating on the last line and ad to the depht.

    Mcdonnaugh is a no-no because he will be in University and did not do the same as MaxPac. Valentenko should probably be the seventh D with maybe Weber surprising enough to join in the season.

    So, there you have it … this is a very dangerous team. Trade Hamrlick for JayBow, for instance (they're both left D, but JayBow could be the pointman on PP and command roughly same salaries), and you have a hell of a team (well you already have it)!

    A hundred Games for a Hundred years !!

  11. habsrock99 says:

    Kovalev is a sniper, not a playmaker. He drives to the net to score goals, not set them up.

    Sergei Kostitsyn is also more of a sniper then a playmaker. He just hasn't had the chance to show it because he's had more skilled goal scorers on his lines(OHL, AHL and NHL included).

    Michael Ryder is a useless 30 goal scorer. What good is a guy who'll score for 3-4 games at a time then disappear for 15? Montreal also seemed to lead the league in goals last year despite having one 30 goal man. Goal scoring is nowhere near being an issue at this time.

    Chris Higgins hasn't flopped, he's played injured for 2 straight seasons(2006-07 he played on a sprained ankle for 3 months and last year he had an undisclosed shoulder injury for 3/4's of the season). If he stays healthy, he'll score 40 goals in the NHL. He'll be breaking out this season for sure for at least 30.

    Also, Guillaume Latendresse is a pure goal scorer in the same mold as Eric Daze(just a little smaller). If Carbo would give him a shot to play every game alongside Koivu and Higgins(only players he's shown he can score with though they're the only skilled players he's played with), he'll be a guaranteed 30 goal scorer easily. No one notices him because it seems Carbo's trying to turn him into a 4th line checking winger, something he is not, he's a budding Power Forward that needs time to develop with decent ice time(not 4-5 minutes a game).

    Also, in response to the defenceman, that doesn't need to be addressed until it becomes crystal clear no one on the team is capable of filling in the potential void(and that's all it is, a potential void). And with Gorges, O'Byrne, Valentenko and quite possible Mathieu Carle going after that spot, it looks like Montreal will be able to keep their assets instead of over-spending on a guy who may or may not do well. Look at Detroit, they didn't address it until the Trade Deadline.

  12. DoubleDown says:

    dude, all you do is whine about the Habs. what is your problem with them? what is so bad about them? they're really not as bad as you make them out to be.

  13. pezzz says:

    lol you're right, it's true I don't like them. but the main reason I whine about them is ALMOST every hab fan thinks they will win the cup next year, with no sniper, O'Byrne as #4 and etc. I really think they overachieved last year and will likely fight for a playoff spot this year. I don't think they're bad, I just think they are an average team who got praised a lot too much based on 1 surprising season. and don't forget nobody got injured seriously last year, and the few games they lost Hamrlik, they got screwed.
    yes the Habs are a good team, the youngsters developped nicely, they have nice depth, but the way a large portion of Habs fan think that every player on the roster is the best of the NHL at his position pisses me off a lot. I read a lot of times (really a lot) that Habs d-corp was top 3 in the league, when it's maybe not even top 10. I read a lot of times AK-Plek-Kovalev is the best line in hockey, when it's maybe not even top 10. How many times I read Markov was top 3 d-man in the league, when he's maybe not even top 10. and the list goes on and on.

    maybe I'm underestimating the Habs, maybe I'm totally wrong. if the Habs do well this year, finish 1rst and make great playoff run, then I'll admit I was wrong with pleasure. Maybe my hate of the Habs is amplified by the idiot medias and its fans, I'd say it's probable. But when I read Bouillon is a elite d-man, you can understand it's getting on my nerves.

  14. habsrock99 says:

    Hab fan to Flame fan(I think that's what you are lol) I also hate how the media portray's the Habs as having an elite team. Francis Bouillon for instance, is a 6th defenceman at best, nothing more, yet he's praised because he's of French heritage(he was born in New York). Steve Begin has also been portrayed as an elite penalty killer when he's good but nothing special(except at blocking shots).

    However, I've lived all over Canada and it's the exact same everywhere. I lived in Vancouver for a year, and I heard nothing but how Vancouver was great and Cup favorites when they were a bottom feeder at the time. I'll never forget when they got Mark Messier, all Canuck fans believed the Cup was a sure thing. They ended up finishing 2nd last or last.

    I lived in Calgary for 2 years when they had Mike Vernon and Fred Brathwaite as their goalies and EVERYONE called them Cup contenders. They were horrible but had a bright future. While living in Calgary, I also got a taste of how every Oiler fan believed they were a great team when they were a 6th-8th place team.

    I've spent most of my life in Southwestern Ontario and I gotta say, their was a period of about 10 straight seasons where every newspaper said the Leafs were winning the Cup this year or next year. Or that they were the best team in the NHL by a mile just because they signed a player, and that guy didn't even have to be good. I remember when they got Aki Berg, the TO Sun said that the Leafs D now ranked #1 in the NHL.

    I've also spent some time in Quebec and yes the media is bad, but the fans aren't nearly as bad as most of been led to believe. Most Hab fans(and this goes for all the Canadian teams as well) are well rounded and know what they're talking about. Unfortunately, just like the News, the most ignorant of us happen to be displayed for all the world to see, which gives everyone a bad name.

    Now, back to the original Topic. I hate to say it, but you are actually wrong about the Habs defence, their Top Line and Markov. The Habs defence is Top 10 in the league despite having to have Patrice Brisebois, Josh Gorges and Ryan O'Byrne as the #4 guy last year. Now, imagine if the Habs would of had a proper shutdown #4 defenceman or just a proper #4 defenceman period, they would of been that much better. Now, after watching Gorges be the Habs best defenceman in the Play-Offs, he's proven he has what it takes but how he applies that remains to be seen.

    The Habs Top Line of Kostitsyn-Plekanec-Kovalev is ranked in the Top 10 in the NHL. It's one of the very few lines that played the entire season together. It was one of the most consistent lines of the year combining for 90 goals, 116 assists and 206 points. That number could easily be 15-20 points higher had Andrei not started the season with just 4 points in 20 games.

    Andrei Markov is a Top 10 defenceman in the league. He's proven it by being one of the best PP QB's while playing a solid defensive game. I'll be the first to admit that Markov needs to improve defensively but he is one of the most solid all around defencemen in the NHL today. The only guys I'd put ahead of him are Lidstrom, Pronger, Niedermayer, Phaneuf, Zubov and Chara and maybe Brian Rafalski. I'd put Gonchar there but he and Markov are the exact same type of player.

  15. PointMeAtTheSky says:

    That is certainly a good team.

    However, the chances of Sundin signing in Montreal seem to have become quite slim.

    However, with or without him, Les Habitants still have a very formidable squad.

    Although there are teams with better defenses (Anaheim, Vancouver, Detroit, Pittsburgh come to mind right away) Montreal back-end core is certainly talented and gritty.

    Although I wouldn't go so far as to compare Price with Brodeur just yet, he is still a talented young net-minder, especially for his age, he should provide solid goaltending.

    And of course, the forward group boasts plenty of offensive talent, and should have no trouble scoring goals, Sundin or no. Providing of course the young players continue to make strides and Kovalev doesn't have a relapse into this 2006-07 form. Tanguay is underrated I fearr. He was a 25-30 goal scorer in Colorado in probably the most defense-minded division of the more defense-minded conference. With the cast surrounding him in Montreal, and th more open eastern conference, look for him to be a sleeper.

  16. PointMeAtTheSky says:

    Of all those players, the only one who is a true playmaker is Koivu, who scores around 20 goals a year.

    Kovalev is skilled player who can both score and set-up linemates. The Kostisyns seem to be in the same mould.

    Higgins and Latendresse are certainly goal-scorers more then play-makers.

    Tanguay although more of a play-maker then a goal-scorer, can still light it up, as seen in his days in Colorado where he scored 25+ goals consistently. In fact, only twice with the Avalanche did he score less then 25 goals, once being his rookie season. He obviously scored less on an offensively challenged Calgary club.

    So, out of those seven forwards, only two can be classified as true play-makers, one of whom has 25-30 goal potenial.

    You have three more who are well-rounded offensively, and in my opinion cannot be classified as either a goal-scorer or play-maker as they have the qualities to be both. These all have 30+ goal potential, though may not all reach it this coming season, but certainly will in the future.

    And finally you have two who can be classified as goal-scorers, with one having 25-30 goal potential, and the other 15-25 goal potential.

    I don't see Les Habs having any trouble scoring goals this season.

  17. PointMeAtTheSky says:

    Sorry, my post was intended for the post directly below.

  18. pezzz says:

    1rst : yes I'm a Flames fan lol. although I'm living in MTL, so maybe that's why it's MTL medias who're getting on my nerves.

    I didn't travel to Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary or Southern Ontario (well, yes, once, but not enough to get a taste of medias), so I'll give you kudos on this one, you're probably right. When I see reports coming from the Ottawa sun or Toronto medias or whatever, usually I jump off my chair. So yes, Montreal is probably not alone in this world.

    for the d-corps, the lines, Markov, etc., we all have our own arguments and our own combinations, and your opinion is as good as mine for this. I'll still write mine here.

    for the d-men I believe are better than Markov (in no particular order) :

    Lidstrom, Phaneuf, Chara, Campbell, Rafalski, Niedermayer, Pronger, Jovanovski, Zubov, Kronwall, Bouwmeester, Timonen, Gonchar, Kaberle.

    Markov ranks 13th on my list.

    You would probably put Markov ahead of some I put there. Jovo, Kronwall, Timonen and Kaberle I guess.

    Timonen has as much offensive potential as Markov, but is better in is own end. Kronwall's play is being shadowed by Lidstrom, but the kid is really a futur Norris contender. He's a late bloomer, but his play looks a lot like Dion Phaneuf right now. Kaberle looks a lot like Markov, they almost play the same game, but I prefer Kaberle as he's more consistent and played on a bad team last year. Gonchar has more offensive potential than Markov and he really made HUGE strides to his defensive game last year. that's why I put him ahead of Markov. otherwise, he's a Streit type of d-man.

    depending on the year, Markov journeys between 9th and 13th IMO.

    for the d-corps (in no order again) :

    Calgary : Phaneuf, Vandermeer, Sarich, Regehr (best shutdown pair in the NHL), Aucoin, Giordano, Pardy.

    Detroit : Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwall, Stuart, Lebda, Lilja, Chelios

    Anaheim : Nieds, Pronger, Schneider, Beauchemin, Huskins, Montador, O'Donnell

    Chicago : Campbell, Keith, Seabrook, Barker, Wisniewski, Sopel

    Florida : Bouwmeester, Allen, Ballard, Van Ryn, Murphy, Welch, Boynton/Skrastins

    Minniesota : Burns, Schultz, Johnsson, Zidlicky, Skoula, Foster, Bergeron

    Nashville : Weber, Suter, Hammuis, de Vries, Zanon, Koistinen, Klein (most underrated d-corp in the NHL)

    NYR : Redden, Roszival, Staal, Girardi, Kalinin, Mara, Pock

    San Jose : Boyle, Blake, Erhoff, Vlasic, Murray, McLaren, Lukowich

    Toronto : Kaberle, Kubina, McCabe, Finger, Colaiacovo, Stralman, White

    Vancouver : Ohlund, Salo, Bieksa, Edler, Mitchell, Krajicek, Davison

    as you can see, I rank MTL d-corp 12th on my list.

    for the top Lines (in no order again) :

    Calgary : Cammalleri, Langkow, Iginla

    Anaheim : Kunitz, Getzlaf, Perry

    Buffalo : Vanek, Roy, Pominville

    Chicago : Kane, Toews, Havlat

    Colorado : Smyth, Stastny, Hejduk

    Dallas : Morrow, Ribeiro, Lehtinen

    Detroit : Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Holmstrom

    Edmonton : Penner, Horcoff, Hemsky

    Los Angeles : Frolov, Kopitar, Brown

    Minniesota : Bouchard, Koivu, Gaborik

    Nashville : Erat, Arnott, Dumont

    Ottawa : Heatley, Spezza, Alfredsson

    Philadelphia : Gagne, Briere, Lupul

    Phoenix : Mueller, Jokinen, Doan

    Pittsburgh : Dupuis, Crosby, Satan/Fedotenko, Malkin, Sykora

    Tampa Bay : Prospal, Lecavalier, St-Louis

    Vancouver : Sedin, Sedin, Demitra

    Washington : Ovechkin, Backstrom, Kozlov/Semin, Nylander, Clark.

    as you can see, I rank AK-Plekanec-Kovalev 21th on my list. maybe I'm biased because I don't like MTL so much lol, but anyway.

    you probably don't have the same results as me, but I'd still like to see what are your results, and what you think about mine.

  19. Habfan17 says:

    Good posting, but there are a few things that I don't think are accurate.
    First, it isn't hard to change positions, I did it 3 times, from defence, to centre and then back and forth between wing and centre and it sisn't bother me and I am no way in the league of an NHl player. I do think that Koivu would play 3rd line centre if Sundin signs, but more because of the number of wingers Mtl has and because tha Habs seem to like Higgins playing on his line.

    McDonough won't be playing this year, Valentenko has the inside track over him. Price may end up being at the level of Brodeur and other greats, but that remains to be seen. Brodeur did have a couple of hickups early on in his career too!

    As good as Mtl's defence is…I don't think you could put them in the top 5 in the league, top 10 for sure. There are some guys who post articles here that think Mtl needs another 4th defenceman, but I think letting the young guys play would be better. It made sense when there were UFA's that could have been had for free. But, there aren't many that would be available through a trade and they would command a high price.

  20. Habfan17 says:

    Well said! You make very good points! After reading columns in the sports media today, it would appear that Sundin is no closer to making a decision, and that may work against Mtl. It could also be that Mats just wants to put a lid on speculation while he makes his decision.

    I am one who believes that Price will bounce back and continue to develop into one of the top goalies!

  21. Habfan17 says:

    Great rebuttle. I don't understand why Pezz thinks tha Habs will have trouble scoring goals. They did fine last season and Ryder had a miserable year!

    I agree, let's wait and see what the young guys bring this year. I don't know why everyone is so high on bringing in another guy! Bowmeister hasn't reached anywhere near the level that he was touted to reach. His points, when you include plus/minus were the same as Hamrlik's and Hamrlik brings experience and is an amaxing mentor. Just ask Phaneuf!

  22. Habfan17 says:

    I agree there are some fans who are very passionate, but that is a good thing. Other teams would be lucky to have fans like that.

    I have been a Hab fan for over 40 years, but I do not see things through rose coloured glasses. That is why I posted the column wondering about the pressure they will face this year!

    There are so many fans, you may be one of them, that leans too far against the habs because at one time, they were so good. Just like some fans hate the Oilers. Too much of a good thing sometimes brings negative results. Who do you cheer for?

    I think you should check your facts on Markov, he ranked 6th in points for a defenceman and although only a plus 1, he still finished well ahead of Pronger who had less points, was a minus player, but gets paid a lot more scratch and gets a lot more attention! 

  23. Habfan17 says:

    I like what you have said except for the part about trading Hamrlik for JayBow. If you look at their stats last season and take into account the plus/minus, they were dead even! JayBow hasn't lived up to his billing yet, although I do know that d-men usually take longer to fit in. But if you compare his billing to Phaneuf's, he should have arrived by now. It didn't take Dion as long to excel!

    I give the edge to Hamrlik for now because of the experience he brings to a realatively young defence and his awesome mentoring ability. Gainey understands that the mentoring is worth it's weight in gold. Just look at what he did for Phaneuf!!

    JayBow may do better in a system such as Mtl's, but the price to get him would be too high, Florida would not trade straight up for Hamrlik, and it is a bit of a gamble that he even reaches the potential everyone had expected from him.

  24. Promateus says:

    Markov is better than that, while not being in the top 5 of the league (that would be Lid, Nieder, Pronger, Phaneuf and one undetermined, i'll explain). So apart from these 4 which are obviously in the top 4, the other ones have down and up-side, or specialities if you will, which prevent us from properly differentiating. Jovanovsky is a consistent minus (-42 carreer, -51 if you count the playoffs) with good offense, Timonen is minus 7 overall and they both should be ranked under Markov even though their offense compares (Markov is plus 23 overall). While Chara could be deemed better, i don't like him and cannot assess truthfully. I would not want to trade Markov for Chara. Kronwall, Bouw and Kaberle have potential but they are not worth the same as Markov as of now. Which leaves Campbell, Rafalski, and Gonchar each of which compares with Markov. Maybe Markov is last out of these 4, but he is definetely in the same league. That means he should be 8th or 9th best (most valued) D in the league right now.

    As for the lines, well i'll just plainly says that AK46―Plek―AK27 is NOT one of the top 5 line in the league. But it definetely ranks better than Vancouver's, Nashville's, Minnesota's, Edmonton's (?!!), Washington's 2nd,  and Colorado's, amongst maybe others. (By the way, isn't Camalleri a center? ). LA's really compares to MTL's first .

    As for your D corps, i'll venture as far as saying that you really tried too hard to push MTL corps down. This shows with praise for Chicago's (?!!), TO's,  Van's. I really dissagree with Calgary's corp being ahead of MTL's, also. Bouillon is NOT overrated by the french people, in fact nearly everyone wants him traded for cap space. I think he's quite good, equalling Komisarek +- last year and very consistent, mobile, rough, and nice passer. The only weak spot in MTL's D is O'Byrne (playing with Hamrlik, he effectively becomes the fourth D which is weak). So all and all, MTL is better than you say they are, and not so much weaker than the press presents them. In fact, the press was NEVER in the business of Ch apologia. They are consistently putting them down, not wanting to look more like fans than analysts.

    So this was my take on it. Good post with lots of points of view/positions which permits lengthy rebuttal and reasonned arguments.

  25. Promateus says:

    You are right, it would be a gamble. One i'm not sure i would venture to take. But, Hamr is SURE to be worth JayBouw (he's got a contract!) and is probably the best offer that could be made to Florida which makes it somehow enticing as JayBouw is young. But he might be greedy. I wouldn't blame Gainey for not pulling the trigger on this deal. I'm not even sure i would. good post btw

  26. habsrock99 says:

    On Defence, I'd likely put Montreal ahead of

    Anaheim- Front loaded with nothing special after Pronger and Niedermayer, Monteal thus has a better 3-6 defenders then Anaheim.

    Toronto- Montreal has a much better cast when it comes to the defensvie aspects of a game. If you wanna talk about offence, then the Leafs rank ahead.

    Vancouver- They have an over-rated group of under-rated defencemen(if that makes sense lol). They all do the job defensively but as they get closer to the offensive zone, they disappear. They're lucky they have Luongo because he helps minimize his defenceman's errors.

    Florida- Bouwmeester is highly over-rated. Defence has been a main reason Florida hasn't made the Play-Offs. Should improve with Keith Ballard.

    The only defences I like better are

    Detroit- Self explanatory 

    Minnesota- More to do with coaching then actual talent though they've gotten better in that regard as well

    Chicago- Short term, Montreal's better but in the long run, Hawks have the edge

    Nashville- See Chicago

    Rangers- Assuming Redden returns to form

    Having me Rank the Habs as having the 6th best defensvie unit. Which could easily be moved to 4th with an aquisition of a 4th defenceman.

    Of the Top Lines in the NHL, the only one's I'd consider better then Montreal's are:

    Calgary- Any line with Iggy is Top 2 in the NHL

    Buffalo- Proved they are for real

    Detroit- Best pure line in the NHL today, no one even comes close

    Ottawa- Best offensive line in the NHL today

    Pittsburgh- Only team that can say they have 2 of the 5 best players in the NHL on the same line

    Tampa Bay- Have great chemistry together but if you remove Vinny, the line quickly becomes one of the worst as St. Louis is highly over-rated.

    Washington- One word, Ovechkin.

    Making the Habs Top line rank 8th in my books.

  27. Pony says:

    To say you'd take Montreal's top 6 over Anaheim is insane. Montreal a better 3-6 than the Ducks. I would take Schneider and and Beauchemin any day over Hamrlik and O'Byrne. Same for O'Donnell and Huskins over Gorges and Bouillon.

    I even prefer Anaheim's top line of Kunitz Getzlaf Perry over Montreal's.

    Chicago's Havlavt Toews Kane is another and San Jose could do better with Michalek Thornton Cheechoo.

  28. lafleur10 says:

    you make some real good points and valid ones too! however i think your underestimating our top line of  plekanec ,kovalev and kostitsyn  they out scored those other line that you listed! infact they were one of the highest scoring lines in the league! i think they are better than the chicago line you list because havlat can't stay healthy enough to fully gauge the potency of that line!and i think our top line is better than the san jose line because of the incosistancy of cheechoo so for now i'd take our top line! i still think it is a top 10 line in the league………of course it is no where near detroits top line datsyuk,zetterberg,holmstrom(the best line in the league)
    or as good as ottawa's super 1 line of spezza,heatley,alfredsson
    or pittsburgh's with crosby,malkin sykora but it is definatley a top 10 line in the league!however if sundin did sign with us for arguement sake lets say,i'd say our new top line of sundin,kovalev,tanguay would be one of the top 2-3 lines in the entire league and not many teams could rival that top line with the exception of detroit!now as far as the defence goes nobody has a good of defence as detroit! there top 5 are the best in the league anaheim top 3 are super but i think,markov,komisarek,hamrlik are the best top 3 in the eastern conference1our #4 spot is a huge question mark right now but if valantenko,carle,macdonagh or emelin ,or gorges,o'byrne keep develping i think those questions will be answered! bouillon,dandeneault are depth demen and nothin g more and i think they will be traded or bought out! as bought arestiffs!

  29. rojoke says:

    O'Byrne might be a rookie, sophomore this season, but he played well enough to earn the trust of the coaching staff last season, and will probably have to play his way off the team at camp.  The problem is that there's no one-two offensive punch at the blueline now.  After Markov, it drops considerably.

    I've seen Pacioretty's name, Valentenko and McDonaugh, but what about Alexei Emelin?  He almost made the club last year and preferred going back to Russia over reporting to Hamilton.  I think this camp, gainey will make a final decision on him, if Emelin doesn't make it for him.  He either goes to Hamilton this fall or he's out of the Habs plans, and maybe he can swing a trade for that second pairing, if necessary.

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