Who's In Who's Out?

For the Canadiens Section Please

Looking at the Canadiens roster section of the TSN website I figured we could take a look at what the Canadiens have now in terms of depth at each current position, who the odd men out could be and who is expendable. I’m not going to talk about who should be traded for who or play on what line as at this point, Who cares? I’m not the coach or GM and unless Bob or Guy signed up for HTR and are reading this…neither are you.
Last Years NHL Stats (GP-G-A-P)

Higgins (61-22-16-38)
Latendresse (81-16-13-29)
Begin (52-5-5-10)
Murray (43-2-1-3)
Lahti (N/A)

I think its safe to say Montreal is unproven at this position, if the young players can continute and add to what they did last year in terms of production then the team will be ok. Lahti is unknown, he did score 20 goals last year in Europe, but he could fit in anywhere from the 2nd line to reserve player, I would think more realistically a 3rd liner or lower if he makes the team at all. Difficult to judge with no NHL or AHL experience.

Koivu (81-22-53-75)
Plekanec (81-20-27-47)
Smolinski (82-18-26-44)
Lapierre (46-6-6-12)
Grabovski (3-0-0-0)
Chipchura (N/A)

Montreals centers aren’t going to win the coring race anytime soon, but Plekanec, Smolinski and Lapierre are all very good defensively. Again a very young group other than Koivu and Smolinski, and much of the teams outcome will be the speed of their developement in their specific roles. If Grabovski doesn’t move to the wing it looks highly unlikely he will start the year in Montreal. Chipchura should start the season in the minors but could be ready for a call-up part way through, although it appears that would require an injury or player being moved.

Ryder (82-30-28-58)
Kostitsyn (22-1-10-11)

Montreals right side has a little more stability then the left side. Ryder has been a goal scorer since he came into the league and shows no signs of letting up. Kostitsyn was red hot with Plekanec and Higgins at the end of the year and showed he play play at both ends of the rink. Kovalev, who knows? A big part of the team will be if he returns to form, remains stagnent or dwindles away. Milroy was a scorer in Junior and came around last year in Hamilton, but unless a player moves he is likely to be back in the AHL waiting for a call-up or player move. His style in more suited for a Mike Johnson type role rather than a 4th line grinder.

Markov (77-6-43-49)

A decent devensive group with the addition of Hamrlik but lack the extra offence from Souray. This group does not look like it will put up many goals but could be solid if they can be consistent from night to night unlike last seaon. I have 9 listed here so it appears Streit will line up somewhere at the forward position 5 on 5 and maybe return to the back end for the powerplay. O’Byrne will likely be back in the AHL as he would be wasted as a reserve player.


There is no shortage of options for Montreal between the pipes, Price will be given a chance to start no matter where he ends up. Yann Danis was re-signed and will likely share AHL duties barring a goaltender being moved. Training camp will determine who goes where, no real point speculating about the other three until then.

Available? (That would realistically have a taker)

Ryder, Perzehogin, Kovalev, Dandenault, Bouillon, Gorges, Danis & Halak.

Ryder is a UFA at seasons end and has been difficult to resign, unless he signs and extension mid-year it looks like his days are numbered. He was in the minus last year, but so was most of Montreals offenive players. He is a goal scorer at a decent price, which could make him appealing.

Realistically Kovalev will be staying in Montreal with his 4.5M price tag, but you never know if someone is willing to take a chance on him, he would have to go to a team to play with higher skilled players than Montreal has to offer as that is when he has played his best in the past (he seems to be more of a compliment player).

Perzehogin will not be with the team next season yet could return to the NHL given a chance in another city. I would think a similar deal that Ottawa made for Kaigadorov could be made. It doesn’t look like they will get high return on his own, maybe better of part of a package. He is more proven than Alexi was and has some NHL experience but needs to be on the top 2 lines to be effective as he has shown flashes of great offence, but never really was given the chance with more offensive players to show it off more.

Bouillon, Dandenault are currently just sitting on the 3rd pairing. Bouillon plays with more of an edge so he has slightly more value than Dandenault. If either of these two are moved it does not appear their return would be high, they both make just under $2M and are not overly offensive. Their best assest is they are both very good skaters which could help.

Gorges does not seem like he would be more than a 3rd pairing defenceman and has no real value as of yet that would make him untouchable. Doesn’t appear he would have much trade value other than to a team with little or no defence. Likely to be the 7th defenceman or less.

Danis & Halak have both proven that they can play in the AHL and Halak showed he has the potential to play in the NHL at some point but did not look like he had the consistency to be a starter just yet. Price is on his way up and both of these goalies look like they would max out as the back-up in Montreal behind Huet now or Price later. One or both will be let go or moved as Desjardins is AHL ready and there is a log jam. Halak could be more appealing due to his experience, age and end of season run. Danis is currently the odd man out in all situations and is stagnent.

It appears all or most of Montreals success will depend on how their young players develop and produce. The team does not look like its going to blow teams out in terms of offence, but are building around players that play at both ends of the rink. Their PK should be just as good or better this year but the PP is up in the air with the loss of Souray. 5 on 5 they look better defensively than last season, so it appears that the Canadiens will be relying on the power-play to win games again this year. They have a few expendable parts but none really would bring in anything significant via trade. Ryder and Perzehogin would be the best trade bait and given Alex isn’t playing with the team this season and looks to be falling behind many of the Canadiens rising prospects, he would be the best to move from the clubs standpoint. The fact that he is in Russia hurts, but Ottawa had the same situation last year and were able to obtain Comrie, so who knows.

17 Responses to Who's In Who's Out?

  1. habsrock99 says:

    Nice read all around, couple things I disagree with. One being Garth Murray. The guy's not at all talented enough to play in the NHL and will most definitely play in the minors because Gainey and Carbonneau sre smart enough to realize that players such as Gravbovski need to be in the NHL.

    Another thing I disagree with is your assessment on Duncan Milroy. The guy is a career minor leaguer and the Habs realize that and only gave him a chance because he is one of the longest serving members down in the AHL.
    Josh Gorges is a lot more valuable than people think. For one thing, he's a talented shot blocker, a less talented Anton Volchenkov in fact. He'll be fighting with Bouillon, Brisebois and Dandeneault for the final 2 spots on the defensive side of things.

    Mark Streit is going to be playing defence all year this year. He earned his spot last year and deserves a shot on the Power Play. I'm expecting him and Komisarek to be Montreal's 2 PP unit behind Hamrlik and Markov.

    Montreal also has a lot more trade bait than what you have listed. They got all those rookies down in Hamilton who are just wasting away and are likely not gonna have a chance to play in Montreal. Also, no one will ever take Perezhogin as long as he plays in Russia.

    One last thing, Montreal isn't going to be relying on their PP for scoring. If they were, they would have pushed harder for a defenceman with a good point shot and not a playmaking defenceman in Hamrlik. Montreal's game plan will be to create more scoring oppurtunities while 5 on 5. The PP will be good, don't get me wrong, but no where near last year's ranking unless Streit stes up and is this year's Souray because Komisarek has yet to develop the type of shot you'd expect from a PP QB, but it'll come.

  2. RealisticNick says:

    I definitely did not proof read this, "compliment" "devensive" among others…amazzzing.

  3. habsoverserver says:

    i think you are pretty much right.  

    i guess that the habs will carry nine defensemen and murray will not dress for most games. 

    i hope they will be better 5 on 5 but they lost their top 3 +/- forwards and all the others are returning.  they lost their worst +/- defenseman so i guess there is some addition by subtraction.

    if the first half of 06-07 team shows up then it's off to the races, if the second half of 06-07 team shows up then it's more of the same. 

  4. ferron says:

      Good article, One thing though it look like Carbo will have three decent ofensive lines and one good defensive one but all three lines have players that are above average defensively. Gainey and Carbo have said before that they like to juggle with all 4 lines, make quick changes so players are well rested and perfome well troughout every game. Also we will see Kovy on the first line along Koivu and Ryder, cause we all know that Kovy's defensive play sucks therefore will never play on third line and 4.5 mil/year is a little expensive for a fourth line player. I think that the checking line should consist of Kostopoulos, Begin and Lapierre, these Cats have been playing defensive kind of game ever since they start playing this game and then i would try Latendresse on the RW alond Plek and Higgy on the second line, lots of you will say "don't break last years line of Plek,Higgy and Kostitsyn". But Latendresse is bigger and Kostitsyn would make a Pretty fast fourth line that can score with Smolinski and Grabovski.



    HUET/HALAK/DANIS    if PRICE and DESJARDIN are in Hamilton

      A trade is iminent and will happened after training Camp. We have to many Defensemen that can play in NHL and won't be willing to sit 70 games a year. Also Desjardin is in the AHL now , Therefore 1 to many goalie either with MTL or Hamilton( Huet, Price, Halak, Danis, Desjardin). What I would do is try to keep all five till the trade deadline cause we know tha Christobal Huet becomes UFA at the end of the season and will probably have is best year yet as it seems to happened in the past (players play better the last year of there contracts). Then we could package Huet, Ryder in a trade to an undisclose location with very good players comming our way, we all remember that not trading Souray at last year deadline was a terible mistake, lets not let it happened again, shall we! If we got Gorges and a 1rst rounder for Rivet, god knows what we could of got for Souray!


  5. ferron says:

    Can't wait to see there defense in around three years from now, What will it look like in three years.

    Fisher-Valentenko/McDonagh/ Subban/Carle/Paquet/O'Byrne

     The Habs have so much Talent on defense that I don't think that Emelin, Fisher, Valentenko, Carle, Mcdonagh and Subban will want to play on 2nd and third pairing defensemen for long, they all have enough talent to be top 2 d-men on most teams. The question is who will be with the Habs then? I just don't see the habs letting go of Markov, Komi, Valentenko, Emelin ,McDonagh and Carle.

  6. RealisticNick says:

    One player who I did not mention (as he is unlikely) that could come from nowhere this year is Matt D'Agostini.  63-21-28-49 in his Rookie year with Hamilton.  Isn't huge at 6'0" 181 but could be another player to take Johnsons vaccant spot on the 3rd line RW.

  7. ferron says:

            You wanna see the most impressives stats you will ever see for a prospect goalie.
                                       GP        GA         W – L – T     GAA        SVS%
                  AHL TOTAL       2          3          2 – 0 – 0      1.54       .949
     AHL PLAYOFF TOTAL      22         45        15 – 6 – 0     2.06      .936
                 WHL TOTAL      46        111       30 – 13 -1    2.45      .917
    WHL PLAYOFF TOTAL       6          17         2 – 3 – 0     2.93      .911
                 WJC TOTAL       6           7          6 – 0 – 0      1.14     .961

         All this in "1" year, unbelievable, but that's not it while at the WJC he won the gold, the tournement most valuable goalie and tournement MVP, next after only a couple games in AHL  he goes on to win the calder cup and playoff MVP. I say this guy will force Carbo to keep him with the big Cub. 

  8. habsoverserver says:

    don't worry, even second pairing defensemen can play 20 minutes a game.  when montreal had savard, lapointe, robinson and langway – all hall of famers – they made room for all of them. 

  9. ferron says:

       Who's your favorite defensemen out of those ones?

  10. habsoverserver says:

    i think price needs the full time experience that he can only get in the minors. huet's contract expires in at the end of the season.  the 07-08 starter's job is likley his to lose.

  11. habsoverserver says:

    tough to say.  savard was a true winner – 10 cups, no losses against the russians.  robinson was the better player and could drop the gloves.  lapointe had the best point shot.  i remember when he and lafleur would both play the point on the powerplay. 

    my personal favorite to watch at his peak was savard whose spinorama was just amazing to see.  he used it both to suck forecheckers deep into the zone and set up an outlet pass and in the offensive zone to create the open shot.  he was strong, fast, never out of position and would log huge minutes.  he was the best shut-down dman i ever saw.  he could speed up or slow down a game at will.

  12. HoustonHab says:

    And Impressive stats for a potential back up goalie.

    Lge     GP  Min    GA   EN SO GAA   W  L  T  Svs  Pct 
    AHL      28  1618  54  0   6   2.00  16 11 0 742  0.932
    NHL      16  912    44   2  2   2.89  10 6  0  425  0.906

    Note: The “NHL” games where under extreme pressure.

  13. crosby_29 says:

    how do you put begin lapierre and kostopoulos ahead of gab smol kos??

    kostitsyn should be on the second line wit higgins and plek…they were awesome at the end of the year…lats cant skate he cant keep up with pleks and higgs….i was never a fan of that guy..kos is soo quick and has great hands and surprisingly not a selfish player …he is gonna have a great season this year if they give him at least a second line role…

  14. habz2007 says:

    Price is definatly great and will be the starter in the montreal soon but i can't see the habs rushing him to nhl they will wait til he is ready and beable to make a impact Price is definatly the goalie Habs fans have been waiting for since Roy was traded to colorado i know this is wishing but hey never know maybe Price will get called up late in the year and take the Habs to another cup victory like he did for the bulldogs last year lol

  15. ferron says:

       I'm not putting these guys ahead of Grabs, Kosti and Smolinski, I said that Carbo would give each line ALMOST the same amount of time on ice , just like Buffalo did last year , Kostitsyn is one of my favorite player along with Higgins and Komisarek and last year had 11 pts in is last 12 games and was getting along pretty  good with Plek and Higgins. But Latendresse can't be demoted after playing a full season and actually would only slow down is progress. I think that what's gonna happened is Kovy will play on the first line for a while but if thing don't change, it's back on the fourth line you go! You have to put these guys(Kovalev, Koivu, Ryder, Higgins, Plek, Latendresse) on the two first lines, at least for twenty games and if it doesn't work then Carboneau has to demote that hole first line, that's enough out of them , when it comes to Kovalev and Koivu(our suposevly big GUNS?) it seems that there is always an excuse or something wrong when it comes to offensive production, if they CAN'T produce then put them and leave them on the fourth line, ever since they've been with the habs Kovalev has giving us a 66 pts season and Koivu's best season came last year. When your an HABS fan and you have to watch our top scorers get at most 75 pts/year , year after year it's getting pretty fu–ing BORING. Bob and Guy should stop getting oldtimers(Kosto, Briseby) and finaly give a chance to our prospects! I'm syre if you make lines like these we would get a better production offensively. Tell Kovalev that he would play on most of the PPs so he doesn't have a fit.

    Begin-Lapierre-Kostopoulos   (checking line)
    Grabovski-Smolinski-Kovalev ( Best fourth line in NHL)

    Bouillon-hopefully a Rookie not Briseby, Dandi or Gorges!


  16. habsgod says:

    thanks for the stats ferron !those stats have superstar wrote all over them!!!within  2 years price will be 1 of the 2 goalies in the league!and best of all he is with us!!!

  17. habsgod says:

    thanks for the stats ferron !those stats have superstar wrote all over them!!!within  2 years price will be 1 of the top 2 goalies in the league!and best of all he is with us!!!

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