Two down, more to go for Gauthier

josh

Josh Gorges: In Habs’ plans for next season and beyond ~ Getty Images

Monday’s signings of forwards Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais indeed was a good day’s work for Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier.

His kitty stands at roughly $20 million as the July 1 free agency period approaches, so we’re bound to see more movement from Gauthier in the days to come.

Don Meehan, Andrei Markov’s agent, says he’ll talk with Gauthier about his client in Minneapolis during this week’s NHL Entry Draft. Yannick Weber seems close to re-signing. How does Gauthier round out his defence, with RFA Josh Gorges expected to be signed, and UFAs James Wisniewski, Roman Hamrlik and Brent Sopel in the wings?

Work remains to be done: Hickey
• Audio: Stubbs discusses signings with CJAD’s Abe Hefter
Leadership and youth: Basu
TSN’s final draft ranking
Draft: Northeast Division hits and misses
That was a heck of a party Bruins had post-parade

• Hickey wades (more tiptoes) into Twitter as @zababes1. He joins Stubbs, @habsinsideout1, and Boone, @habsblogger.

Shame on us! A painful ad that appeared atop HIO yesterday:

312 Comments

  1. sally122 says:

    Next year, habs will dump Spacek salary and WIZ + MARKOV signing would be easier to swallow. Personally I think spending 16-20mil on your top 4 D is not a bad thing
    s’e’ek’c’ou’ga’r.c óm–.it is the first and best club for y’ounger women and old’er men, or older women and y’ounger men,to int’eract with each other. Maybe you wanna ch’eck ‘it out or tell your friends!

  2. Nina76 says:

    We need some good faceoff players. Who would you like to see take this postion?……..

  3. Nina76 says:

    I agree 100% let’s go for it

  4. Pat8987 says:

    WE NEED TO SIGN MARKOV AND WIZ!!!!

    Give Markov a 3 year deal at 5.75
    Give Wiz a 4 year deal at 3.75

    Think about it, habs paid Hammer 5.5 for 5, habs are paying 3.75 for Spacek…

    Next year, habs will dump Spacek salary and WIZ + MARKOV signing would be easier to swallow. Personally I think spending 16-20mil on your top 4 D is not a bad thing…What happens when Gill and Spacek leave town…Fans will be pleading for another “top 4” defence…NEWS TO PG: (we have him!!) We don’t have someone coming up willing to fill that role, so why would you pay assets in the future when it cost us none now. Get it done!

  5. Sean Bonjovi says:

    …and what with the Montreal Gazette forcing me to mask my IP address to read their stories?

    * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

  6. higginrs says:

    Too much talk about wet dreams by guys on this site.

  7. 24 Cups says:

    A few quick thoughts.

    – Tanguay can’t come back to Montreal. G&G cleaned house after the team flatlined. Just like Kovy two years ago, it would be a step back to revisit Tanguay.

    – I can live with Gagne for a year even though he is injury prone. We can use the banked Subban/Price futures to sign him for one year.

    – Any discussions about the Wiz might have to begin with some backward mapping in terms of his future salary implications. I can’t believe that someone won’t offer a 27 year old Dman 4 or 5 years at $5M a season. Three years from now, we might also have Subban and Markov at $6M a season. On the other hand, we have very little in the pipeline right now that would fill a Wiz profile (and need).

    – I find the “best player available” line to be a bit funny when you’re not selecting in the top ten. How the hell can you tell if a guy should be ranked 16th, 17th or 18th? Having said that, most of us are anticipating that we will grab a forward with some size and offensive flair. The question is what do we do if one of the top rated Dmen mysteriously tumble down to the 17th slot?

    – Even worse, what do we do if Rocco Grimaldi (5’6″) or Alexander Khokhlachev (5’10” Russian) are still available? Do we want to be the team that passes on the next Tarasenko (18th0 or Kuznetsov (26th!!!). Or run the risk of having a guy turn into another Radulov?

    – Some people are still down on DD and his ability to play in the NHL. Eller seems to be pencilled in as the 3rd liner while most of us would like a Halpern type guy to play on the 4th unit. The concern I have is if one of our centers gets injured (long term). Without DD we would be screwed. It could lead to another Wiz trade where we have to give up a 2nd rounder because the team doesn’t have a replacement. I also wonder about DD seeing that our team suffers from scoring outages both in terms of 5 on 5 and PP play. This guy has generated offense his entire career.

    – Am I the only guy who thinks we should qualify Pouliot? He drives me nuts but he could eventually turn into a solid 3rd line winger. Martin certainly made his feelings known but who is going to quit on a guy who is still just 25?

    • Chuck says:

      I absolutely think that they should qualify Pouliot.

    • TomNickle says:

      If there is a potentially elite defenseman where the Habs pick I think they’ll get him. As for your Tarasenko comment, Namestnikov is much closer to that range than the other two, and he’s a very real possibility for the Habs.

      Best player available is a cliché. The selection is always who the best player will be in five years….not today, which is why Huberdeau is now ranked in the top 3 and Landeskog is not.

      I think we should qualify Pouliot too. But I don’t think we should sign him. Trade bait baby, trade bait.

    • Habitoban says:

      Not much HIO love for Benny. I, for one, don’t see how you can’t qualify him. How can you dump 30 points produced on a offensively challenged team? I believe that puts him 6th among forwards, with 3rd and 4th line minutes, and with no PP time. I actually think he is much more rounded player (i.e., better defensively, harder working) than when he arrived. As to the balance thing, surely the coaching staff can work with him to address that. Problem is he seems to have pissed in JM’s Wheaties.

      • patience is a virtue says:

        Agreed.

        I am actually hoping that JM’s long-term plan with Poo was/is to break him down and build him back up as a hard working, two way player. He obviously has the skills and size and his production last season, as you note, was nothing to scoff at given the minutes and line mates he had.

        Also, doesn’t hurt to create the perception that he had a weak year during the process of remaking his game so that he can be signed cheap for a couple more…

    • mrhabby says:

      somoene said use BP as trade bait to the flyers for hartnell maybe throw in a late pic..i dunna know..just want the team to get a little more tougher to play against.

  8. habsfan0 says:

    Worst case scenario:Habs don’t sign the Wiz..and he signs with the Bruins..guaranteeing un upgrade on what was the worst part of Boston’s run to the Cup..their power play.

    • dhenry1234 says:

      If Wiz signed with the Bruins I would be in awe. Would be such a Traitor… All for $$$$ Whatever happened to loyalty is what I would be asking.

      The way I see it is that Wiz is an excellent fit for the Habs. And without Hammer we will be able to afford him.

      This season our Defense has the potential to be STACKED (not necessarily physically) When was the last time we had a D corp that was actually this stacked?

      Markov, Gorges, PK, Wiz, Gill, Yemelin, and Spac in the box. That sounds excellent to me.

      • G-Man says:

        Loyalty? He was traded for as a fill-in until Markov and Gorges get back.

        • dhenry1234 says:

          We’ll see what Happens. He seems pretty loyal to Montreal. Learning French and all.

          Fact is he’s one of the lucky few that has a chance to play in the greatest Hockey city in the world. It’s time to see what that means to him.

      • Mike D says:

        Not to mention Weber as another puck moving offensive Dman with a good shot.

        – Honestly yours

        • dhenry1234 says:

          Yeah Weber is a good player but I honestly can’t imagine him playing a significant role in winning the Stanley Cup. I could be wrong. If we had yemelin, wiz, markov, gorges, pk, gill and spacek on the roster that wouldn’t leave much room for Weber. Would he want to play in the AHL? If not it seems like it might be time for Weber to be traded. It all depends on if Wiz gets signed. Without wiz our defense ould be :
          Markov Yemelin
          PK Gorges
          Gill Spacek
          weber.
          That D just doesn’t seem as stacked to me as it would be with Wiz.

          • Mike D says:

            Not today, but Weber is still a youngster.

            Better yet, we trade Spacek instead of Wiz and our Dmen would be:
            Marky, PK, Wiz, Yemelin, Gorges, Gill, Weber

            – Honestly yours

          • dhenry1234 says:

            Id take that for sure Mike. But unfortunately it seems that Spacek has a NTC. Perhaps another year in the AHL is due for weber. It would be nice if he turned into a significant player.

    • Nina76 says:

      There has to be a way to sign Wiz. to sign with the Bruins would be a terrible mistake or any other top team. We need all the good players we have……..& MORE come on SIGN HIM !!!!!

  9. TomNickle says:

    I brought up going after Hartnell yesterday. While I’m not a fan of helping the Flyers it would help us just as much. I floated Desharnais as bait but that’s not going to happen now. Andrew Berkshire mentioned Pouliot and I think he’s onto something. It’s just a better fit. Pouliot can bang and was selected 4th overall in his draft while Hartnell was selected 6th. Pouliot certainly has not shown the consistency that Hartnell has but the Flyers have to clear out at least $4 million in cap space to get Bryzgalov under contract and if it comes down to trading Carter, Richards, Hartnell or Timonen, my money is on Hartnell being shown the door.

    Journalists seem to have it in their heads that the Flyers are more likely to send Versteeg and Carle packing. I’m sorry to break it to them, but Versteeg is only worth half of what he makes and Carle was an abomination prior to Pronger’s arrival in Philadelphia.

    • dhenry1234 says:

      Wow Hartnell eh. Watching him against the Habs I always hated him. But I think that in le bleu blanc et rouge he could be a perfect fit. Solid 3rd liner that can score and is not afraid to get physical. I definitely would give up Pouliot for him.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        The other beauty of a guy like Hartnell, is when he plays that fiery physical game, it becomes contagious to the team. All of a sudden you have White, Hartnell, Moen, Darche and AK start throwing more checks and that missing grit appears. Hopefully Emelin fills in a little and we have a team still strong in speed and making life a little more miserable for the opposition.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      I would even kick in a 3rd round pick with Pouliot to get that deal done.

    • SmartDog says:

      I dunno. Pouliot falling on people could be just the one more weapon the Flyers need to crush the entire east. That man is dangerous!!!

    • mrhabby says:

      yes..does gauthier have the stones to go after a player like Hartnell…so far its been slow and steady. i really like to see some significant upgrade on our toughness/nastiness whatever its call it…………oh truculence.

      ps…no fighters just players that are a-holes to play against and move off the puck.

    • GrimJim says:

      Calgary sports radio yesterday interviewed a Flyer’s beat reporter (I forget his name, sorry) and what he said was the Flyers don’t want any bodies/salaries coming back; they are looking almost exclusively for picks. They need to clear $5mil to be able to sign Bryzgalov. He said that Plan A was to move Matt Carle and Kris Versteeg for 2nd or 3rd round picks. Plan B was to move Carter for a 1st round pick. Flyers have no 1st or 2nd round pick this year.

      • TomNickle says:

        After giving up a 1st and 3rd for Versteeg they’re going to trade him for a 2nd and 3rd?

        Sorry, that beat writer is on crack.

        • GrimJim says:

          Actually Tom what he said was even better than that. He said Versteeg for a 2nd round pick and Carle for a 3rd. My understanding from what he said was that it was a fire sale/salary dump to clear space for Bryz. Yes, Flyers got totally hosed on trading for Versteeg but the writer implied that Flyers mgmt thinks they can make up for it if they sign that top-level goalie, especially since they sunk a 3rd round pick into acquiring his rights…

          • TomNickle says:

            Paul Holmgren would be fired immediately if he traded Versteeg for a 2nd round pick. On the spot, no notice, no exit interview. Done. Versteeg for a 2nd ain’t happenin.

        • GrimJim says:

          Besides, wasn’t it you who said yesterday that a number of the 30 GMs in this league are not known for their logical consistency and high-quality asset management skills (me paraphrasing btw)

          • TomNickle says:

            Holmgren wasn’t one of the GMs that I was referring to.

          • GrimJim says:

            @TomNickle, oh I agree with you. But how much more foolish would Holmgrin look if he ends up keeping Versteeg and trading Carter in order to clear cap space? Or investing all this apparent time and effort and then not being able to sign the one position everyone says is the Flyers achilles heel? He’s over a barrel and even smart people do dumb things when they get desperate

      • Sean Bonjovi says:

        That’s hilarious when you consider what the Flyers gave up to get Versteeg in the first place.

        Edit: hilarious because the Flyers were the only team in the league who ever thought Versteeg was worth a 1st and a 3rd.

        * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Yah, I have to hand it to Burke in Toronto, he blew the Kessel deal, but made out like a bandit in trading Versteeg and Kaberle. The only piece still outstanding though is what kind of player Stalberg becomes in CHicago, he was the keypiece for Chicago in trading Versteeg and his salary to TO.

          • Sean Bonjovi says:

            About Kaberle: Peter Chiarelli is a terrible GM, but his scouts bail him out. Boston must have the best scouts in the league (Bergeron, Marchand, Krejci, Lucic)

            * Ville Leino would make Sergei Samsonov look like Alex Kovalev *

    • ed lopaz says:

      2 playoffs ago as I watched Hartnell laughing at us, I posted on this site how a guy like that would be a perfect fit for the Habs.

      Of course, I was mocked and written off, even by the moderators, who went so far as to say that Hartnell was exactly the reason why they hated the Flyers.

      i agree with you Tom – its time for the Habs to stop fooling themselves believing that they can win without offensive “net ” presence – someone who can crash the other teams goalie, score the garbage goals and dominate in the blue paint.

      However, i would be SHOCKED if the Flyers would trade Hartnell to us.

      they know we are missing this piece, and its just bad business to help one of your main competitors.

      Instead, Hartnell can be delt to Florida – there’s your 4 million for Dale Talon.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

      • TomNickle says:

        Tallon would only need to add another $26 million after that. Wow.

        • ed lopaz says:

          true – but that’s 4 million that would make his team much better immediately.

          he has start somewhere and that’s a good start.

          if I’m Talon I’m all over the Flyers.

          Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

          • TomNickle says:

            Something tells me that 29 teams are all over the Flyers right now. Anyone can be had for the right package. Just seems to me that Tallon would be less willing to give up young players or picks than Gauthier would.

      • mrhabby says:

        i remember that..he was not the only one laughing.most of the team was. made me sick seeing that. from that day on i really had to shake my heads at the CH organization for not adding some of these elements that are required in the playoffs.

    • Talik Sanis says:

      Back when they first traded for Bryzgalov, I immediately thought that Hartnell had his head on the chopping block, and would be a reasonable acquisition. As long as we can trade for him without moving a major asset the other way, I’d be thrilled. It is, however, critical that we don’t overpay for him. The Flyers are the ones who are up against the wall in this case, and we would be unwise not to try to take advantage of that. I hope Gautier will. If it is true that the flyers only want picks and no cheep players, we shouldn’t sacrifice any more second round or, perish the thought, first round picks.

    • 24 Cups says:

      Tom – My only concern is that when a team has it’s back to the cap wall, other NHL teams still give them something decent in return. What ever happened to being over a barrel?

      The fact he has a NTC means nothing in today’s NHL. Most players will listen as long as they have some input.

      • TomNickle says:

        The answer to your question is demand. The asset or potential assets that the Flyers will have to part with are attractive and there are multiple franchises that want them. Because of that, they won’t just give the assets away or take a raw deal to get it done. This scenario is different in that they only have a few days to get a deal with Bryzgalov done, so maybe they will be bent over a barrel.

  10. HardHabits says:

    If size and grit isn’t an issue, tell my why the following line-up would be a good thing:

    Gio-DD-Cammy
    MAB-Weber
    Halak

    • shiram says:

      Who’s saying that now HH?

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      ???

    • TomNickle says:

      Size and grit are always in demand. Fighters that serve no other purpose to a hockey team are not. And fourth line players who can win 55% of their faceoffs on a fourth line for one of the worst teams in the history of the NHL are not hot commodities.

      Not saying you’re on this over-hyped Konopka bandwagon but he seems to be the flavour of the month.

      Moen and White can fight. We need guys who can score and are hard to move off of the puck. Konopka does not fit that bill.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        So Tom, you’d like to see some scoring from the 4th line?

        I always like the idea of having a fourth line that can pin another team in their own end, punish some of their defenders and get a whistle so that our guns come in and take the draw.

        All the while our scoring forwards are getting a breather on the bench.

        • TomNickle says:

          Adding a skilled and physical forward to our top six or even nine drops Moen to our 4th line to play with White. I think that’s the kind of line you’re looking for. For the sake of this idea let’s say we acquire Hartnell, our forward group could like the following……

          Hartnell Plekanec Cammalleri
          Pacioretty Gomez Gionta
          Desharnais Eller Kostitsyn
          Moen FA White

          I’d be happy with that. Scoring in our top three lines and a line that can bang at the bottom. They don’t have to turn the third period into a UFC event, they can just play a solid physical game. In addition, there’s a physical element to our top three lines with Hartnell, Pacioretty, Kostitsyn and Eller.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            That’s the way I would LOVE to see it as well. But I don’t understand why you’re so unsold on konopka.

            White-Konopka-Moen would be a great 4th line that would play 8mins a game?

            I think that line could do a great job of trapping teams in their own end and inflict some dammage at the same time?

            If not Konopka, somebody that is a weight class up from White and Moen.

            konopka seems to be a real experienced fighter that would maybe not fight Chara but would easily stand in here with a Lucic or McQuaid.

            Moen and White are light-heavyweights and Konopka does seem to just be in the heavyweight class…

            And i know you think his 55% on the draws isn’t speacial but for a guy who will see no time on special teams and maybe play 8mins a game, he’s good for the 4th line no?

          • Steven says:

            If you put together a lineup like that, we move straight to contender status, I think.

          • TomNickle says:

            I don’t feel that Konopka is worth the trouble. You can’t pay a 4th line centreman $2 million, which is what he’ll get. I’d much rather get a faceoff specialist in that spot who has experience taking important faceoffs at important times. Konopka hasn’t done that. Scott Nichol(no relation) is a perfect fit there and will come very cheap.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          $2 million for Konopka…no way!

          • TomNickle says:

            Boogard got $1.5 million without the faceoff acumen. There were a half dozen teams that wanted Konopka at the deadline. He’ll be in high demand.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            We’ll see what happens I guess but I’d be shocked if konopka signed for anything over 1.2 Mill.

            Boogaard was the toughest player in the league and usually the top 5 fighters get paid well.

            Konopka is good but far from being the champ.

    • DearyLeary says:

      By the same token you can’t tell me that Gionta doesn’t play a gritty game.

  11. SeriousFan09 says:

    Florida desperately has to hit the cap floor, Spacek has a year left and might not mind playing his final year in a nice climate.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Make it so Mr G.

      Then sign Ehrhoff, Bieksa or the Wiz.

    • ed lopaz says:

      I would pay the air fare for Spacek to get out of here.

      I know a ton of nice guys, but none of them are making 3.8 million playing for an NHL team.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • otter649 says:

      Started his NHL career with Fla – I believe…..

    • TomNickle says:

      They’re going to be desperate to get close to it. I say Gomez should be in play, there’s no way Tallon can hang up the phone if that call were made. It would make his job a hell of a lot easier.

      • DearyLeary says:

        Too early to dump Gomez, there’s nobody in the free agent pool to replace him (shockingly) and as much as I love Eller, and think that DD is a serviceable piece, I don’t think either of them are ready for top 2 line minutes.

        • TomNickle says:

          They can’t be worse than Gomez was last season and Cammalleri can move into that spot if need be.

          • shiram says:

            Yea Cammy played center for some time. I was interested last season when Gomez was hurt to see if they played him in that space, was annoyed that they did not.

        • dhenry1234 says:

          I really don’t think that Gomer is going anywhere for a long time. I feel that once his contract is up he will be getting a MASSIVE pay cut but he will still be a part of this team. Especially if we win the cup with him between Gio and Max Pac

    • dhenry1234 says:

      I’m pretty sure that Spacek has a NTC. Does anyone know if this is a limited clause?

    • G-Man says:

      NTC, NTC, NTC.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I’ve never heard a straight answer as to what the penalty is to not spending to the cap floor?

      • TomNickle says:

        You get fined daily for not being in compliance. Just like being over the cap. If you were in violation of the cap for the entire season for example, the penalty would be much more costly than just spending to the floor especially when a cap hit isn’t always equal to the actual salary of the player.

    • GrimJim says:

      Eric Duhatchuk said yesterday that Florida has an easy way to get to the cap floor this year. Whoever they take with their 1st round pick will likely play so all they have to do is sign him up for every bonus possible in an entry-level contact. All bonuses count against the cap this year. There is about 1.8mil in individual bonuses available and I think another $1to 1.5mil in team performance bonuses. That would make his cap hit a minimum of $3.7mil.

      • TomNickle says:

        That’s not a simple solution. They can’t just waive a magic wand and add another $25 million to their payroll. An entry level deal with bonuses isn’t going to account for $30 million in money they need to spend.

    • kempie says:

      Wanna bet they sign Hamrlik?

  12. AK_PK_Usay says:

    The more i look at cap space, the more i have to agree with everyone saying BOTH Markov and Wiz should get signed, i just dont see why not.

    Price and PK will get a raise next year, which is fine as Spacek 3.8 and Gill 2.25 mil are coming off, the extra 6 mil will be more than enough.

    I don’t think you can have too many offensive Dman. What that gives us, 2 dangerous PP lines that will punish teams for trying to play dirty. Vancouver PP was utter shit vs bruins…

    We got 3 young guys, PK Webber and Yemmelin, the more veterans with skill that can teach them the better.

    EDIT: of course Wiz is somewhat of a liability in his own end, so price is an issue, 4 mil and less seems good, more you have to keep him accountable for the goals scored thanks to him and the goals caused due to him…

    • ed lopaz says:

      Wiz made over 3.2 million this year.

      He put up 51 points, he fights, and plays hard – even nasty.

      If you were him, would you settle for a 750,000 raise?

      We gave Spacek 3 years at 3.85 per season 2 years ago.

      Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

      • TomNickle says:

        It’s no secret he’ll get $5 million annually on the open market Ed. Anyone who thinks he’ll settle for less with the injuries he’s suffered in his young career are fooling themselves.

        • ed lopaz says:

          I agree Tom.

          Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • G-Man says:

      Nucks PP against the Bleepheads was poor because they did the perimeter thing and did not have 2 forwards in front of the net. They lost because they didn’t have the nads to take the punishment you need to take to score goals and win.

  13. adamkennelly says:

    Gagne? Tanguay? Jagr? Whats is wrong with some of you? why not throw in Kovalev, Samsonov – maybe Oleg Petro and Joe Juneau and we can have the worst team in the East….team lacks size, grit, toughness and 5 and 5 scoring which are not mutually exclusive…I just hope PG was paying attention to the playoffs.

  14. Propwash says:

    Jeez, even the advertisers are trolling us about Boston’s wins :/

  15. Un Canadien errant says:

    It looks like Calgary is having trouble signing Alex Tanguay.

    http://www.calgarysun.com/2011/06/20/tanguay-flames-far-apart-in-talks

    He’d look good on the left side with Plekanec and Cammalleri.

    Objections:

    1) He plays soft, he’s not tough enough.

    2) He didn’t do much as a member of the Canadiens last time.

    3) Both he and Cammalleri are left-hand shots.

    4) He’ll cost too much.

    I think skill players are more important and harder to find than tough players, when you can add skills you do so. Tanguay isn’t Clark Gillies, he won’t drop the gloves, but he has decent size so he’s no pushover with the puck.

    His time with the Canadiens was not representative of what he can do, he had a shoulder injury that significantly hampered his production. He proved to be healthy and in great shape last season.

    As far as linemates, I see him on the left side with Plekanec and Cammalleri. Mike does most of his scoring from the slot on the right side anyway. Having Plekane and Tanguay, both left-handed shots, on his left puts them in perfect position to feed him the puck.

    He can also play the point on the power-play, where his being left-handed would complement PK and Wizniewski (hopefully) nicely.

    As far as being too expensive, I think that’s the biggest hurdle, especially since he might not be inclined to give the Habs the hometown discount. He grew up a Nordiques fan, and previous to his stint here in 08-09 openly stated that he would not want to play in Montreal because of the inherent pressure. I would trust Mr. Gauthier to make the decision here.

    Anyway, just spit-balling here, you guys can fire away at my dreams and schemes. If some of you can trade away Gomez or bring in Hartnell or Couturier for precious nothing, I can dream of keeping Wiz and signing Tanguay. And Gagne.

    ———————————
    “I hate the Bruins more than the Nordiques, who I hate more than the Flyers.”

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Gagne and Tanguay – if all the stars line up correctly could possibly help a team.

      However:

      Gagne had another concussion last season, maybe two?

      Also Tanguay didn’t click here and either didn’t get along with a few players or management or something? Plus he’s soft.

      I think or I know there’s better out there than those two.

      • HalifaxHabs says:

        I once saw Tanguay suffer a sick concussion in person, when he played for the Mooseheads. Really bad stuff. I’ve always liked Tanguay because his hands and play making abilities are off the charts.

        But the recent injury history is a major concern.

    • avatar_58 says:

      F Tanguay

    • Mattyleg says:

      It’s a freakin’ bizarre thing… I have memories of Tanguay being crap in Montreal, but then I looked at his stats… he had 41 pts in 50 games, that’s just under a point a game, AND he had 47 hits and 76 SOG!
      Don’t know why we were so ready to get rid of him…

      —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • RobertAlanFord says:

        Injury prone. Him and Gagne are damaged goods. None of us should waste our hopes on either of these guys.

        -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Gainey was mad at him for not playing all the games of the Bruins series. Remember it looked like we were going to get swept from day one, and Tanguay took himself out of the lineup after game two.

        I think Gainey was right.

        • LA Loyalist says:

          Have you ever actually played hockey? I mean outside of your head?

          There are injuries you can play with, and injuries you can’t. You make the decision on whether or not you playing hurt is either a) going to hurt the team and b) make the injury worse. Ultimately that is the player’s decision, it’s his body that he has to live in the rest of his life and only he ultimately knows what he can do.

          Bob Gainey was as tough as they come, certainly, but neither you nor I know exactly what the injury was and what Gainey and Tanguay decided about it. You can express an opinion certainly, but don’t tout it as fact.

          You may recollect that we didn’t have goalie in that series, so it was pretty academic who dressed. That’s my OPINION and I’m sure it’s shared by many fans and supported by the FACTS.

          Sorry to be pissed, but I really hate people posting opinion as fact.

          • avatar_58 says:

            Once a soft player, always a soft player. I can’t cheer for a player that throws in the towel when the going gets tough.

            Let him play for a non-playoff team like Calgary, where he belongs

          • ed lopaz says:

            I spent 6 months with Tanguay’s relative 2 hockey seasons ago.

            Tanguay was VERY disappointed that the Habs did not want him.

            And he was totally shocked since they had given a 1st and a 2nd round pick to get him just 12 months earlier.

            He really wanted to play, but just could not get it done.

            This comes directly from a man who was in touch with Tanguay on a regular, family level, basis.

            Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

          • TomNickle says:

            If a team gave up a first round pick for me. I’d make sure that I did everything possible to get on the ice at the most important time of the year. That said, we don’t know if he did or not, many reports indicated that he didn’t. And it didn’t help that Mathieu Schneider did.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            If you calm down a bit and read what I posted, you’ll note that I said “I think Gainey was right.”

            The “I think” clearly identifies that statement as opinion.

            That Gainey was pissed at him is widely accepted. Maybe he wasn’t though. Who knows?

          • G-Man says:

            Tanguay removed himself from playing in the playoffs. That’s why he and others were cut like so many rotten pieces of fruit.

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Hey, we dumped Saku Koivu like stale bread, too, so what do you expect?

        I like Tanguay, too. We had very rotten luck with bad injuries, and Bob decided to blow it all up. Two years later, we are still paying the bill, with another two years to run on Gomer.

        Someday Gomer and Mr. Happy will be gone, and the ship will be righted. For now, we stumble around among the cactus and wait for our kids to ripen.

        So far so good for Gauthier, though. He hasn’t pissed me off yet.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          The 2008-2009 team was a train wreck. After Gainey’s changes we went from a no-show in round one to the conference final beating the top two seeds in the process.

    • mrhabby says:

      i would not touch tanguay with a 20ft pole..

      1..just never seemed comfortable playing in mtl.
      2..kind of a soft player too.
      3..heard he wants a long term deal..he played for peanuts last year.

      no ty.

  16. dhenry1234 says:

    Can anybody explain to me why we can’t sign both the Wiz and Markov?

    • RobertAlanFord says:

      I’ve been saying that for a while dude. The money is there but for some reason nobody thinks its within the realm of possibility. However, it is looking more and more that Wiz will be testing the temperature of the FA waters first. IMO the Habs need one more notable player on D. There’s three or four Dmen in the FA pool who would be a nice fit.

      I’m feeling more and more confident that PG has a game plan thats going according to plan. All WE can do is wait and see what happens over the next two weeks. Its the most…..wonderful time….of the yeeeaaaaarrrrr.

      -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

      • LA Loyalist says:

        I would sign Wiz for depth and to keep him away from Boston (who will not re-sign Kaberle and who BADLY need a PP Qb).

        With Markov, Gorges, Wiz, Emelin, PK – crap we will have a killer attack D that will make up for our sh*t offense until the kids mature. And we’d have some depth in the inevitable event that someone gets hurt.

    • Mr_MacDougall says:

      We can! However, I am not sure Wiz wants to play in Montreal, and may see what offers he gets. As many have stated before he is from michigan and the Wings need to fill the spot left vacant by Rafalski. I am not pretending to know any “inside scoop” i am just taking the ideas from other post that i have read on here.

      I’d love to see them both signed before the draft!

      As far as your question, we have the cap space and the advantage of negotiating before July 1st.. so we have a chance.

    • Bill J says:

      So many reasons, here are a few…

      1) One or the other (or :O both) does not want to.
      2) PG wants to spend the extra cap space on offence ?

      if both Markov & Gorges are signed, (or Wiz + Gorges) the D is relatively set. Allowing for cap space to be spent on a forward who can help the offence (the glarring BIG issue this team needs to address)

      • LA Loyalist says:

        Bill you’re entirely right – except what killer forward is out there that we can expect to sign?

        Richards won’t come here, he’s been quoted as such, at least. I don’t think we can get Parise. Who do you have in mind that we can realistically have a shot at?

        That’s why Jagr is not such a bad option when we are realistic, because he doesn’t cost us a kid and there is no long term commitment. Of course he’s not in his prime, but he’s tough with good hands and buys us time.

    • dhenry1234 says:

      Thanks for the Replies! The way I see it is I would love to have Wiz resign and have Spacek sit or have him traded away for pics, prospects, or whatever we could get for him. Spacek and Hammer had too many brain farts for my liking this season (hell even in NHL 11 the game they annoy me with their brain farts). But if Wiz is like most players and only cares about the money then he should leave. This is Montreal. We play Hockey to win the cup, not to make extra money. Wiz should be glad he even got a chance to play in Montreal (Greatest Hockey city on the planet)

      Markov- Yemelin
      PK- Gill
      Gorges – Wiz
      -Spacek (Or weber if spac gets traded)

      That sounds excellent to me. Spacek seems to be a weak link in our Defense in my opinion. Although Yemelin is untested.

      • RobertAlanFord says:

        I’m 100% with you on the D story. I’d like to see the end of the SpaceCheck and Hamrlik experiment. Mind you, If Wiz walks and SpaceCheck is moved I wouldn’t mind seeing Hamrlik back if he’s willing to take a serious pay cut (2.2 for one year) and swap spots with Yemelin every couple of games. It would give Hamrlik a chance to rest his veteran bones and Yemi a chance to soak in the North American ice and style of play.

        -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

        • mrhabby says:

          the spacecheck cannot be moved except for a bag of pucks..he is older with many miles on the body and the salary is the other issue. he will be playing with the CH. same with hammer many miles and lots of wear and tear. defense has get younger and faster and nastier if possible.

          ps… hammer will be gone and spaceman stays.

          • RobertAlanFord says:

            I also just noticed on capgeek that he has a NTC. FFFFFFF……………………..!!!!!

            -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

        • dhenry1234 says:

          I agree that Hammer Could be good in a very limited role. And his paycut would have to be a lot more. 2.2 for one year is too expensive. I’d like to see him for maybe a bit over a million. Similar to the Breezer signing of a few seasons ago if I recall correctly.

        • dhenry1234 says:

          ouch you’re right. It looks like we’re stuck with him considering the NTC. The only way that we can get rid of him is if he gets hurt it seems. And I could never wish that on Spacek. He’s a real good Dude. Hopefully his role in the locker room is strong. This Team seems very Close

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Well there’s also the reason that instead of having three offensive defenceman Markov-Subban-Wizniewski the team could keep two and spend that money up front instead.

    • SnowManHabs85 says:

      Maybe is looking at it as a long term, meaning, by the end of this coming season, both Price and Subban contract expires and they’ll get a huge raise, Spacek own contract coming off the books isn’t enough for young super stars.

      “Responding to the media , or playing to the media, or listening to the fans is the quickest way to start losing” – Sam Pollock

      • ed lopaz says:

        we have Hammer’s 5.5 off the books, we have an added 4 million in Cap space, and next year another 3.85 from Spacek + ANOTHER increase in the Cap.

        long term, money is not a problem either.

        Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  17. Bugs says:

    Oh my gosh, I completely forgot about Sopel…
    Says it all, I guess.
    Still, for services rendered, he should be thanked. Did a fine job.

    Gone figuratively fishin filibusts L. B. Potter, esq.

  18. habs03 says:

    I must say, I’ve been very pleased with the work of Pierre Gauthier. I wasn’t the most excited when he got the job, but he has done a good job, and many don’t like him, but you can’t deny the good job he has done. I love how after every move he makes, he gives a logical explanation but never tells too much, and shows that he has a plan. Ex the Wiz trade, we gave up a 2nd and 5th, and some say we keep giving up these picks but nothing getting anything in return, but P.G pointed out that the Habs believe Michael Bournival is equivalent to a 2nd round pick in this year draft, hence the trade was O’byrne a 5th for Wiz, pretty good trade imo considering what Boston gave up for Kaberle.

    • PrimeTime says:

      I agree. He is a very smart and competent GM with a plan. Others may prefer the “me me me I ‘m gonna make a big splash” GM to get their team a headline in the paper but PG hasn’t that problem. He does what he feels is best and does not pander to the irritating fan segment of which many are found here. The only way he can please everyone is to win and I have full confidence he is doing his best to ice a competitive team every year. The rest is up to his players.

    • LA Loyalist says:

      Agreed. PG has done well so far. Let’s see how we do in the next two weeks!

  19. RobertAlanFord says:

    Yemelin-Markov
    Subban- Gill
    Gorges-Spacek
    Weber

    Seems a little weak to me without another notable dman in there. If wiz doesnt want to plat here then PG should pitch for Brewer, Bieksa or even Ian White. IF he can pull off a miracle and move ‘SpaceChek’ on Friday for even a 7th pick ten years from now, then watch out JUly 1st for one of those guys or another notable player to sign here.
    -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

    • TomNickle says:

      Yemelin will not be a first pairing player. He will be with Spacek on the third pairing. The top four will be Markov(if signed), Gill, Subban and Gorges.

      • habs03 says:

        Just because he plays with Markov doesn’t mean he is a 1st pairing D-man. JM rolls 3 d pairings evenly, with the better ones Markov-Subban Gorges getting all the extra minutes at the end and on special teams. O’Byrne wasn’t a first pairing d-man but he played with Markov.

        • TomNickle says:

          Martin most certainly does not roll three pairing evenly. We typically have four defensemen at or above twenty minutes per game and at least two defensemen at twenty-five minutes per game.

          You think Sopel and Spacek had the same or even close to the same amount of even strength shifts as Subban and Gill? Sorry, not true, not even close to accurate.

          • habs03 says:

            Like I said with the PP time, and PK time that changes but 5 on 5 he rolls all 6. All those minutes weren’t evenly because we never had a full health lineup on D. If you remember during the first season under JM referenced the year the Canes won the won and how they rolled as 6 D-men instead of relying on just a few d-men all year. BTW how do you explain O’B being paired with Markov…

          • TomNickle says:

            I’m sorry Habs03 but you’re wrong. I have the Even Strength Time on Ice loaded up and here it is…….

            Subban – 21:53
            Hamrlik – 21:08
            Gill – 20:38
            Wisniewski – 18:54
            SPACEK – 15:16
            SOPEL – 12:54

            Again, this is strictly even strength ice time. So no, Martin did not roll three pairings when the team was playing at full strength. Four guys got the call a hell of a lot more than the last two did. Just like I said earlier.

          • habs03 says:

            If you look at what I wrote, you would noticed that I mentioned with a health lineup. Spacek was coming off an injury and Sopel would probably be a 8-9th d-man if he some how got signed. IMO Markov, Gorges, Subban,Gill, Yemelin and another D-man (Hedja/Wiz/ect). All good enough to play top 4. Like I said, how do you explain O’B playing with Markov for long period of time?

          • TomNickle says:

            Habs03, in 09-10, four defenseman were at or over 18 minutes es toi/game and two were at no more than 15:30.

            Again, he doesn’t roll his defensive pairing at even strength.

      • RobertAlanFord says:

        I know. Im just throwing up names that are signed and sealed. Also proves that Markov. needs a partner and I’ve never liked the pairing with Gorges. Two completely different players. Wiz would be a perfect compliment. He moves the puck well, killer shot, opposite stick hand which makes moving the puck back and forth on the blue line a tad easier with the chance for one timers.

        -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

      • Bill J says:

        Tom, I tend to agree with a great many things you say. But on this one, you are not looking at the bigger picture.

        1) The language barrier. Yemelin with Markov makes sense in Yemelin’s first year in North America.
        2) The physical aspect Yemelin brings fits PERFECTLY with Markov’s style of play.
        3) Markov will not be 1st line of defence. Due to the injuries, keeping him fresh and not logging large minutes will help.

        I Suspect the 3 d-lines will look more like this (if Markov & Gorges are signed)

        Subban – Gorges
        Markov – Yemelin
        Spacek – Gill
        Weber

        • TomNickle says:

          We definitely disagree here Bill. Markov walks on to around 25 teams and is their best defenseman immediately. I don’t see Spacek and Gill together. Gill and Subban works incredibly well because Subban’s speed allows Gill to be aggressive at the offensive zone blueline. Spacek can’t compensate for that and it would result in a tremendously passive approach in the neutral zone. I see the following if Markov is retained…..

          Gill Subban
          Markov Gorges
          Yemelin Spacek

          and the only other realistic possibility being Gorges and Gill paired together and having Markov and Subban together. But that eliminates offensive balance so I’m inclined to think they’ll avoid those pairings.

          • Bill J says:

            Mark my words Tom – Markov WILL be paired with Yemelin.

            I’ll tweak my predictions as you made valid points about Space-K

            Subban – Gill
            Markov – Yemelin
            Spacek – Gorges
            Weber

          • TomNickle says:

            Those pairings are possible Bill, I just don’t agree with them ;)

        • Mike D says:

          Don’t think they’ll put Gill and Spacek together. Both are slow and not great at moving the puck or making an outlet pass. Both players will be paired with someone who’s got more speed and puck moving ability.

          – Honestly yours

          • TomNickle says:

            Gill has very underrated puck moving ability. Laugh all you want but I was hoping he would get some powerplay time last year. He almost always hits the net when he shoots and he often makes the smart pass, though not very creative.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Anybody but Ian White. We already have our castoff from the Leafs in Hal Gill, that’s enough, thank you very much.

      ———————————
      “I hate the Bruins more than the Nordiques, who I hate more than the Flyers.”

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I think Markov and Yemelin are almost pre-ordained to play together. The language issue is a factor, and also the way they would putatively complement each other, at least on paper.

        I completely agree that we can’t expect Markov to be a plug-and-play All Star workhorse defenceman this year. He is going to need a lot of time to regain his strength and balance. Once an ACl reconstruction is fully healed, the athlete still needs another season or so to get back to 100% production. This is the case in skiing, football, hockey, etc. One factor which is positive is that he got hurt early in the season, so that gave him a full year to rehab.

        So Mr. Gauthier and Martin need to be clear with each other on that and plan accordingly, Markov can’t play 28 minutes a game in October. Let’s give those minutes out to Yemelin and PK, and wait for Andrei to be fully ready.

        ———————————
        “I hate the Bruins more than the Nordiques, who I hate more than the Flyers.”

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  20. TomNickle says:

    Somebody floated the idea yesterday that Eller and Desharnais both being retained could spell the end of Gomez’s run with the Habs. I don’t believe that Pierre Gauthier will want to sell an asset with low value, but there are some other circumstances to take into consideration when looking at the possibility of Gomez being gone by October.

    1. Gauthier certainly can’t like the one dimensional scoring ability this team has. Without Pacioretty in the lineup, this team only scores off of the rush or on the powerplay. Plekanec and Cammalleri need a player who can give them time and space in the offensive zone. Those players aren’t usually cheap and moving either Eller or Desharnais to the wing or having one of them in the middle on the fourth line doesn’t solve that problem. In addition, these players are difficult to acquire and having Eller or Desharnais on the second line helps in better establishing puck possession in the offensive zone and not entirely relying on the rush and special teams to score.

    2. The Florida Panthers need to add $30 million in cap space. If anyone has a reasonable theory explaining how they can do it without giving up a ton of prospects for a high salary elite player, I’m all ears. I think Florida is a real possibility for Gomez. It wouldn’t cost Florida a lot and it would solve a big depth problem for them. Regardless of whether or not they want him, they may end up needing him to be cap compliant.

    3. Next season Eller, Price, Subban, Yemelin and quite possibly Kostitsyn, Gill, Markov and others are in line for contract extensions. Gomez is unlikely to be a Hab at this time next year regardless of how well he plays between now and the conclusion of next season.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Hey Tom I love your way of thinking with trying to figure a way out of the Gomez mess. I’d really have to see it to believe it but I hope you’re right.

      I was talking to another gentleman on here yesterday and he mentioned the CBA ending at the end of the 2011/12 season. He was mentioning that the number one issue on the list for the players/owners will be the player buyout issue.

      The owners aren’t happy paying guys like Souray and Redden to play in the AHL and the players don’t like looking like tools either. So something will get done and maybe we’ll have a different option for the Gomez situation before the 2012/13 season?

      And then there’s always a chance the he works his ass off this summer and comes back a changed man and looks like the guy he was in NJ….I doubt it though but I hope!

      • TomNickle says:

        The buyout period was given after the last CBA as an unconditional period because of the exorbitant contracts that were signed prior to that deal. Many journalists are speculating that when the CBA is renewed that a similar buyout period will be granted but I’m not so sure. The contracts that are signed under the current CBA or that have carried over in good faith prior to it are either reasonable or the team had the option of ridding themselves of it. It may happen again for the greater good of the game, or business end of the game. But it could just as easily not be granted because teams had the option of getting rid of those contracts.

        Either way he won’t be a Hab beyond next season.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Florida have to sign 13 players, and have to, as Tom says, spend $30M doing it.

      Their own RFAs and UFAs are a pretty rag-tag bunch, and not one of them will command close to $2M except for Vokoun if they keep him.

      They still might not want Gomez, who is signed for another three years.

      Also don’t forget the only reason to ditch Gomez is to free up cap space for someone else. Who would that someone be? Gomez might suck, but if your other option to centre Patches and Gionta is Jeff Halpern, there is no point in making that deal.

      On the other hand, Spacek would be a perfect fit. We sure don’t want him, and he is only signed for next season.

      • TomNickle says:

        I don’t look at moving Gomez in that way. I do it because we have Desharnais, Eller and Cammalleri who could move to the middle of that second line and perform at the very least at the same level that Gomez did this season. Also, the opportunity has presented itself to move him with the Panthers’ cap troubles. Tallon hasn’t been shy to add high priced underachievers in the past either.

        • mrhabby says:

          with or without gomer at centre its a very large problem for the club thats the way i see it….club has had this issue for dominant centre man forever.

    • G-Man says:

      Sorry, Florida is in rebuilding mode. That means no stars and up and comers only. They didn’t just dump a ton of salary to take on the Gomez contract. Tallon doesn’t work that way.

  21. Stuck_in_To. says:

    Reading around and there is some speculation that the Avs wouldn’t mind parting ways with Paul Stastny. Contract is large but he seems to be a decent sized centerman … what is the story there? Underachiever? One dimensional? Curious because they seem to be a team MTL. is willing to do business with.

    • Mike D says:

      Where have you seen that?

      – Honestly yours

    • TomNickle says:

      His old man went on a tirade when Chris Stewart was traded. There have been multiple denials that both parties want to part ways.

      That said, if they pick Huberdeau at the draft, Stastny is expendable immediately.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Paul Stastny is a good one. He is a ppg centre in four seasons and only 25 years old. Plus he has the pedigree. Also he would be hugely popular with the nationalists, not that it matters to me.

      If Colo trades him they can expect way more than what we can offer – which is almost nothing. We have no prospects and no draft picks, and we aren’t trading Soobie and Price.

      Eller, Weber and our first pick for Stastny? I don’t think so.

  22. Hobie Hansen says:

    Now that spots are starting to fill up we can see what money will be available after the players that we suspect will be resigned actually do resign.

    I’m expecting Markov will come back for the same salary he was making before at 2 years. Gorges will probably get a 2/3 year deal for around 2 million a season.

    White will get a million and Weber probably a bit less than that.

    Then there’s Auld for around a million as well.

    So after that, Montreal is sitting at 19 players and if I’m not mistaken, they usually run with 22 players and not the max 23.

    So that leaves them with a pretty darn good chunk, cuz the cap is going to 64 mill, of change to sign 2 role players and a serious top six forward…like 8 million bucks I think?

    • TomNickle says:

      $20 million in cap room to fill as little as five spots or as many as seven.

      White, Pyatt and Weber’s salaries will very likely be no more than $2 million combined.

      $18 million for Markov or Wisniewski, Gorges and a backup goalie will leave the team with about $10 million in cap space.

      And it will shut up the people who say that Gomez’s contract will hold the franchise back for the next five years.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Well White made 850 and Weber made almost 1 mill and I’m hoping Pyatt is a goner….

        • TomNickle says:

          Those were entry level deals where neither player lived up to the expectations of a regular NHL player.

          Weber is used as a utility man and White has only played 43 NHL games. Very comparable to Tom Pyatt playing 40 games prior to getting his one year, one way, low dollar deal.

    • mrhabby says:

      in my books Gorges gets at least something averaging around 3m with a new contract. not around 2m that you suggested…whats 1or 2 m.

  23. RobertAlanFord says:

    Roughly 20 million left eh? Plenty of room for Wiz and Markov. Those two alone should take up 10-11. Gorges another two, anything higher is not worth it. I know he’s good defensively but easier to replace than a Markov or a Wiz. With approx. 7 million left PG signs the remaining rfas and maybe picks up on more 3rd or 4th liner on UFA Day and still has change leftover. If Wiz decides to take a walk then I vote that PG makes a pitch for Brewer. Also not counting on seeing HAlpern back. He was supposed to be a faceoff man but spent more time being kicked out of the circle than in it.

    -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

  24. scrowe21 says:

    If you’re going to mention Sopel, why not Paul Mara? I’d rather him as a 7th D than Sopel.

  25. Ian Cobb says:

    I would like to comment on what this years team might look like, who will not be back with the big club and who might be in the minors.

    But my problem is that I am not on the Hab’s negotiation team, and there are just too many variables to consider.

    So I will just wait on the sidelines and watch the chess moves by our management team take place. We have a great owner, and he has confidence in his management team.

    We will all know how next year’s team will look like in about 10 more days or so.

  26. Mattyleg says:

    Great that DD’s signed now too!
    We’ve got a pile of very exciting youngsters coming up… DD, Patch, PK, Yemelin (not ‘young’, but you know what I mean), Weber, White…

    This is great stuff, and shows that all the bitching and moaning about the Gainey years has been so much hot air. There’s only so much you can do with over a decade of poor drafting (not to mention the wrong locker-room attitude).

    I don’t even care if PG doesn’t make a big splash at the deadline. I’m already excited to see the young guys get stuck in with the vets leading the way!!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • RobertAlanFord says:

      I agree. The young guys are starting to pay off. We should stop talking about trades and signing ufas and concentrate more on the system. I still have a small hope that we can retain Nigel Dawes and put him out with DD instead of POulet. I think they’d make quite the duo with their speed.

      -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

      • HalifaxHabs says:

        Dawes already signed a 1 yr deal in KHL, he’s gone.

      • Mike D says:

        Dawes left for the KHL so that’s not an option at this point. Also, if I’m not mistaken, Dawes was considered a slow skater so I’m not sure what ‘speed’ you’re talking about.

        – Honestly yours

        • RobertAlanFord says:

          Thought he was speedy. Probably mistaken. My bad. Point is I’d like to see someone on DD’s line with the speed to match his and doesnt cost more then 2 per year.

          -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

  27. 123456 says:

    Anyone think they would have the guts to sign Wiz and let Markov walk? Both will not be signed unless offense is sacrificed. I’d like Weber signed as well for he is a solid fill in and might be ready for full time duty. Mara Sopel Hammer are as good as gone.

    • RobertAlanFord says:

      Markov isnt going anywhere. Even if he’s not signed by July 1st I can promise he wont sign somewhere else instead. Wiz on the other hand………… I really dont wanna see him go but the first team that throws up 5 mil in his face and i get the feeling he’s gone.

      -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

    • Mike D says:

      If it comes down to Wiz OR Markov, they ony way Wiz gets signed is if a deal absolutely cannot be made with Marky. That’s my read on the situation anyway.

      I’d love to keep them both.

      – Honestly yours

  28. Dunboyne Mike says:

    Massholes! Brilliant, ’72. I believe that’s called a neologism, and a beauty at that.

    Concerning your filth line-up: does Boychuck really deserve to be on it? Is he not just a tough d-man?

    Ferrence and Campbell, absolutely, especially Campbell who so ostentatiously enjoys Daddy’s protection. And a pity — he grew as a player during the finals, looking good on the Boston penalty-kill.

    Many here say Horton only turned dirty once he became a Bruin. You probably watch more hockey than I do — how dirty was he? I didn’t think he was so bad.

    Lucic — did I miss something or did he stink throughout the playoffs? Overhyped, and the kind of guy who will only mix it up with non-fighters, smaller players etc. What a waste of size. I didn’t even see much in the way of heart — or was he carrying an injury?

    Is there any significance in you leaving off Chara. Just that I (unpopularly) probably would as well.

    But I would definitely include Marchand.

    Lastly, how close do you think White comes to filling that role? Rather than go out and purchase a Chartraw…

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Horton was a floater in Florida, he only grew some fake-balls in Boston with Lucic and Chara as his henchmen. Now because he face-washes and cross-checks smaller guys after the whistle he is being called “tough”. A total joke.

      ———————————
      “I hate the Bruins more than the Nordiques, who I hate more than the Flyers.”

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  29. habitual says:

    The Habs have the # 17 draft pick, I believe. A few posters have speculated about drafting 6′ 7″ Oleksiak, and TSN ranks him # 17. Here is how TSN describes him:

    Strengths – Decent puck skills and hands, good mobility for his size. Imposing size and strength. Hard to beat one-on-one with hislong stick and wingspan. Weaknesses – can get caught in between trying to move into the play when he should be retreating, not an overly creative passer, doesn’t create lanes, shooting technique needs refinement, needs work on his reads and decision making.

    Teams don’t follow TSN’s list by rote, but that is a lot of weaknesses. I’d say, pass.

    • dimitrib says:

      as per the cap geek, we will have 20,254,490 left to spend:

      Pouliot, Benoit » RFA
      -I don’t see this person coming back. I do foresee Leblanc taking his place.

      White, Ryan » RFA 850K
      – is a good buy for his grit and play

      Pyatt, Tom » RFA 500k
      – good buy, but I see him in the minors

      Halpern, Jeff » UFA 600k.
      – he did provide some good offense when needed

      Gorges, Josh » RFA 1.1m
      – pretty good defenseman overall, I do see him coming back to the core team and possibly used as trade bait. possible raise to 1.5-2m

      Weber, Yannick » RFA 875k
      – minors

      Picard, Alexandre » RFA 600k
      – minors

      Markov, Andrei » UFA 5.75m
      – comes back at the same price for 2 years

      Hamrlik, Roman » UFA 5.5m
      – same as Gorges as a player. I see him coming back at the same price for 2 years or be replaced by Wisniewski

      Wisniewski, James » UFA 3.25m
      – if we don’t get Hamrlik, i would like to see this guy coming back possibly at 4m and replacing Hamrlik

      Sopel, Brent » UFA 2.333333m
      – I cannot think of a reason to keep him

      Mara, Paul » UFA 750k
      – good grit and great for rough and tumble but not more than his current salary

      Auld Alex >> UFA 1m
      – we do need a descent goalie and I’m not sure we have something in the minors that will produce when Carey needs a night off.

    • DearyLeary says:

      We’ve already got a 6’7″ monster in the system, and by all accounts Tinordi is much ‘meaner’ than Oleksiak. I wouldn’t be totally opposed to an Oleksiak pick (especially considering the whining about ‘size’ we see every day), but I would like to see some high end skill from a forward.

      Goals against hasn’t been our problem for a long time now. It’s scoring goals that has been painful.

    • RobertAlanFord says:

      I’d pick Mark McNeill. Good shot, gritty, net presence, power forward, center, kicks ur arse in about twelve seconds.

      -When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro-

  30. habitual says:

    HIO Staff: Enough already with the stories about Boston. It’s like you’re getting back at the Commentariate for it’s pain in the butt dark side.

  31. HabinBurlington says:

    We better watch out for Toronto, listening to the sports talk shows here, Brian Burke has mesmerized the fans and media again just buying hiring and firing 2 assistant coaches.

    Funny, I think there is a slight analogy to be drawn between the Leafs and the English National Football/Soccer team. Both feel they are kings of the castle but haven’t won the crown since late 60’s. Both are going outside their home country which invented each sport to find their leadership.

    Basically Team USA from the olympics is now running the Toronto Maple Leafs. Just find that ironic given Toronto is the centre of the Hockey Universe!

    • Chester says:

      Yes the centre of the hockey universe, owned by teachers and run by Americants. A blowhard for a GM who is a Buttman Buddy and an Americant coach at 5.6Mil plus incentives …. now that entertainment folks.

  32. Dintrox says:

    Just a note on the hits and misses. How can they overlook Halak as a late round gem? He was drafted in the 9th rd.

  33. RetroMikey says:

    Gauthier has big pressure from him this year.
    I say we get make a blockbuster trade. Trade Gorges, Weber and a a smurf for a first rate big power offensively skilled forward we need.
    I see no reason why Roman Hamrlik can perform for us this year and can fill the shoes of a younger Gorges. Hamrlik does the job well.
    If we are to compete this coming season, we must sacrifice players and not keep hoping or being optimistic this team will perform better than last season.
    Boston is a team that will only get better and they are the team to beat in the East again.
    So Pierre, let’s make a blockbuster deal!

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • RGM says:

      That’s a terrible thing to say. Trading Gorges. Awful. Mean-spirited. And not really “blockbuster” calibre.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

    • HalifaxHabs says:

      “Trade Gorges, Weber and a a smurf for a first rate big power offensively skilled forward we need.”

      Gorges and Weber are not under contract, so do you want to trade their rights? because that would severly diminish their value… or are you suggesting to sign them to contracts and trade them the next day, which is very rare in the NHL.

      Trade a smurf? which smurf?

      A first rate big power offensively skilled forward? like who? who is it that is available for trade that fits that category? and which team would trade someone like for the rights to two unsigned a defenceman and a smurf?

      It’s really easy to pull fantasy trades out of the air, but there’s no discussion to be had, if the trade is completely unrealistic.

      You could at least let us all know who this magic “first rate big power offensively skilled forward” is, that is available for trade, that you keep talking about.

      ps: you have the stupidest signature on this whole site.

      • RetroMikey says:

        I am no GM but I’ve said all along that Boston or Philadelphia would win the Cup from the East and in order for us to compete with them, you have to get bigger and physical. There is no firewagon hockey anymore in today’s NHL and Bobby experimented with this team as a GM and blew it and panicked while signing ludicrous contracts to Gomez, Spacek, Gionta nad Cammalleri when he should have went and signed bigger, skilled, physical players with more presence on the ice.
        Players have signed contract with their current club and then quickly traded to another team, that’s the life of an athlete, here today, gone tomorrow as they say.
        So what smurf to trade? Any GM that wants them who they say sees fit on their team. Perhaps Cammalleri back to Calgary for an Iginla and the players I mentioned in my previous post.
        And my signature is onot stupid. Who do you think will win the Cup with us in the nets? Carey Price? Hope you are right, but Price is not guaranteed to stay here as well in his career. Here today, gone tomorrow as I say.

        “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

        • HalifaxHabs says:

          so the trade you think we need to compete with Boston and Philly is Cammallerri, Gorges, & Weber for Iginla?

          wow, thank god you aren’t our GM. But I really wish you were Boston’s GM.

          ask yourself this, how has Calgary’s goal production been since they let Cammy walk? How old is Iginla?

          No doubt Iginla is awesome, and I’d love to see him playing for the Habs. And there’s nothing wrong with talking trades of course, but you clearly have a case of thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

          Cammalerri has been the NHL’s leading scorer in the playoffs 2 straight years now until the Habs got bounced. When was the last time Iggy played in the playoffs?

        • t1tan5 says:

          You want to trade Cammy? The guy who lead the league in playoff scoring at the time his team was eliminated two years in a row? This guy is pure clutch.

    • eric says:

      Glad you’re not the GM .You would set us back years

    • Chester says:

      You know we did just fine with our forwards.
      I felt it was our D that needed upgrading. So lets get a big mean D man to protect our boys up front. Case in point … and I hate to do this … but Lucic vs Marchant on the Beaners. Big strong power forward … vs a smurf. Look at the points and nobody beat up on Marchant because of Chara not because of Lucic. This leaves the smurfs to score. What is wrong with resigning The Wiz … he has a lot of skills including a mean streak.

  34. ed lopaz says:

    answering Smart Dog and Habs 72 re: Boston’s Cap Space

    if you think Boston will not replace Kaberle with another 5 million d-man, I think you are absolutely fooling yourselves.

    Boston will move Savard to the Long term injury list, then maybe to the Ahl, whatever it takes to open up another 5 million, and that’s assuming he does not retire which I believe he will.

    that’s only 1 option that we know of.

    there are many other options Boston could use, including trading salary for draft picks.

    Spacek should have been traded for 4th or 5th round pick – or even a 7th.

    That opportunity was missed because Spacek,s value was way over blown by the habs, until it became too late.

    One day, Spacek is our “shut down” d-man – given credit for stopping Ovechkin and Crosby with 1 hand ties behind his back last year during the playoffs.

    next day, the same folks are admitting that Spacek and his massive 3.85 million hit are “maybe” a number 6 or 7 d-man in the NHL.

    We are slow to react – like the guy who keeps his car just long enough for it to lose all of its re-sale value, or the guy who is afraid to sell his stocks and then lets them drift down, down, down, to zero.

    Boston will open 5 million in cap space to go after The Wiz.

    I really hope we do the same.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

  35. DD says:

    I was talking to a sens/broons fan last night….Yes, most of them have two teams… sort of like insurance….I guess?

    Anyway, this Don Cherry wanna-be puts the blame on the Habs for the Chara/Paccoretty incident. Most of them still won’t admit that there was anything wrong with Chara’s late hit or his forearm shiver or that there was any pre-meditation what so ever. He claims the boards (I know the Bell Center boards are of the old solid type) are at fault for Max Pacs injuries. Classic broons clap trap, but…

    Does anyone know if the Molsons plan on changing the boards to make them more forgiving and hopefully cut down on injuries this summer?

    • Mike D says:

      From what I undestand, Mr. Molson does have getting rid of the seamless glass on his radar. Hopefully that will be completed before the season starts.

      – Honestly yours

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      That’s already a done deal. Every rink that has the same type of glass as the New Forum will need to replace it to the more forgiving type, in accordance to a new NHL regulation to promote player safety.

      ———————————
      “I hate the Bruins more than the Nordiques, who I hate more than the Flyers.”

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        Announcement on rink glass from NHL:

        Toronto (March 14, 2011) – “….

        We are also pleased that the NHL has agreed to replace the seamless tempered glass with plexiglass systems. During discussions with the NHL last year, the NHLPA agreed to approve new soft cap shoulder pads beginning with the 2010-11 season, provided that the NHL agreed to review boards and glass in each of the 30 NHL rinks, in particular, those rinks where seamless glass is currently in place, an area of NHLPA membership concern. Following the boards and glass review, the NHL agreed that the six NHL arenas that have seamless tempered glass would be required to be replaced with a safer plexiglass system by the start of the 2011-12 season. This is a positive development, and the league and the NHLPA will continue to monitor all boards and glass to determine if further changes are required.

        In regards to the other announcements coming out of the GM meetings today, we welcome these steps and look forward to discussing these and other issues with the NHL to provide a safer working environment for the Players.”

        ———————————
        “I hate the Bruins more than the Nordiques, who I hate more than the Flyers.”

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  36. RockinRey says:

    DD is a nice little playerwho overachieved and in my mind is a specialist. Don’t envision him making a long term impact with the Habs and dont see him being a central figure on the way to the Cup. By all accounts they need to get grittier and need some scoring. If they could turn the page on Gomez I think they should. They traded for him to bring credibility and court Gio and Cami .

    The problem with Gomez is he is all flash and no substance. He is not making an impact and rarely figures into the outcome of a game. He is still an all world passer its just that it sometimes is tot the wrong team.

    The d anchored by Markov and his successor Subban will be good enough and can compare with anyone in the conference. They just need one big shut down guy.

    And PG needs to find a player somewhere between here and Deshnev that can put the puck in the net and that has scored at every level. I get tired of this team scratching for goals all the time. They know how to shut teams down but need to be able to summon the strength to claw back or come up with a goal when it is desperation time.

  37. SmartDog says:

    Folks, let’s not be Pollyanas.
    Consider this:
    1. PG has 20 million but needs to sign EIGHT players.
    2. Every OTHER team also just got a boost to its budget so strong teams are going to get STRONGER.
    We can’t have it all. But we DO need to be strategic and improve.
    —–
    So… 5 QUESTIONS WHERE YOU CHOOSE OUR DIRECTION:

    1. WHAT TO FIX? If you could have a similar team to last year but prioritize improvement in ONE of these areas, where would it be? a. Toughness b. Depth forwards c. Power play
    2. MARKY or WIZ? The Wiz stands to make big money elsewhere. The Habs could keep him but probably not him and Markov. Wiz is younger, tougher, and fit well with the team. Would you try to keep him if it meant Markov walks? (And unless you can get rid of Spacek there’s no way you keep both.)
    3. HOW TUFF IS TUFF ENUF? I don’t know why, but no matter how big the Habs get (Sopel, Wiz, Mara all added last year) they still don’t seam very tough. We almost beat the Boons in round 1 so maybe we’re okay (though 4 rounds means a lot more beatings… just ask Vancouver)… or if not, what kind of tough SOBs do we need?
    4. OTHER FA’s: Pyatt, White, Pouliot are all RFA and Halpern is UFA. Who do you prioritize?
    5. MARA or SOPEL. Sopel makes about 2.5 million, Mara can be had for probably about half that. Do you keep either?
    —-
    6. BONUS QUESTION: DISCOUNTS? Most people want Markov and Gorges back. Do these two guys owe us a home-town discount if they want to stay? Especially Markov who has given little value for his 13 million the last two years. (Not his fault of course, but still… a stand-up guy might want to give back to the team who has stood by him and paid him handsomely during 2 years of rehab.)

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      1. Need more goals. First because it’s more fun to watch (that’s why we watch isn’t it?). Second, because in the last two games against Boston we scored no goals 5 on 5.

      2. Marky. Not even close. The one UFA defenceman I would like is Christian Ehrhoff, but I doubt Couver lets him walk.

      3. The playoffs are grueling. More than anything you need stamina to make it to the end.

      4. I think only Ryan White.

      5. Neither Mara or Sopel. They were called in to plug some holes, which they didn’t do very well.

      6. There is no home town discount per se, but most people will take a bit less to stay in a familiar setting.

      • bigjames says:

        i thought mara did ok with his big body. i was at game 4 of our only playoff series and was not impressed with sopel. seemed to be dogging it and not taking the body. i only saw mara on tv after he was (re)acquired and thought he was solid. (not saying larry robinson you understand but solid)

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      1) a and b come together and our PP is already great when healthy.

      2) WIZ

      3) Konopka to play between Moen and White on 4th line.

      4) White only rest can walk.

      5) Mara and Sopel both suck

      6) Don Meehan is Markov’s agent and doesn’t care about a home town discount.

    • SmartDog says:

      Thinking about this… I’m gonna answer the bonus question for myself.

      YES Markov DOES owe us a discount. He’s older, has hardly played in 2 years during which he’s dinged the team for $13 million in cap space and has been even less useful (gasp!) than Scott Gomez. There are fair questions about his ability to remain injury free.
      I’ve always been a Markov fan. But if he wants more than 4 million I say let the ungrateful SOB walk.
      Seriously.

      • Viruk42 says:

        That’s not entirely accurate, as he was a Long Term Injury, so his salary didn’t count against the cap.

        • SmartDog says:

          You’re right. My bad.
          Still, I think if ever there was a case for a hometown discount, a guy who’s barely played in 2 years at his salary is it. I know Meehan wouldn’t suggest it, but Marky has final say and he’s not a kid.

      • ed lopaz says:

        I would say it is pretty much understood that “assuming” Markov is healthy enough to deserve 4 million, he will be offered at least 5 million and at least 2 years by about 10 teams (if not more) in this league.

        So according to your logic, and you have very right to your opinion, the Habs will allow Markov to walk.

        Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • G-Man says:

      1- more scoring from the forwards solves many issues.
      2- Marky is so much better than Wiz it’s no contest
      3- I’d sign Mara for depth- he plays mean and Habs D needs more of that
      4- White and Pyatt- inexpensive and serviceable players
      5- see #3
      6- So-called “discounts” are a myth. If a player does not sign for his full value or more, his agent is an idiot- or the player is.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      1. Strength at forward position – Jason Arnott on 1st line would be nice, i know he is a center, but perhaps a way to work that out.
      2. Markov – if he bounces back full healthy the upside is much greater, we need to hope Emelin is decent and provides physical play needed at backend. Not asking him to be great, just a steady 5th/6th dman.
      3. 4th Line needs someone to go with White and Moen, like the Z. Konopka fit, but again, spoke to friend again last night, Zenon has 2 yr. “verbal dialogue offers” from Toronto, Buffalo and Anaheim.
      4. White only, maybe trade Poulio… Sorry Pyatt, just not enough size or scoring
      5. If anything Mara as extra physical dman, but really probably not room if Diaz and Emelin make this team.

      6. Bonus – Slight, I think Gorges more willing to do so this time around.

    • RGM says:

      1. If I had to pick one of those (and I wouldn’t say any of them as they are listed are the top priority) – the power play. Yes it was a solid 7th at just under 20% but much of that improvement came after Wiz was acquired. A healthy Markov & Pacioretty will help, but adding a specialist on the blue line or a forward with a nose for the net will boost that aspect of the team’s game considerably.
      2. I’d say Markov. IF healthy, he is a more complete player. Wiz is a really cool guy, great offensively, and all the other things that you mentioned – but Markov stands to take over from Lidstrom (once he retires) as the NHL’s most elite d-man.
      3. A couple sandpaper guys in the bottom 6 will suffice. I don’t want a guy that’s going to spend more minutes in the box than on the ice taking up a roster spot. Dropping the gloves is a good talent, but so too is being a legit NHL-calibre player.
      4. I would prioritize finding a new home for Pouliot that can at least bring something of a return.
      5. Neither likely features in the Habs’ long-term plans.
      6. Gorges is up for a big raise over his current $1.1M – I think if the Habs give him good term they may be able to knock the $ down to $3M or so. Markov I think will get a “show me” contract of 1-2 years. If he comes out and is the Andrei Markov we all fondly remember, parlay that into the bigger deal next year.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

      • DearyLeary says:

        $3 million is a HUGE raise for Gorges. $2 will suffice for a few years, he’s good but we can’t be throwing money around to 3-4 slot defencemen like the Leafs do, or we’ll be in the same boat.

        • RGM says:

          It’s all about comparables. Rob Scuderi got $3.4M out of LA – he’s a guy that logs about the same amount of ice time & has the same numbers that Josh brings to the dance. Heck, Volchenkov got $4.25M out of the Devils for a 6-year deal and his numbers are just as similar to Josh’s. Yeah Josh is still an RFA but he’s 27 this August and that means he’ll be unrestricted next year. If they want to keep him long-term and have him sacrifice a couple UFA years, they’ll have to pay him accordingly.

          During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

    • DearyLeary says:

      1) Depth forwards. I think that our five on five play will be significantly enhanced with Markov and Gorges back in the lineup. We need some players who can put the puck in the net. I would love to see Andrei and Eller play together again, they had a nice run together. I think Lars will get better again this season, and his scoring touch will be more pronounced. I would like to see a 10-15 goal kind of player on the other wing.

      2) Markov. His value to the team is underrated by everyone. I remember the Boston Broadcasting Corporation complaining non-stop about how much they missed having Savard in their lineup. Good player, but he doesn’t make the impact that Markov did to our team.

      3) I don’t like how we’ve grown to define toughness. If the league does their job, and by many accounts they’re not (see Kerry Fraser’s last article for TSN), intimidation can’t be an effective tool forever. We had the toughest series with Boston, and I’m not saying that we would have gone all the way, but we had three chances to take a game in OT and we fell flat (and Thomas got bailed out a bunch of times). I don’t think we need to drastically alter the structure of the team, getting bigger never hurts, but you don’t want to get big for the sake of getting big, the skill needs to be the priority.

      4) White > Pyatt > Benny. White gives a lot of tools, and I think is a product of the system. He keeps some continuity, and gives our 4th line a dynamic it has lacked over the last few years (mainly a physical presence who doesn’t wilt when he’s hit back). I like Pyatt but he’s got to finish [b]some[/b] of his chances. Benny is just a disaster, it was worth a shot, and he’ll probably be back at a cheap price again, but we need to see more from him.

      5) Nope, they were replacement pieces for a devastated blue line. We’ve got the amazing Swiss Brothers in reserve if people go down to injury, and I think that Brendon Nash might be ready for a call up or two to see how he’s progressing again.

      6) You would like to think so, but I think that Gauthier would be better served to negotiate in good faith with the players by keeping them level with their previous salaries. Maybe they’ll be generous with term, I’d like to see Marky on a one year deal to be sure he can stay healthy, and Gorges on a 3 year deal at a cheap price. Gauthier will likely give them good contracts despite the injuries, it shows that the organization isn’t willing to quit on its players, and I think the loyalty shown by this management group will catch the eyes of free agents in the future.

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      1) Power play. I refer you to B.

      2) My wet dream is both Wizniewski and Markov. This way we have them and Subban to carry the puck, and Gill, Yemelin and Gorges to pair with each of them and provide a defensive, physical side. Subban, and Wizniewski this season showed how much they improve our power play, and Markov has been masterful in that role. Spacek gets a one-way ticket to Tierra Del Fuego and a heartfelt thank you.

      3) I remember the old days when Montreal had team toughness, with legitimate NHL’ers like McPhee and Corson and Odelein providing that in a framework of solid defence and Patrick Roy in nets. Nowadays we have a team that has speed and team defence as cornerstones of its philosophy, which sacrifices size for skill and hockey smarts. I think we need to continue in that direction, that’s the boat we’re in. If we try to add sandpaper and grit, we risk being a team astride two boats and falling in. Hopefully Gorges coming back, and the addition of Yemelin sprinkles a little more size and toughness without upsetting the apple cart.

      4) We need to keep White, and hopefully rein him in a little, that boy is going to wear himself out. It’s a little unfair to ask him to fight all the time. His character and bodychecks make him more than a goon too. Props. As far as the rest, I’ve made my bed with Wiz and Markov, I don’t have any money to spare for Halpern and Pyatt. Thanks for your efforts last season.

      If my wet dream continues, we talk some sense in Pouliot and send him to the minors. He spends 2/3 of a season, is used in all situations, plays lots on the power play and rediscovers his game and himself. He comes back like Paciorretty did last season, maybe as an injury replacement when Gomez falls and breaks his hip, and plays with more confidence and purpose. Pouliot is a talent with great hands and size, but he had lots of opportunities to claim a Top 6 spot and regressed instead, so if we need to financially, we cut the cord and wish him good luck.

      5) Easiest question, answer is none. Both Mara and Sopel were noble soldiers who did what they were asked to do, but they’re not the final missing piece on a Stanley Cup roster. We’re a team still in transition, we need to focus on the long-term rather than next season. Ice time goes to Yemelin, Weber, Diaz, Nash as injuries and/trades arise. Both go as free agents, and I hope they land somewhere they and their family are happy.

      6) The hometown discount is woven in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. If a player screams for half a million more, the GM explains that he wishes he could, but he needs the cap room for other players to improve the team. This is especially true with teams that spend right up to the cap, the players don’t feel they’re getting hosed. We’re seeing this with Darche and Gill, both of them kind of smiled and ‘aw shucks’ed and explained they really wanted to stay here and see where the team is headed.

      7) Bonus wet dream: Max Talbot and Simon Gagne. Hometown boys come home.

      ———————————
      “I hate the Bruins more than the Nordiques, who I hate more than the Flyers.”

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

    • TomNickle says:

      He doesn’t have to sign eight players. There are currently 10 forwards and 4 defensemen under contract. At most he needs 3 more of each and a backup and it’s entirely possible that he relies on his 13th forward and 7th defenseman to be call-ups. Or there’s the versatile Yannick Weber who could double as both the 13th forward or 7th defenseman. Gauthier could sign as little as five players with that $20 million.

      1. A physical forward who can control board play is a must for the Plekanec and Cammalleri line. Gomez and Gionta have it with Pacioretty, Eller, Kostitsyn and Moen are all good at it. Darche and Desharnais are also effective at holding the puck and increasing possession time. Plekanec and Cammalleri score exclusively off of the rush and powerplay when they don’t have a physical presence with them.

      2. Markov because you know what you’re getting, and if heaven forbid he gets injured again, his role can be replaced with found money. If Wisniewski was just enjoying a great contract year, the team could pay for it later on.

      3. If the toughness thing weren’t a media and fan fabrication, it would be relevant, but it isn’t an issue. Ryan White and Travis Moen willingly and ably drop the gloves for this team and in addition Moen is one of our better penalty killers. Our tough players play an important role. Adding somebody who can answer the bell and contribute offense is nice, but do you want a 30 goal scorer breaking his hand in a fight?

      4. White and Pyatt. Qualify Pouliot’s rights and then look for a trade partner. Let Halpern walk, as good of a job as he did there is a great number of players who can adequately fill his role available again for close to the league minimum.

      5. Neither.

      6. Markov’s last contract was a huge discount for the Habs to begin with. We don’t need to give them discounts to have them back.

    • t1tan5 says:

      1. More depth on D. With a stronger D, our forwards will not have to play so deep in their own end, resulting in better opportunities on offense.

      2. Markov because I feel he is a better passer on the PP and is leagues better than Wiz in his own end. If however we can sign both for a total of 8.5 M per season, I would be OK with both of them coming back.

      3. It’s a team mentality. The Bruins preached toughness over all other things. That’s why losers like Boychuck and Ference looked tough. Our team mantra is skill and speed. As a result, we perceive our players to be soft. I would like PG to take a look at trading for Scott “Caveman” Hartnell as a possible tough player. He’s got a decent skill set and isn’t afraid of anything. I hate him with a passion, but he does play relatively clean.

      4. Halperns are a dime a dozen, but I would like him back just for his face-off skills – and he’ll come cheap. White adds some sandpaper to the line-up, so sign him. That being said, I think he’ll spend most of his time in Hamilton. Pouliot, with all his uptapped potential, will not be back. JM has had enough of him, I presume. Pyatt will be back very cheap and with a two-way contract.

      5. Neither. Both were replacements for injured d-men.

      6. Gorges will absolutely take a discount since it’s clear that he loves it here. I say he gets 1.7 – 2 Million. Markov, I’m not so sure about. I think the max pay cut he will take is 5 million vs. 5.75 million for a two year contract. By the way, it’s not like the team graciously paid Markov his money out of the goodness of their hearts while he was rehabbing. They were required to by the CBA. They did him no favours in that respect.

  38. nek25plus says:

    What’s happening with Markov? This needs to get done. Getting too close to the draft…it’s a little agitating. Get moving PG!

  39. adamkennelly says:

    I am going to be so pissed if PG does not address this team’s lack of toughness. Sick and tired of our guys getting punked – and in case people have already forgotten – the Bruins just won the Cup – anyone think they are going to back off on their antics? anyone think other teams are gonna try to emulate? going to be a long season for our guys if Moen is the toughest guy on this team – again. Embarrassing.

    • Tony McLean says:

      Buddha and Martin are pacifists. Disgraceful.

      “Rebuilding since 1979.”

    • habs03 says:

      The Habs don’t lack toughness, they showed that by beating the Bruins 4-1 after the 8-6 game, and showed their mental toughness in winning the first two games in Boston in the 1st round after the losing 7-0 the previous game. what did all of Van City size and toughness get them vs the Bruins?

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        All the toughness in the world isn’t going to help you with a mentally fragile sieve in nets.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Vancouver isn’t in the same ballpark in terms of toughness as about 10 other NHL teams in which Boston is at the head of the class.

        • G-Man says:

          Don’t mistake toughness for cheap shot goonery after the whistle. If those incompetent zebras did their jobs by following the rulebook, those thugs wouldn’t have gotten past round 1.

          • HardHabits says:

            G-man’s violins versus Bruins violence.

            @Hobie: Boston is in the remedial class.

          • Dunboyne Mike says:

            Thank you, G-Man. At last that point. The way some posters are using the word “toughness”, it sounds like it’s interchangeable with dirty. We have posters here who, a couple of months ago, were suggesting the police investigate the Chara hit, so outraged were they, but who are now insisting that play like that is what we need to win, what we want to watch as we sit on the couch with our kids. Please. Step back and look at a little bit more of the big picture. And if after that you still think the Habs need players to perform facewashes, Marchand multiple-jabs, Burrows spearing, tripping and goonery and all the other stuff you HATE when other teams do it but now want us to import it, I for one would prefer a change of team allegiance on your part than a change of style on the Canadiens’ part.

            Keep White — he hits hard, he protects. He’s TOUGH. But I don’t believe he’s dirty. Maybe we could do with one or two more TOUGH players, maybe an enhanced Mara but with more to offer on both sides of the blue-line.

            I scorned the Marchand types throughout the playoffs but saved my bitterest vitriol not for the refs but for the dim-witted league that believes importing UFC values to the NHL will make markets on both sides of the border more successful. Get Bettman and co out and instal people who believe in the game of hockey.

            And if I p’d off anybody with my comments above, my apologies, and I offer again a beautiful video clip as compensation.

            Cheers

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YG9Na5F9eg&feature=grec_index

      • DearyLeary says:

        I’m glad someone’s not blind.

        I really think Shanahan is going to be a big step up as far as how games are officiated and how supplementary discipline is handled. He was the architect of the competition committee that decided to crack down on obstruction et al. to let skill shine on the ice as opposed to hooliganism.

        If Shanny can’t keep the league in line, I don’t know that anyone can.

        I don’t know what people expected from Campbell, he was a goon when he played, why we expected him to side with respect and caution is beyond me.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Dont forget he also came up with the All Star draft!

          I hope he makes changes, but Head Office is still run by Bettman, Daley and Colon Campbell is still there with lots of power, just not officially in the discipline area. Can’t see much changing, seems more an optics manouver.

  40. ProHabs says:

    The Habs will make 2 more signings today. Jammy Jagr and Zigmund Palffy.

    It is time for PG to get his head out of his buns and get this team some toughness. Wake up PG.

  41. Biggest_Greek_HABSfun says:

    We better be realistic guys !we need to sign our D Georges,markov and Wiz with long term contracts and fast !i wanna see another almost 60 points season from the last two !and please, sign the HUGE Jaromir Jagr !

  42. RGM says:

    I hope that Gorges is next. It’s one of those “never in doubt” things but it’s still going to be a nice moment to see a hard-working guy get his new deal announced. Plus, he’s always a good interview so the presser should have some chuckles.

    During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

  43. Exit716 says:

    Jagr’s agent says it’s down to three teams…Pittsburgh, Detroit and one he won’t mention.

  44. HabFanSince72 says:

    Is there any doubt that the Bruins will try to bully us next year?

    Winning the cup (even if it was the luckiest cup run since expansion) is only going to make them more confident. Filth like Lucic, Horton, Ferrence, Campbell, Boychuck are going to want to intimidate us every game we play.

    Sad to say but I think we need an enforcer. Not to win the cup, but to keep those cowardly Massholes in line.

    • SmartDog says:

      +1
      What happens if we don’t have a couple of a-holes in our line-up is that their jackasses pick fights with our skilled players and then they whine about us being dirty later. We need a guy that will remind Boston players that they could end up eating ice if they mess with our team. I don’t want to see Brian Gionta fighting with the Bruins again. Pul-eeze Gauthier, give your head a shake!

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        How about John Erskine, UFA now with the Caps. Doesn’t fight often but was undefeated last year. You might remember that he won a close decision against Georges Laraque (BGL’s last ever NHL fight I think).

        He comes to the aid of his teammates:

        http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/102332

        And he once beat the snot out of Milan Lucic:

        http://www.hockeyfights.com/fights/39879

        Played 73 games on D last year and averaged 15 min/game.

      • ed lopaz says:

        The Wiz would fight and certainly clear the front of our net during those after whistle shoving matches. He has that kind of nastiness to him.

        Detroit and (I can’t believe I’m even saying this, Boston) are gearing up to sign the Wiz long term, 4 or 5 years, and around 4.75 to 5.5 million per.

        When you lose a top, young executive, the company is weakened.

        When that exec goes to your biggest competitor, its a disaster.

        Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

        • HabFanSince72 says:

          How do we know Detroit and Boston are gearing up to sign him? They aren’t allowed to talk to him or his agent, and even if they did they would be keeping it secret.

          • ed lopaz says:

            well – I meant that it makes perfect sense for them to do so.

            detroit is free and clear of Rafalski’s salary which was a 6 million cap hit (like our Hamrlik 5.5); Wiz is from Michigan and would replace Rafalski perfectly

            Boston will not re-sign Kaberle – so they will be looking for offense from the d-men, more mobility, and Wiz is a perfect fit for them

            Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

          • SmartDog says:

            Boston doesn’t have the cap space.
            No worry there.

          • HabFanSince72 says:

            Boston has 7M in cap space.

            They need to sign Marchand – let’s say 1.5M.

            That leaves them 5.5M to sign two forwards and two defencemen.

            So no Wiz, unless Marc Savard retires.

            (Note: I think it’s clear that Savard should never play again – but will he decide as much this summer?)

    • TommyB says:

      Will Boston try the bully act again next year? Hmm, maybe. But with papa Campbell out of the picture, and a shortened summer to lick their wounds, perhaps they at least get off to a slow start next fall. There certainly was a lot of attention being paid to the Bruins antics through the playoffs, and I expect some Bruins are in line to be tuned up by the opposition next year. Marchand will no longer be a rookie, and the name he made for himself this spring is going to catch up to him real fast. He’s put himself on the fair game list, I think. Horton will have to be mindful of another concussion, so he may have to tone it down a bit. Lucic didn’t really seem to be a big factor in the playoffs. In fact, he’s looking more and more like Komisarek. He’s made a reputation, but backing up that reputation less and less. What’s Ferrence’s big claim to fame? That he fought Crosby? Campbell and Boychuk aren’t all that tough. These are my opinions of those Boston players.

      Do the Habs need an enforcer? Any team could use an enforcer as long as he can play. A big tough forward with some skill to go with the toughness. Hard to find. Looks like Gauthier might have some cash left over to purchase a top-six forward. Like you, I’d like to see some toughness, but mostly I would like to see our lack of scoring addressed above the toughness.

    • arcosenate says:

      Evgeny Arthyukin

    • Dunboyne Mike says:

      72, I wrote you an eloquent reply which somehow zinged way up the page instead of here where it belongs.

      In case you never see it, congrats on “Massholes”!

  45. G-Man says:

    The Season of Revenge is on the horizon. A couple more signings before the Draft on Friday and maybe PG can make a couple moves to strengthen the forwards in the top six.
    BTW, I don’t give a rat’s a$$ about that so-called team from Massachusetts, so, please, no more “news” about them. Unless they have glorious career-ending injuries of course.

  46. Critical-MASS says:

    Whatever happened to Ziggy Palffy?He was the man!Great player and its too bad he didnt play for all that long.Did he retire young?I always sorta wondered about him.He was a great player on long island.

    • RGM says:

      He retired from the NHL after the 2006 season. He then un-retired and has been playing in the Slovak Extraliga for his hometown team ever since.

      During the long summer, we all get to be pretend GM.

  47. Marc10 says:

    You’d imagine the Don Meehan Duo are up next. PG already committed to Josh way back when he was injured – told him not to worry that the Habs were going to wait for him… It’s about that time ain’t it? And Marky owes us one. Two years in the stands – we need that guy on the ice.

    And yeah, why not sign Wiz if we can’t lock up a top 6? Wiz is good for 50. Assuming we make the show, then we can add a bit of punch at the deadline.

    C’mon Pierre. Watching this site turn into BruinsInsideOut was bad enough. I think we all want some payback… Let’s get les boys under contract and find an ass kicker for the 4th line.

    “To be irreplaceable, you have to be different”.
    Andy Warhol

    Go PK Go!

  48. JF says:

    J.T. has an excellent piece on the dismemberment of the 1993 team, following up what we got in return for each player when they left. The results are discouraging and instructive. Most were traded for players who eventually left as free agents or for draft picks who never made it. Turns out the only direct links left with that team are Joonas Naatinen and Olivier Fortier.

    Eighteen barren years have gone by, and the Canadiens continue to follow the same pattern in the management of their assets. Players give us valuable service for a few years, then walk as free agents. Draft picks are sacrificed to plug holes in the roster; the players acquired are with the team no more than a few months, but the draft picks are gone.

    I hope Gauthier has learned from this dismal history to try and get something for impending free agents and recoup draft picks wherever possible. Free agency is less than two weeks away. If the Canadiens are not going to re-sign James Wisniewski, his negotiating rights must be worth at least a third-rounder, which is what the Flyers gave up for Bryzgalov’s rights. But we’re running out of time.

    • joshua94k says:

      After the Habs won the Cup in 1993. The team faced tough times financially. THe high cost of the new Molson Centre and weak Canadian dollar forced management to move high salaried players such as Bellows, Damphousse, Corson, etc. LeClaire and Dejardins, Schneider would want higher salries after the Cup win. Ronald Corey was responsible for getting rid of Patrick Roy after his tirade with coach Tremblay and Carbonneau after the latter fingered a newspaper photographer.

      “It’s too much for one guy to shoulder. For us, we’re going to do it as a group. It’s about sharing that responsibility win or lose.” – Mike Cammalleri

    • JayBee says:

      That is so terribly depressing. Kinda reminds me of the G&G tenure…only diff is the players may not have been as good.

    • Everlasting1 says:

      Most will forever bemoan the Roy trade, but I think the most devestating trade was of that budding-2nd-round-american-with-the-french-name, John LeClair, who went on to become an absolute powerhouse of a scorer for Philly and one-third of ‘ The Legion Of Doom”, with 3 50+ goal seasons. Ouch. Not to mention he was the unsung hero in the Habs final against Gretzky’s LA Kings, scoring 2 GWGs in OT.

      ——————————————————————-
      ” 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

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        The thing is he wasn’t “unsung”.

        The Roy trade, that one, and the Chelios trade.

        Even Mike Millbury doesn’t have such bloopers on his CV.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        The LeClair and Desjardins for Recchi trade hurt, I didn’t like it at the time, hated it when the Legion of Doom reigned, and now makes me throw up a little after the Bruins’ run.

        Almost as bad was the Langway and Engblom and spare parts for Rick Green and Ryan Walter (the slowest man in hockey, with apologies to Stan Smyl).

        ———————————
        “I hate the Bruins more than the Nordiques, who I hate more than the Flyers.”

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

      • Dunboyne Mike says:

        And didn’t he always have multi-point games whenever he returned to play against Montreal? Ouch, I obviously didn’t bury that deeply enough…

    • Mike D says:

      Fantastic article…..but what a disaster.

      – Honestly yours

  49. geo_habsgo says:

    Two days and two habs related posts? Welcome back HABS inside/out (don’t sue me!)

  50. Neutral says:

    Hope pg improves the offence or it’s all for not

  51. HalifaxHabs says:

    I’m hoping for another 2 contract day.

  52. Curtis O Habs says:

    How come Stubbs and Boone can use the word ” Habs ” in their Twitter accounts?

  53. deuce6 says:

    Now knowing the cap is going up to approx. 64M, does this mean we can fit Markov AND Wiz under the cap? I see no reason for Hammer and Sopel, TBH with you…

    Markov/Emelin
    Wiz/Subban
    Gorges/Gill
    Diaz/Weber/Spacek

    Where do Hammer and Sopel fit?

    ——————

    Yes, I’m a Hab fan..Wanna fight about it?

    • kempie says:

      They don’t.

    • BeeGee says:

      Markov and Wiz would indeed fit under the cap but that would mean no top six forward before the deadline… So PG has to choose…

    • BeeGee says:

      Unless of course some GM takes acid before the draft and elects to take on Spacek’s contract… Hey a double dose could even spell the end of the Gomer in mtl…

      • Neutral says:

        the problem with Gomez is a money issue and it’s holding the team back having said that it’s not his fault, we need a real good 1st or 2nd line center but it’s hard when you’re paying a player 7 mil plus to play on your 3rd line when your 1st and 2nd liner would be making less. untill Gomez is gone there won’t be much of an offensive upgrade unless there’s a surprise out of training camp. other than the defence the habs will look much the same as 2010-2011 so the defence will have to get us to and pass the 1st round of the playoffs.

        • NCRhabsfan says:

          There would be an instant offensive upgrade if PG made Scott Gomez the Captain of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Comparative salary problem fixed, cap space for both Wiz and a top 6 fwd gained, additional ice time for Eller, DD and others secured.

    • DearyLeary says:

      What’s with everybody trying to pair Emelin with Markov? Insanity.

      I don’t want Emelin playing more than 12-15 minutes a gem. I want Markov playing 20-22. That’s a huge gap in playtime and I will eat my shirt if they’re paired.

      PK and Wisniewski? Yikes… never mind that they’re both right handed shots. They’re both high risk defenders (like them both, I prefer PK though). These pairings are a freakin’ disaster.

      • BeeGee says:

        Cause’ there russians of course.. dah… ;)
        Think it would be more like:
        Marky – Wiz
        Gill – Subban
        Yemelin – Georges
        Weber
        or georges with p.k. and yemelin on the right side of Gill

      • Viruk42 says:

        Agreed. It’d likey be Markov-Gorges, Subban-Gill. We know both pairings have worked in the past. Then the 3rd one can be a mix of whoever’s left, whether it be Emelin, Spacek, Diaz, or one of the FAs.

      • Un Canadien errant says:

        I think the Canadiens aren’t an imminent threat for the Cup, so we need to think long term. I want Yemelin to play a regular shift, and on the penalty kill. That guy has played at a high level in Russia and at international events, he doesn’t need to be babied along. Even if he costs us a game or two this season, it will be a valuable investment for the future. The guy whose minutes need to be limited is Spacek,

        Pairings are not always easy. It’s great when you have three sets of defencemen who are left and right-hand shots, but that almost never happens. More important is how their communication is on the ice, and whether they complement each other.

        ———————————
        “I hate the Bruins more than the Nordiques, who I hate more than the Flyers.”

        http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/


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