The kids are alright


Photo by Dario Ayala of The Gazette

Top draft choice Nathan Beaulieu dazzled at development camp, Pat Hickey writes.

Wait’ll he sees the REAL Montreal Canadiens.

• Marc Antoine Godin on Mac Bennett’s progress at Michigan

P.K. Subban talks about his trip to Haiti

Carbo is not going to New Jersey

Eric Duhatschek on free-agency’s first week


  1. jrshabs1 says:

    Gomez fact: 2 seasons as a Hab. 2 team playoff appearances. Conference final. 1st round exit 2nd year. Lost to eventual Stanley Cup winners, 4-3, 3 o.t. losses. Gomez brings more to the table than the former #11 did. The Habs have a solid foundation to build on and like it or not Gomez is one of the pilliars. I’d sign him again if I knew what the 2 year result was going to be.

    Go Habs Go!!

  2. Dennis says:

    Fixed up the old Habs bench

    When I’m owner/stickboy, things will be different.

  3. dtoight says:

    As for Gomez. I agree that this guy has really underachieved especially considering his contract, but the bar for this guy is set way too high by a lot of Habs fans! He’s better than the 38 points and +/- he put up last year, but he’s also not a 70 point or even a 20 goal guy. I expect him to put up around 15 goals and about 40 assists, and he’s still our best forward at bringing the puck into the offensive zone, and will usually always find his wingers if they can break free. JM had him playing with either Moen or Darche for a good part of the season. These are fourth line players, Gomez is a play maker and he needs some snipers to feed his passes to. With either Gionta and Max or Cole and Cammy as his wingers for an entire season I think Gomez should have a bounce back season. He most likely won’t be worth $7.5M, but we can’t keep whining about s contract we never even signed. I’m more bitter cause we gave up McDonoughin the trade to bring Gomez here. I feel we could’ve had the exact same deal without him in it

    • Aybara says:

      Agreed, the Gomez bashing is unfounded. It’s not his fault he signed a contract that will let him live comfortably for the rest of his life.

      As said above, he’s great at moving the puck into the offensive zone, and with a full line of people who can cash the cheque, a point total above 50, and pushing 60, isn’t out of the question at all.

    • baruch says:

      I agree, Gomez is a good player. But his salary generates the expectation he will be a game changer. He can sure move the puck from our end into the opponents end, but, more often than not, he seems then surprised to find himself there so easily and had neglected to work out what to do once he got there.
      Last year he did not play with “Moen or Darche for a good part of the season” he played with Gionta and Cammy for the vast majority of the season, and was relatively ineffectual. JM shuffled him around but I don’t remember him having much chemistry with anyone last season, maybe he should play with Eller…

    • issie74 says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with this post dtoight … Gomez is not Gionta or Cammalleri but without him Gionta and Pacioretty can not be who they are.Yes his production was off but stuff happens.

      Did anyone pay attention to the production of Steve Stamkos after the all star break,not nearly the same.Do you think it could have something to do with the fact that Boucher took Marty St Louis away from him (Stamkos)and put Marty with Vinny who by the way had terrible numbers.Was that an effort to get Vinny going in the second half.

      Back to Gomez is he responsible for the mistake of Slater who gave him the bad contract,which by the way was one of those front loaded things,not unlike the Brad Richards one we saw on July 1st.

      Gomez has never been the scorer,always the passer and he is very good at that.


      • jmsheehy19 says:

        Not to take away from stamkos, but the reason I disagree with the idea that he is in the running of best 5 players is exactly what you just stated. I’ve never seen a superstar whose production is so dependent on another player (St. Louis).

        Not saying he won’t get there, but he isn’t right now.

  4. habstrinifan says:

    OK! OK! Enuff already!

    Came in late from hospital visits and went to read HIO for some relaxation.

    Couldnt help but be dismayed by the tone of many of the entries. Unattractive if not ugly.

    When one of our brightest talents was showing us the the best things about the next two years… talented special kids.

    P.K Subban on his trip to Haiti.

    “Before he was finished talking I said ‘just let me know the dates and I’ll be there,“’ said Subban. “I want to be a part of it.

    “I asked my parents and they said ‘it’s a great cause and we’re happy you’re a part of this.’ I want to help.”

    “I asked my parents”…. P.K showing the best respect a young man can have… Respect for his parents.

    Shape up guys! Our special corps of young Canadiens deserve true hockey fandom debating not senseless name-calling.

  5. RiverviewCanadien says:

    My turn at being SD.

    1. What did John Lu do?
    2. SK74, how many wish that talent could have worked out in Montréal?
    3. Will Price be better this year?
    4. How many posters (and be honest), really thought Gomez was going to be good last season?
    5. Who will be the Habs leading goal scorer in 11/12?

    My Answers:
    1. I have no idea, I just kept seeing his name here all night and something about Les Separtistes earlier…
    2. I did. When he played to his potential, I mean really focused on the game, lots of fun to watch. The night he stood up for Andrei after the cheapshot from Sauer. Sergei was pissed. If you could channel half of that focused emotion in him, he could be really good. He has skill.
    3. Absolutely. Not as many starts (64-68), but I say a .931sv%, 41W, 11SO, 2.05GAA.
    4. Guilty as charged. I figured 47-52A and 13-15G, really not a crazy number for him. Things did not go his way. I do feel a good Gomez can change this team, let’s hope he knows how important he is this year.
    5. Tough one. Markov coming back, healthy Cammalleri, full season for Pacioretty, Plekanec (I need say no more)…Plekanec or Cammalleri. Reaching 76-88pts.

    If you disagree with any of my answers…you are wrong 😛

  6. HardHabits says:

    I’ll have you know that I’ve filed an anonymous complaint at the Office de la Protection de la Culture et Identité Quebecoise concerning John Lu’s article.

    I’ll take this all the way to the United Nations if I have to.

  7. Neutral says:

    Why are people ignorant toward john lu he seems to be a decent guy…

  8. Sean Bonjovi says:

    “[Tim] Connolly is almost a point a game player over the last two seasons, while playing in 141 of a possible 164 games.” – staff

    When I read this on I wrote a comment explaining how Tim Connolly’s 107 points in those 141 is 0.76 points/game and describing him as “almost a point a game player” is analogous to describing my 4’7″ paper boy as “almost 6 feet tall”. That, and similar posts were censored by moderators 5 times and never appeared on that website, so I thought I’d post it here.

    • HardHabits says:

      I’ve been banned from TSN ever since I said Mackenzie lost credibility when he poo-poo’ed the backlash after the Chara on Pacioretty hit.

      You can say whatever meat head racist offensive gibberish imaginable but question one of their staff or call them out and it’s instant censorship time.

    • issie74 says:

      Of course they were censored SB … TSN does that,if you happen to point out they are in error,or if you disagree with something they post.


  9. JohnBellyful says:

    I agree with what everyone below said.
    (It’s the posters up above I’m not too sure about.)

  10. boing007 says:

    Richard R
    If you’re starving for some more hockey just head over to the NHL Network for Vintage Hockey and Classic Series.

  11. Un Canadien errant says:

    The exact quote from John Lu of TSN on Nathan Beaulieu:

    “…a portion of the fanbase took issue with Beaulieu’s inability to speak French, or not much French.”

    He tried to be measured in his remarks, and it’s hard for me to judge from way out on the West Coast, but it seems/feels inaccurate. I heard the media speak to the issue, but have heard no one “taking issue”, or read anything negative from anyone in the comments spaces, either in French or English.

    Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Oops, there’s more. On “That’s Hockey”, Mr. Lu repeats this theme, with this:

      “…it couldn’t hurt for him to spend another year in a bilingual province because when he was drafted, there were some people in Quebec who were not happy with the fact that Beaulieu, even though he is half French, doesn’t actually speak French, so he says that he plans to take some classes this fall to brush up on his language skills for the fans and people in this province.”

      Once again, didn’t see a big hue and cry about him not speaking French after the draft.

      Also, Mr Beaulieu is not “half French”, whatever that means. His father is Franco-Ontarian, his mom is an English-speaking Canadian. Language isn’t genetic or hereditary.
      Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

  12. scrowe21 says:

    I hope Pribyl fills out, man he’s lanky. Looks even skinnier than Pouliot.

  13. HabFarmer says:

    I knew John Lu when we were kids, and played hockey with/against him growing up. He was a nice guy back then and the people I know who still know him say he still is. This is second hand, but as I understand it he LOVES the Habs, and considers it a dream job to be reporting on them. I think these talking heads don’t always get a choice over what/how they report. The producers say, “we want this story line”. It’s possible that he was just following orders.

    I’m not sure he deserves to be totally gutted, I mean it is TSN, right?

    With respect…….. .

    “No, I see. The monkey’s out of the bottle now!”

  14. joeybarrie says:

    One of the most frustrating things in life and one of my pet peeves is to see someone act with such typical, obvious predictability.
    So its understandable to see someone call them out and deservedly so. Is it too much to ask of our media, spokespersons and leaders to present us with some style and surprises?

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  15. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    All Lu said was “a portion of the fanbase was upset he didn’t speak english”. Whats the big deal? Is that a cause to call him a “scumbag” and an “ultra Anglo” like bugs did? IMO, no it isn’t. I don’t know where Lu gets his facts from and I don’t care. I see bugs on here all the time bashing the english media and defending french media nutjobs to the nines.

  16. Josh Gorges for a 3 yr deal at 6.9m.

  17. TorontoHabsFan says:

    Weird trade between Wsh and Wpg – Fehr likely would have started the year on the LTIR in Wsh (as they are over the cap), but will probably be on the starting roster in Wpg (as they are below the cap floor).

  18. Does anybody have any information of what the status of Josh Gorges injury has progress since his operation? This may be a reason why its taking a little longer to get a deal done.

    Ryan White at 1m for 3 years.

    • Bill J says:

      Completely healed.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        ACL reconstructions don’t “heal”, they are rehabilitated. A pneumonia heals, or a case of dropsy, scrofula or dandy fever.

        Mr. Gorges had his knee operated on in January, and it takes about six months to regain full range of motion and be relatively pain-free. It then takes another 6 months to a year to regain full function, where you feel fully confident in your knee, there is no transient looseness once in a while, and you have regained proprioception. Lots of athletes who come back from a knee injury speak of a lost season, where their knee was strong enough to compete, but they didn’t truly feel 100% until the next season.

        What this means is we need to temper our expectations of Mr. Gorges and Mr. Markov, especially early in the season. Let’s not think we can throw them in and they’ll chew up icetime like they did before. it may be wise to have a veteran waiting in the wings in case of minor setbacks like fluid or pain in the knee.

        Both Mr. Markov and Gorges are disciplined, motivated athletes who will work hard at their rehab, so I am reasonable confident they will recover, but if I had to bet I would think Mr. Markov will be more effective sooner, simply because he has had a couple more months to rehab, and that time is really important.

        Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

  19. topher5468 says:

    maybe today

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  20. HardHabits says:

    Thank you HSF72 for pointing me to that Bugs rant. That was easily the post of the month. Congratulations Bugs. You win.

    • topher5468 says:


      “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

    • habrez says:

      Meh. John Liu is no Michel Bergeron, Mario Tremblay, Dave Morisette, PJ Stock, Pierre Mcguire, Benoit Brunet. I doubt John even writes what he says.

      I like the post about HABSGUARDIANANGEL actually being Pierre Mcguire better.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      “All I said is I’m sick of Bugs going after the english media…”

      But he didn’t go after the “English media”, he went after one specific individual, for a specific reason, and one that was justified at that.

      • _Habsoloutly_ says:

        He does it all the time, he comments about the english media and how terrible they are to the poor francophones and acts like the french media are angels. I have my opinion on it and I don’t care who likes it.

    • Everlasting1 says:

      Watch FoxNews on any given night for examples of misleading fallacious blanket statements made about foreign countries.. cos the U.S. knows. The sh!t works in swaying public opinion.

      ” There were giants on the earth in those days; and also after that (The Deluge), when the Sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6:4

      “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  21. Neutral says:

    Gorges $6.75 m over 3 years and not a penny more.

  22. Neutral says:

    you’ll never see semin in a Habs uniform. He’s too good

  23. Trade 1st round pick 2012 to NYR for Brian Boyle. That’s a big centre the Habs could use. Sign Alex Frolov for 2m who is a right hand shot for a one year deal. Trade Gomez for a prospect and draft picks. Lines would look something like this.

    Cole – Plekanec – Cammalleri

    Pacioretty – Boyle – Gionta

    AK46 – Eller – Frolov

    White – DD – Darche/Moen

    • scrowe21 says:

      Lol I feel like I’ve said this a 1000 times now. Frolov is in the KHL. I wouldn’t mind Boyle, depending how much money he is asking for..not for our 1st though! He is coming off his only good year he has ever had in the NHL.. but he can’t replace Gomez.

    • Andrew65 says:

      Good thing we have a wise GM who won’t go after guys who have one decent year and expect to be overpaid.

  24. mike3131 says:

    The Jets got Eric Fehr for a nobody and a 4th rounder. Can’t we get involved in the shedding of Washington’s cap? We should’ve been involved in the Chicago fire sale last year…

  25. MTLForever says:

    For those of you who keep saying John Madden is a two time stanley cup winner, he has 3 stanley cup wins. He won his 3rd with Chicago.

  26. prankstergod says:

    eric fehr traded to the jets. what was his cap hit? does this do enough for them or would they still be looking to trade?

  27. The Dude says:

    Now that Facebook and Skype have teamed up ,how bout H I O and Skype? Oh that would be something,lol..

  28. JD_ says:

    What the hell?

    I just read that Burkie has been hired on as Director of Player Development for the Phoenix Coyotoes. Maybe I missed somethin’, but I don’t recall hearin’ anythin’ about him steppin’ down as Loafs GM.

    Isn’t this a blatant conflict of interest? Is the NHL even payin’ attention?

    Some people just don’t get it.

  29. Bill J says:

    Dunno if someone else posted already (didn’t see)

    But for discussion purposes only, because rumors are mostly bogus anyways….

    Twitter rumor:

    Semin + rights to Alzner to MTL
    AK46 + Weber + 2012 1st round pick…

    • SmartDog says:

      Been posted an hour or two back.
      Lots of discussion about how awesome that would be if the caps went for it. If I’m seeing it right the defensive swap is pretty even – just 2 guys who play different roles, both good young prospects. And so it’s Ak and a 1st round pick for Semin. Caps get cap relief and a good young player with some consistancy issues like Semin himself.
      It almost makes sense!

      • Bripro says:

        Don’t forget the physical side.
        When he’s on (I know….not too often), AK hits like a tank.
        I don’t see where Semin registered nearly as many hits.

      • Alzner is a way better prospect than Weber, so that’s a win, but I don’t see Semin as a huge upgrade over Kostitsyn, and he’s massively expensive. That 1st is mighty valuable too — even with the 17th spot, we ended up with a really promising player in Nathan Beaulieu.

        I like the deal, but it’s certainly not a steal.

        Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • I like it, but it isn’t as much of a runaway steal by any stretch. Semin had 28 goals last year, but has a mammoth $6.7M cap hit for one more year — basically 8 more goals than AK46 but less youth and twice the money.

      Alzner is the standout in this deal, but he’s an RFA who’ll cost money too — probably something in the area of $3.5M to sign him longer-term.

      Of course, there’s absolutely no way could we do this without dealing Gomez to free up cap space, which means we need another centre (Prospal?), unless Cammalleri goes back to playing centre.

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • scrowe21 says:

      I think I would burn my jersey.

    • C_exacte says:

      Spacek + 3 1st rounders for Ovechkin, then jacques would divulge to him how to beat hammer & spach by drawing out half-circles and straight lines

      le St. Hub signing bonus

    • Timo says:

      In Semin we will also be getting a fighter we are so sorely lacking –

    • mike3131 says:

      I would never want to see Semin in a CH.

    • solomio says:

      Lets keep AK. We don’t want Semin

      “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  30. SmartDog says:

    Okay, let’s do something constructive.
    Here’s how it works. You say what DAY Josh will sign on and for HOW MUCH and HOW MANY YEARS.
    DAY – Getting the day right is worth 10 points; you lose 2 for every day off you are (8 for one day off etc.)
    SALARY – Getting the (annual) salary right is worth 10 points: you lose 2 for every 100k you are off (or one for every 50k)
    TERM – Getting the term right is worth 5 points. You lose 2 for ever year you are off.
    Maximum Possible is 25 points. Highest point-getter gets a prize provided by me through the mail. Prize may be determined in part by how much I dislike the winner. In the case of a tie, extra points may be given for penmanship.
    Contest Closes: 6:00 PM Eastern (Mtl) Time today.

  31. HardHabits says:

    @24Cups: No way Gorges gets 3.5 million per season. If that were the case the Habs would be better off letting him take an offer sheet.

    Why should the Habs be forced to over-pay because other teams give out more money to lesser talent?

    Gorges earned 1.1M over 3 years (1, 1, 1.3) he was qualified at 1.3M. 2.6M would be double!!! If he gets more than 3 million per year I’d be surprised. It’ll be more like 7.5-8M for 3 years or 10-11M for 4.

    • That’s true, but you don’t pay a guy based on what he made last year — you pay him based on what he’s worth. (Kovalev’s contract will prove that this year, if he even gets one.)

      If Andrei Kostitysn’s contribution is worth $3.25M, as PG has just decided it is, Gorges’s has to be in the $2.5M-$3.5M range.

      Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

      I think Gorges will get 3 million per year. Jonathan Ericsson in Detroit got just over that on a 3-year deal. Marc Methot got that on a four-year deal.

      I think it will be a 4-year 12 million dollar deal.

      Also, Gorges can’t be offer sheeted since he has elected to go to arbitration if a contract can’t be worked out before July 28. If the Habs don’t work out a deal and he goes to arbitration, they either have to accept the arbitrator’s decision or let him become a UFA.

      I think a deal will get done before July 28.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Dave – I’m just going by all the over priced contracts that have been handed out this month, starting with the deal for Cole.

      The economic optics of the NHL have gone straight to hell. We may have to folow suit. Gorges will be north of 3M, I think that’s a given and I’ll bet you a cocktail at the Summit that I’m right. Over/under at 3M with 3M being considered over.

  32. HardHabits says:


  33. HabFab says:


    Loud – check
    Opinionated – check
    Name dropper – check
    Been there, done everything – check
    Irritating – check

    Think about it, very very scary!!!

  34. HabFanSince72 says:

    Very good rant by Bugs below.

    He’s one spicy rabbit.

  35. If the Habs sign Prospal, I’ll be a happy man. He can centre AK46 until Eller’s healthy, has decent size, and in spite of his 36 years he managed 23 points in 29 games after coming back from injury last year. He’s a bona fide 2nd-line centre who’s still got gas in the tank, and he won’t be expensive. If he signs, we can start the season with this lineup:


    Plus, his ability to fill in between Gionta and Pacioretty means we can more comfortably deal Gomez when Eller returns to the lineup, without leaving a hole on the 2nd line. So we end up with:


    Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

    • Cardiac says:

      Of all the remaining UFA centers, his name sticks out the most.

      What’s the low-down on Brian Sutherby from Dallas? He’s big at 6’3 209lbs.

      Check out the rest of the names I posted below. The only other name that sticks out is John Madden, but only if it was 2005…

      • I’d really make a play for Prospal and give him 2 years to get it done, or even 3 years if the price is $2M or so.

        Sutherby had the worst +/- on the Stars last year, though I don’t know if that’s a reflection of the situations he played in or his actual skill. Looks like he was scratched a lot too. Big guy though.

        Mike Boone: “With Gainey at my side, I’d walk into any dark alley in the world.”

      • db says:

        Also on the 2005 train, Brendan Morrison had a good year with Iginla. He still has wheels and I bet could pot a few playing on our bottom 6.

        We need a Smolinski, Moore, Metropolit or Halpern type of player to fill that depth center spot IMO.

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        Brian Sutherby always had great attributes in a video game I used to play, but he always under-performed in simulated games so I hope PG steers clear.

        • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

          Hahaha…this comment makes me laugh, because I have the same line of thinking with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. I think he will be a bust because he never does anything special in NHL 2011 after he is drafted. Adam Larsson will be a beast however. ;P

  36. HardHabits says:

    Is HABSGUARDIANANGEL the reincarnation of NEWFIE DOG?

  37. scrowe21 says:

    So much for SK jetting to the KHL like so many said he would. He seems happy in Nashville, just got a nice raise. I think he will have an even better year next year. Quick turn around for someone who was a “cancer” to the team here… Kostitsyn haters make me laugh.

    Good thing we got Boyd in return… so HE could take off to the KHL.

  38. The Dude says:

    A sad thing watching that fan in Texas falling to his death after that baseball in front of his son. Tether the front row or heighten the railings.

    • krob1000 says:

      I am always amazed at sporting events sitting in the higher sections that there are not more safeguards….you can’t carry a toddler in any 300 level I have been at. Some of the ramps at ball stadiums have ridiculous drops in between the stairs and no real safeguard…I don’t know why they can’t just either close them off, build a landing, put up a net or something…it is really tragic. How much would it have cost to have something jutting out that would have cut that fall? This is not an uncommon thing……people talk about the violence on the filed or rink,etc….deaths in sport are extremely rare….deaths by fall in stadiums seem to happen every year and sometimes there are multiple falls. There should be no way to accidentally fall out of a stadium seat to your death….especially not in places where they serve alcohol and people bring their children.

    • Cardiac says:

      Being that it’s the U.S., chances are the family will sue the team, league, owners, or all the above.

      • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

        That’s a fairly unnecessary comment. Imagine what that 5-year-old boy is going through right now. His dad just died while trying to catch a ball for him. That’s pretty tragic.

        • Cardiac says:

          I never said it wasn’t tragic… Regardless, it doesn’t make my comments any less true. Remember that poor girl who got killed in Columbus after getting a puck in the face. The family sued the league, the team, and the area owners and got $1.2 million.

    • G-Man says:

      Sad, but really really stupid. It’s a stupid baseball.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        G-Man, he didn’t really do anything stupid. He wasn’t reckless or anything, he just reached down to grab a ball, and toppled forward. He was only twenty feet off the ground, he probably didn’t feel unsafe doing it.

        My first thoughts were to wonder if the guy had a beer or two in him, but that still doesn’t enter the equation too much in my mind. I remember a few years back a young fan I think in NY jumped out of a balcony onto a net behind home plate seating, apparently on a dare from his buddies. This seems totally different, the guy is coordinated and with his son, it doesn’t seem as if he was plastered or anything.

        My very next thought after dismissing alcohol as a cause was the height of the railing, which seems low as I remember it. I know that building code in Canada at a twenty foot drop requires a railing of minimum 42 inches. It might be impractical to have these in stadiums because they would obstruct sightlines, but as with netting above the endboard glass now obligatory at NHL rinks, this may need to be mandated and retrofitted into existing stadiums.

        Let’s do something like this again: 1) Mike Cammalleri 2) Brian Gionta 3) Hall Gill

  39. Timo says:

    What Habs need is a 5 year plan.

  40. 24 Cups says:

    Right now, the Habs have 19 players signed with $8.3M left in cap space. Let’s assume that Gorges becomes the 20th player signed for 3.5M and that White signs for $800,000 grand to become the 21st player. I’m also alloting another $1M as a buffer. That leaves us with $3M which we can spend this year (if we want to do so). Any player we sign should only get a one year deal so we can utilize the 3M for the Subban/Price increases in 2012. Same goes for a trade.

    So, do we spend the money because we have it, or gamble and go with a kid from Hamilton as the 13th forward? I’m not saying we should burn a hole in our pocket (especially seeing that there’s not many UFAs left), but do we really have enough up front to start the season?

    • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

      I think the top 3 lines look better than they have in a LONG time, especially if Desharnais can play wing and find chemistry with Eller and AK46.

      I figure PG will keep his ears open for trade opportunities and wait until later in the summer to see if any bargains can be had.

      If no trades are made, I hope that we pick up John Madden at a decent price as a replacement for Halpern and insurance on the 4th line. He could be a good mentor to someone like Enqvist. He’s a 2-time cup winner and he is still a very good defensive forward.

      I would prefer a more physical presence down the middle on the 4th line, but I’m not too sure that anyone decent is really available.

      • 24 Cups says:

        Jan – The responses are not in order but I just wanted to say that the reason I feel we should spend some of our left over money right now is that it doesn’t cost us any assets. It’s just coin for one year. We might as well load up and take a run at it this season. If Markov, Gorges and Cole stay injury free, we could be in the mix.

        My only fear is that the time has passed to utilize our cap space. Gauthier should have targeted a 2-3M player during the first few days of July and signed him to a one year deal. Now we’re down to the leftovers and Hamilton wannabees. Most of the teams with cap issues are in the East. So we won’t be able to take advantage as they will probably only deal with Western teams.

        I feel like I’m trying to make par but my drive is behind a tree. I know that I have to pitch out but …….

        • Jan_pronounced_Yan says:

          I understand your thinking, but who was really available that fit in to our needs?

          I feel that if nobody out there really fits at an affordable price, we are better off keeping our cap space for the start of the season. If some players on other teams become available either via waivers or trade during training camps or early in the year, we will be able to add somebody. If not, keep the cap space for the trade deadline and we might be able to make a splash.

    • JF says:

      Steve – Don’t forget that Lars Eller will probably not be ready to play at the start of the season, which will leave us short another body. I’m not sure how ready the Hamilton players are, but from what I saw of Engqvist and Palushaj last year, I don’t think either really looks able to supply the kind of grit we’re still lacking. A bit more depth would also help. I like Eric Engels’s suggestion of Brad Winchester.

    • Mike D says:

      In addition to a 13th forward, I think we could also use a depth defenseman who will spend most games in the pressbox without complaint, but who is reliable and fully capable of filling in for an injury. I really like Mara for this spot and he likely wouldn’t cost more than 800K.

      As for a 13th forward, we could always use Enqvist if he’s capable of making the jump. He’s already 24 so if he can’t make it this year, there may not be much hope for him. He’s 6’4″ and was good at faceoffs in the AHL as well as defensive responsibility. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee the same success in the NHL, and despite his size, he’s not overly physical or gritty.

      Keep in mind, Weber may be the 13th forward so he can get his ice time while developing his defensive game and getting PP minutes.

      If the 13th forward comes via trade or FA signing, then I’m hoping for a big RH Center who excels at FO’s in the NHL and has the defensive game and grit we could use.

      – Honestly yours

      • 24 Cups says:

        Mike – The only problem with Weber as the 13th forward is that he can’t play centre, take faceoffs or kill penalties.

        I can’t remember, but did Chris Drury ever play at the end of the year after knee surgery? Does he have anything left in the tank?

        Why the hell didn’t we re-sign Halpern?

        • SyntaxLove says:

          The fact that we didn’t re-sign Halpern suggests mgmt wants to promote the in house talent (I think.)

        • krob1000 says:

          One of the kids just might get a short trial and then go from there…Trotter/Enqvist,etc ? The pickings are slim anymore ..not sure what they are up to…unless exploring the cheap trade market

        • Mike D says:

          You’re right, Steve. Weber can’t play center or take faceoffs, but a natural defenseman should be good at killing penalties…especially if he plays wing on the PK.

          Drury did come back after his surgery I believe but I don’t recall how he did. Not sure if he has anything left in the tank.

          Halpern was good for us, but it would be better if we can find another Halpern who’s bigger and younger.

          – Honestly yours

        • HardHabits says:

          The round 1 series losing goal in OT deflected off of Halpern.

    • Timo says:

      That is unless he gets rid of Gomez. I hear there are at least 27 other teams that are lining up to get Gomer because their GM’s see his real potential.

      3M is something we can spend to acquire a bit of toughness for the 3rd or 4th line. I never bother to check the list of RFA or UFA but there gotta be somebody who can skated in a straight line, not produce Gomer’s defensive statistics and kick Lucic in the teeth when time comes.

    • Cardiac says:

      There is no gamble when it comes to having a Hamilton player as our 13th forward. He is in a no pressure situation where in a case of injuries, will be able to prove himself. Others have so well in this situation (Darche, Pac, Desharnais).

      • 24 Cups says:

        C – I guess my concern is that we have some temporary cap space that we are not utilizing. This seems to go hand in hand with the fact that we are a little weak down the middle. Gomez should bounce back but I doubt he’ll ever regain his form from when he played in Jersey. Eller may not start the season and DD really isn’t well suited to playing the kind of role that we expect from a 4th line pivot. White is an option and should see some time at centre and on the right flank.

        My biggest concern is that we only have Engqvist in Hamilton and if he can’t cut it then we’re gving away another 2nd round pick because we didn’t cover the bases during the summer.

        The Habs aren’t as deep as some people think. They may have some long term potential in the pipeline, but not for 2011-12.

        • HabFab says:

          Agree with our lack of call-up depth in Hamilton this season, PG obviously agrees somewhat in his last two acquisitions. Still not enough, as we still need a defensive PK center and a large body stay at home D for depth.

        • Cardiac says:

          I see your point, but the best way to develop talent (IMO) is to get them out there and play.

          Also, after consulting the list of UFA centers, wow… take your pick:

          Michael Nylander
          Todd White
          Vaclav Prospal
          John Madden
          Petr Prucha
          Brian Sutherby
          Brendan Morrison
          Kyle Wellwood
          Ryan Carter
          Jamie Lundmark
          Adam Mair
          Mike Comrie
          Craig Conroy

    • SyntaxLove says:

      I find it very unlikely that Gorges gets $3.5. Closer to $2.5 I’d venture. Still, it seems like PG’s focus will be internal. He might make a late summer pick up for the 4th line.

      As for trades, it’s a long summer. I’ll be excited about a trade when it happens.

    • krob1000 says:

      Moen and Spacek both come of the books (that is 5.3) and Andrei becomes a 50/50 proposition next year too at 3.25….there is plenty of money for Price and Subban. We should have guys ready to replace them very affordably by then I would think and a bottom pairing dman can be had cheaply. Also this offseason Gomez’ contract is actually very tradeable. Not worried about next year as much….I want to make a realistic run right now..we have a great combination of vets who aren’t quite yet too old, guys in their prime and kids coming through. We have solid goaltending..we still need IMO a top nine forward (can wait til deadline) and a bottom line depth guy(should be able to do for 32 million) and a O’brien/Mara type or two on D that are cheap that can be a physical presence.

    • punkster says:

      If it’s $3M spend it now on one guy for a one year deal. Can’t hurt.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

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