What's hapening with the Canadiens ?


I guess now that the cup is won, it is time to get back on track.
Maybe, like myself, a lot of you folks are tired of the Carey Price stuff. So let’s speculate on something else.

Here is a quick “résumé” of the situation.

According to Eklund, the Canadiens can spend around 23.9 millions on 7 RFAs.

Those guys are : Higgins, Komisarek, Ryder, Plekanec, Milroy, Gorges, Leighton, Perezhogin.

First of all, Leighton and Perezhogin are gone.

I assume they could sign Duncan Milroy to a 650 K deal.
Gorges, witch I think they want to keep, is not in a position were he can ask much. Let’s say around 900K to 1.4 M.

Higgins and Komisarek are both expected to get significants augmentations that could place them in the 2.5M range. Altought it could be a little less, I think it’s reasonable to calculate a cap hit of about 5M for the two of them.

Ryder will want a deal in the 3.5M range I think. I am not sure they want to stick with him on the long term, but my guess is that he will still be a Canadiens next year.

So how much money left ?
That leaves around 13-14 M to spend.

Now, this could be reduced to, let’s say, 12 M with the Samsonov buyout

It’s a lot.

The basic way to think leads us to this :
Well, let’s give Souray 5M and 7M to Brière.
I do not think this is what’s going to happen.

First off, I don’t think Montreal as the king of management that will likely pursue and sign the key free agents that are’nt already in their team.

Free agency always makes you overpay and, though one could argue we did pay a lot for Markov, it is almost certain that he would have got more on the market.

On this free agent field, there will always be someone to beat Montreal’s offer. So I think we should forget about it, at least for a star forward.

Sheldon seems not very likely to resign in Montreal. At least, that’s what all reports are saying. I would’nt be surprised to see him back though for a couple of 100K. (He has been offered 4.5M for 3 years already).

So what do Montreal need ?
Minimum: At least 1 top 6 forward. 1 defensive D and Sheldon OR 1 defensive D and an average D. That’s it.

Of course, this forward would have to be good, because one guy cannot turn on one of the worst (if not THE worst) 5 on 5 offensive team in the league. If we could get our hands on a great scorer that would be fine, but I doupt it will happen.
Also, if Sheldon does’nt resign, we will have to replace him by a guy that can play the PP. I heard Schneider has expressed interest in finishing his career in Montreal. Would be a perfect fit. Other candidates would be : Timonen (who will likely be paid a hell lot of money) and Stuart.
But this option leaves again Montreal with around 7M in free cap space. But, again, I do not think they will overpay a UFA, so what will they do ???

The thing is pretty exciting in my opinion.

Because, actually, I think everything his pointing to a potential huge trade and I absolutely do not know of what kind.

Would any team be interested in Samsonov ? Bruins ?
Would any team be interested in Kovalev ? Detroit ? Pittsburgh ?

If we assume Gainey don’t want to trade away the youth, the only potential bait, on offense, would be Ryder.
On defense, I think Gainey would trade Dandenault without problem.
Maybe he could also be willing to give up Halak.
Finally, we have two first round pick and one – if not THE – better farm team.
So, maybe, passing on this year’s 1rst round selection would’nt be a disaster.

My questions to you hockey fans ?

What could we get in a trade ?
Marleau, Tanguay, Vishnovsky (D in LA), Regehr, Zherdev (don’t want this guy!), Lupul, Dumont, Gagné (don’t think so!), Vinny (once again, can’t help it!), Richards, Bergeron (please baby please…) ?
Sorry but I got stupid at the end of the list. Any thoughts ???