What we really need!
Ryder, Halak, 3rd for Bertuzzi and 2nd
Bouillon and 3rd for Boogaard
This gives us a large, physical player in Bertuzzi, who is on a bit of a cold streak, but isn’t having a terrible year. We all know that he can score goals, he just needs the right fit. Anaheim cannot afford to pay him 4M next season with the returns of Niedermayer and Selanne, plus Schneider who doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere. They also need to re-sign Perry who will likely command 4M+.
Now where does that place the habs in terms of cap space. Well, currently we have to re-sign Huet (I’m just naming the UFA’s not who we should or should not resign), Streit, Ryder, A. Kostitsyn (RFA), Lapierre, O’Byrne, Gorges, Smolinski, and Brisebois. We have 4M in cap space. The trades above would free up about 5M and it will take Halak and Ryder off our re-signing list. Boogaard makes about a million and Bertuzzi makes 4M. So we’re back to 4M in cap space.
Huet 7M 2 year contract
Streit 7M 3 year contract
Lapierre, O’Byrne, Gorges 4M 3year deals
Let Smolinski go UFA
Same for Brisebois
A.Kostitsyn 7M 3 year deal
Less than 500K space, but with the projected cap increase, should give some wiggle room. Bertuzzi’s big contract expires just as we have our big summer next year where we have a lot of resigning to deal with.
With these trades, we officially become a bonafide contender. We will be even all-around with no major weaknesses. The faceoff situation will have to be rectified from within, but lately it hasn’t been as bad. The main thing is that we get a big, talented 2nd line guy like Bertuzzi as well as a MONSTER in Boogaard who we can afford to have sit for 5 min for a fighting major. Komisarek can focus on his job rather than always defending others. Bertuzzi will “watch over” softies like Koivu and Higgins. We dump useless salary like Smolinski, Brisebois (who makes 1.4M not 700K, by the way) Ryder, Bouillon. I would love to find a suitor for Dandenault, but I guess we’re stuck with him. Not bad actually, to have a good reserve like that. Huet can take the playoffs this year and 40 games next year. This is my opinion, I personally feel that if we are to win the cup we need 2 things. Grit, which we get in excess with Bertuzzi and Boogaard (who is injured at the moment, but the playoffs are a still distant), and a decent 2nd line winger who, most importantly, will dig in the corners and feed Koivu and Higgins. I think that is the main problem this year with that line. Koivu is older and can’t battle in the corners as well and Higgins can’t do it by himself and ends up trying too hard. If both of them could just rely on passing and shooting, with Bertuzzi doing the dirty work, the line might spark! Here’s hoping…anyways, this beats the stupid Hossa for Higgins and a 1st rumors/suggestions. We don’t need a star. We need someone who can make our stars become stars again!
A.Kostitsyn – Plekanec – Kovalev
Higgins – Koivu – Bertuzzi
Latendresse – Lapierre – S. Kostitsyn
Begin/Boogaard – Chipchura/Smolinski – Kostopoulos
Markov – Komisarek
Hamrlik – O’Byrne
Streit – Gorges