The weather is warming up in Montreal, the jazz festival starts soon, and here’s what I was asked by three store clerks who recognized me on the weekend:

“Should the Canadiens keep Jaroslav Halak or Carey Price?”

And the HIO hockey genius answered: “Man, do I LOOK like Pierre Gauthier?”

I don’t. For one thing, I’ve got 100 pounds easy on the Canadiens vegetarian, ultra health-conscious general manager.

But that doesn’t count the weighty decisions he has to make over the next few weeks.

So tell us, Commentariat, what should Gauthier do?


And before answering, please consult the Canadiens’ salary cap situation.

will change when Georges Laraque is bought out today – lineup for his
fre-agent services starts on the left, let’s keep it orderly, as per the
Code – but the Canadiens have 13 players on their NHL roster for a
2010-’11 cap hit of $45 million.

The NHL has not announced the new
cap, but speculation has it coming in at about $58 million.

there’s about $13 million to sign a goaltender or two, Tomas Plekanec, Tom Pyatt,
Dominic Moore, Mathieu Darche, Glen Metropolit and Marc-André Bergeron.

subtract Moore and Metro and add Max Pacioretty ($910,000), Ryan White ($850,000) or Brock Trotter
(an RFA who made $900,000 last season).

Eric Engels has a good
piece on the Plekanec

My opinion: Pleks is outta here. He’ll be 28 in
October, and this is his career crack at a UFA bonanza.

Hometown discount? I call that a tax on stupidity. Pleks’s hometown is Kladno.

There’s a
GM somewhere in this wacky league who’ll pay Pleks $5 million. I don’t
think that general manager is named Pierre Gauthier.

As for the
goaltenders …

I don’t envy Gauthier having to make this

What if they trade Price and he fulfills his immense potential somewhere else?

What if they trade Jaro, whose value never will be higher (but still may lag Price’s), and Price gets off to a rocky start?

You think the Bell Centre boo birds won’t have fresh memories of Jaro carrying the team through two playoff series?

Halak made $800,000 last season. What do you suppose an arbitrator would give him … after Keri Lehtonen gets $10.6 million over three years in Dallas?

It’s not an easy call, like dumping BGL. And what Gauthier does between now and July 1 could shape the future of the franchise.

So have at it, peeps.

Offer up your sage advice.

And please, Priceians, Halakites and neutrals: Try to keep it civil.

•  •  •

Wow! Spector’s list of buyout candidates includes Andrei Kostitsyn.



  1. Albert the monkey says:

    LOL! Never a truer word spoken.

  2. Albert the monkey says:

    Yup… A lot of money. One good year. Yup. So, what do you do if you are Pierre? Tell his agent that we had a guy like Jose and we don’t want to be burned again? It is tough. His agent won’t care about previous flops, he has a winner… Right or wrong the stats don’t lie.

    As for pads, I think it is going to affect every goalie to one extent or another. The one think Jaro has going for him is lateral movement, tracking and foot speed. None of those attributes should be affected to badly by the new regulations. J.S. Giguere on the other hand… 


  3. mike g says:

    The price tag for a certain player has nothing to do with how much room Montreal has left on their cap…

    Just because you think he’s not worth 5 mill, or because the Habs can’t afford him at 5 mill, doesn’t mean Pleks isn’t worth it. I can name you 20 guys easily around the league that aren’t worth what they’re getting paid. The reality is that there are many teams willing to sign Pleks, so his price is high right off the bat. Add that to his great season, and he’s gonna get 5 mill with eyes closed.

    Is Hamrlik worth 5+ mill? What about Simon Gagne, Briere, Timonen, Campbell, Huet, Vokoun, Giguere, Komisarek, Darcy Tucker, Horcoff, Penner, Vanek, Drury, Phaneuf, Lecavalier,  Patrice Bergeron, etc…

    Are any of the players I listed above worth what they’re getting paid? Not really, but they’re all getting over 4 mill$….And none of them finished with more points than Pleks this year. And none of them played with “average” (except Cammy) revolving linemates like Pleks did…

    So if you thaught he wasn’t worth 5 mill, now you know why he is…

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  4. Albert the monkey says:

    You are right. 5 million is a lot to pay a young guy who had a good year. Unfortunately, will he sign a long-term for less? Do we role the dice on him and sign a 1 year qualifying offer? 2 years at 3 million? I am sure his agent has dreams of big money and this year, there are a lot of teams looking for a guy like Halak.

    I really hope he signs for less, but with the cap going up and a lot of teams needing a goalie who can steal a game or two. It might be a hard sell.

    Then there is the good ol’ tried and not very popular offer sheet. It could happen.

  5. Storm Man says:

    When we trade him he will be the next coming of Leclair.

  6. Storm Man says:

    We also had some guy named Jose who won the MVP in 2002 and he is looking for a job now. I hope your not ready to give a guy the keys to the HHOF after one good year. I can give you a list of goaltenders that had one great year. And don’t forget the new pad regulations are in place for this coming season. 

  7. Jonnyboy says:

    “BTW – Has anybody seen Max Pacioretty? Wasn’t he supposed to be the next coming of John Leclair? After he went back to Hamilton, he basicall packed it in.”

    Shoulder injury. Only played a couple of games.

  8. Max_a_million says:


    I think 5 million is too much, there are many teams smothered under 5 million dollar goaltenders in this league.  Theodore was proven after he won the MVP, and that didn’t work out.  Everyone who gets that much money is proven until they bust.

  9. LeNordique says:

    Part of that is based on the fact that the Flyers need to clear some cap space.  The other is that I’m guessing that Paul Holmgren probably thinks that with a better goalie than Leighton between the pipes the Flyers are Cup winners and so he’s in the market for a keeper.

    Granted, the market is flooded with goalies this summer, including some who will be more affordable than Price.  The difference is that Price is the only one of the lot who’s probably more than just a stop-gap or band-aid and (I’m hoping) that GMs will see him as a long-term solution.  I’m hoping that valuation of him will offset/overweigh the question marks about his inexperience.

    Or it won’t.  None of us are GMs after all.  I’ve always wanted to hear what the negotiations in a trade like this sound like.

  10. nickster13 says:

    Just sayin. we all saw who the better goalie was down the stretch, Halak is younger than Leighton, and wasnt a career backup or anything until now, and what other logic would you use other than past events. You cant assume any other way than recent events

  11. pic1983 says:

    Unfortunately, no one seems to understand that.  To blame a goalie for a loss where his team scored 3 goals ore less is ridiculous. 


    I can only think of two games this year (and i watched at least 77 regular season habs games) where Carey price actually cost us a victory.  It was one game against NJ where he let in that floater that bounced off his glove (although that was given up early in the game, plenty of time for the players in front of him to respond) and then the game against pittsburgh where he let in the exact same goal, only in that game it was with 6 minutes left in a tied hockey game. 

  12. Albert the monkey says:

    The question is, in my opinion, who got us to the 3rd round? We barely squeeked into the playoffs, thanks in part to Martin going with Halak down the stretch. It is not to say that Plek is not a keeper, he is. Does he want to play here for what he is worth? You say he is worth 5, I honestly don’t agree. Ultimately it is up to Pierre to decide, but something is going to have to give. If Hammer or Brother Andrei are valued by another team, then go crazy with Plek. The grim reality is Montreal just hasn’t got enough room for another 5 million dollar man.

  13. pic1983 says:

    3.5 over 3 years is lowballing a little IMO.  If he were to sign for 5 years and 3.75 million id gladly take that. 


    The truth of the matter is that any deal should be good for both the player and the team to truly have success.  A player who feels he accepted less than his value will slowly errode your dressing room, and a team who overpays a player will place huge expectations on that player which may or may not be warranted.


  14. pic1983 says:

    Trading away 22 year olds before they ever even come close to their prime is a great way of improving your team…Arent you tired of seeing our young players go off to other teams and have success? Eventually, the “they would never have been as good playing in montreal” excuse gets old. 

  15. pic1983 says:

    Price for Carter AND coburn? You’re giving price WAY too much value IMO. Id do that deal in a heart beat.

  16. mike g says:

    I love how you evaluate players and decide their market worth..

    You say that Halak deserves 5 million, but Pleks only 3. Did you forget that Pleks was our best player for ALL of last year. That’s right, the year where every single player on the Habs missed 2 months due to serious injuries, but Pleks was always there to rack up 70 pts with different linemates every single night (sometimes even AHL’ers, most of the time “sleepy face” AK was with him).

    He killed penalities, played the PP, did everything for the team and never once did I hear a stitch of controversy or negativity surrounding him. Pleks is a keeper, and according to market value he deserves the 5 million you’d give to Halak.

    Remember Steve Mason, that rookie of the year who played through mono 2 years ago and lead CLB to the playoffs. He was incredible, insane, and one of the top goalers that year. Remember how last year went for him? Not good at all, he even lost the starting job at times. It’s extreamly hard to judge a young goaltender like ours and think they will continue playing the same way. You don’t strat drawing a graph and slope the line straight up and think it will go like that..

    Pleks deserves the 5 mill whether you like it or not. I think it’s alot, but his agent has alot of bad contracts in the league to prove his client should get 5 mill. Halak, well he’s going infront of the judge. The jury will decide his contract, and if it’s settle on 4 mill or less he’s staying.

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

  17. pic1983 says:

    So by your logic, if halak is a proven goalie based on his playoff run and the fact that he only started around 40(?) regular season games, I suppose that makes leighton a proven number 1 goalie as well?

    Halak had a good run in a contract year, everyone needs to chill out with talking about him like hes been a starter for the last 10 years and won 3 cups.

  18. Albert the monkey says:

    The moon is 5 million if you are unproven. Price is unproven. Wouldn’t you agree?

    It says here that Max had 11 points in 18 games in the regular season and 1 in 5 games for the playoffs. Just a bit of a surprise.

  19. Mark C says:

    FYI: Spacek cannot be bought out, well he can be, but he’s signed under a 35+ contract. Meaning that the team gets no cap savings if they buy out the contract as they are on the hook for the full amount, there is zero chance he is bought out. Given the cap space of the team and Markov being out for likely the first two months, I would be mildly shocked if Hammer is bought out, btw his cap hit if bought out is $1.833 mill for the next two years.

  20. Max_a_million says:

    Doesn’t 5 million for a goalie = the moon?


    Pacioretty was injured in Hamilton, not the same as packing it in.

  21. coachdoug says:

    Vinny would bump his head on the Keebler elf tree dressing room our forwards change in…we need St Louis! 😛

  22. Max_a_million says:

    They had a little tournament recently for a big silver cup.  The Canadiens beat the defending champions, and the team that was best this season.  Hal Gill was great, as was the coaching staff.  You should have watched it, it was quite fun!

  23. Albert the monkey says:

    It is important to understand relative trade value in the NHL in
    order to answer the question. Only Pierre knows what Hammer or Price is
    worth. Is Sergei worth anything? Probably not. He hasn’t shown us a
    thing other than his on-again, off-again romance with Gabrovski. Lucky
    to get a 4th round pick for him. Andrei? His salary makes him hard to
    move. Hammer is the same thing. A young team with holes in their D might
    want him, but we would have to take a salary hog as well. Price? Well
    he has value me thinks. San Jose would be the best place for him. Let’s
    face it… Halak punched his ticket this year. He’s a damned good
    goalie, full-stop. Give him his 5 million over 5 years and let’s pull up
    Cedrick Desjardins. He has earned the backup role. Nobody wants Gomez, I
    am damned sure about that. So let’s just leave that one. If he was 3
    million or even 4, he would be moveable, but why would we want to move
    him then. He is a key cog in the leadership that brought Montreal to the
    3rd round. Move him and it might adversly affect the team chemistry,
    which looks to be quite good.

    Pierre Gauthier has two major issues
    to deal with.

    Goalie – Keep Halak. If Price wants the moon or
    just wants out, then trade him out West. If is from the middle of
    nowhere in B.C., so I am sure he would be glad to be closer to his fam.

    – Living proof that Don Cherry is not a complete idiot. For some
    reason, a high percentage of European players just can’t crank it up a
    gear when the playoffs start. Would you if you were playing Omsk? Plek
    is a 3 million a year guy. Good defensively and a 2nd line center on a
    good team. He is going to want more, so trade his negotiation rights to
    the highest bidder, like Burke did to Gainey with Sundin.

    BTW –
    Has anybody seen Max Pacioretty? Wasn’t he supposed to be the next
    coming of John Leclair? After he went back to Hamilton, he basicall packed it in.

  24. davelecave says:

    Mentally shut down?  I would say that he has shown the most mental toughness and composure, by far.  At least he doesn’t do one of the following every goal:

    1) Slowly slide away on his knees with a sad puppy dog face

    2) Sweep the puck out of the net like some punk loser throwing a tantrum


    Speaking of shutting down, how about the Habs getting shut out 3 games against Philly?  Maybe that had a little something to do with us losing to them, and maybe not so much the made-up mental toughness issues.



    Papa Gionta!

  25. Caballero says:

    I agree Pleks can go. On the one hand though, he should settle for less because he is not as much of a factor in the playoffs. Let’s face it. Pleks does not have the grit to sacrifice his face where it hurts, where it counts. He is just not that guy. This is both the reason I want him out and also the reason he could potentially stay because to me a player who does not elevate his game in the playoffs is not worth more than 3-4m

  26. Max_a_million says:

    I don’t disagree on Hammer, but I think his contract, the slow economy, and the cap will make him less attractive than he would be otherwise.  I think we can get a valuable overpaid player in return though.  Hopefully with a short contract.

    Pleks is going to get too many years, and like you say than you are building around him.

  27. nickster13 says:

    Its a no brainer to keep Halak, and the Price is the one you have to think about. You dont trade away your better keeper, thats just silly. Thats like NY saying well lets trade lundquist cuz we could fetch a better return, well no duh, but who do you want in your net at the end of the day

  28. Max_a_million says:

    achilles is a bad injury, so I wasn’t surprised.  I was surprised at how well he played last year.  He would be a bargain center until Leblanc is ready.

  29. G-Man says:

    I would trade Price because of what we’ve been witness to the last 3 seasons. If 09/10 wasn’t enough to convince the Price worshippers, nothing will.

  30. Max_a_million says:

    I think you make a trade if it makes your team better no matter who it is with even gasp Toronto, even gasp Boston, even Gasp Philly.

    Any move to make your team better is a good move.  It didn’t help us shipping Roy out west for bobbles.  

  31. LeNordique says:

    Alright…in my dream world we’d trade Price and parts to NJ for Parise and parts.  Price will probably be ready for prime time once Brodeur is ready to move on and Parise…well, I shouldn’t have to justify that one.  Which is exactly why it won’t happen.  One can dream though…

    More realistically I’d send Price to Philly for Jeff Carter and Braydon Coburn.  Give Pleks a hug and a thank you and wish him the best as he becomes a $5.5 million/year 65 point scorer (I hope my words are tasty in case I have to eat them).  Try to pick up Byfuglien for draft picks or spare parts and watch the Kostytsyns tear up the Minsk nightlife with their new KHL contracts.  Maybe bring in Marty Biron as a buckup, but who knows if that’s affordable.

    Did I consider cap issues?  Only kinda.  I work for the US Senate- we don’t really think about financial concerns up here.

  32. 24 Cups says:

    On a slow day, Mike Boone once again plays the Price/Halak card.  Why not?  It never fails and sure as hell is better than reading posts about soccer.

    If Gauthier does trade a goalie this month, there will be very little left to talk about here on H I/O.  Boucher and The Code are gone and Pleks may not be far behind.  Gomez?  In every new blended family there are always compromises that have to be made.  It’s no different than the new dad putting up with a chippy, self-centred teenage son in order to snag the fresh MILF wife.

    I say we trade for Vinny!!!!! 

  33. Caballero says:

    Spacek stays, he can play on his natural side opposite on of the right Ds. He was a factor in many games especially vs Washington before his virus.

  34. Max_a_million says:

    No way.  Look how many teams are being smothered by overpriced goalies.  

  35. coachdoug says:

    Other than Camalleri I thought Langer was the best free agent deal we have gotten this decade…I think he still has some gas in the tank…Was suprised we kicked him to the curb after the injury…

  36. derfab says:

    Good commentary, though I think we should insist on more for Price and keep him around until someone agrees. Hamrlik is a good hockey player that a contender will want. We should take the best offer. Pleks is a complementary second liner. Too small, not nasty enough to build around. We need a bigger man.

  37. Sholt_C33 says:

    Stewart was “loaned” to a club from the Bulldogs which basically means
    he was traded…but I can’t remember who it was (Chicago?) or for who.
    But no, he is no longer with the Habs organization.

  38. Max_a_million says:

    What about bringing Robert Lang again?

  39. Max_a_million says:

    What happens in December when the team loses three or four games with Price in goal?

  40. coachdoug says:

    It would be sound economics to sign Price…only problem is that if it goes bad like it has before the boo birds will “shat” all over him and that will be the beggining of the end…

    We need a very good goal tender until the blue line gets more solid (It is getting better this year with one PK Subban coming up)…

  41. Max_a_million says:

    I think Stewart is gone.


    You would hurt the team in free agency buying out Spacek.  He is a useful cagey vet.  If you sign free agents and discard them shortly thereafter players will be reticent to come to a place they have already been reticent to come.

  42. Max_a_million says:


    I was thinking about dealing a goalie.  One does have to consider the effect on the goalie that is not dealt.  Unfortunately I think they have to deal Price even though I would rather trade Halak.  The fans will be foolishly relentless on Price if he were to struggle, idiots like Jack Todd would pile on, and that wouldn’t be pretty.  

    I like Plekanec, but I worry about liking him long term.  I also think a team desperate for a center will over pay for him knocking us out of the ball game.

    Keeping Moore would be nice especially if we lose a center Plekanec, he won’t be as cheap as people are bandying about.  

    I would trade Andrei Kostitsyn.  At this point I don’t think he will respond as well as we would like to being separated from his brother.  Although the management and coaching would have more insight on this than me, and they might think otherwise which would be difficult to argue with.

    I would try to trade Hamrlik as well, knowing that we would have to suck up something expensive in return.  If we could save a million I would be tickled.  We have enough defenceman to manage.  I really wish management would let O’Byrne play.  It’s not the end of the world if screws up, but he has to get a chance to play.  The guy looks quite good often.

    Pacioretty never got a chance to do the things he needed to do in Hamilton, so I would play him in Hamilton this season.  The Devils do such a good job of seasoning their players before calling them up with good success.  

    Maybe AK, Price for Martin St. Louis or Jeff Carter … probably expecting too much, but it would be nice.  It would be funny to see the reaction to use getting smaller with St. Louis, but I think it would be a very effective line up.  Sometimes it the size of the fight in the dog.  Throw someone big and nasty between him and Cammalleri.

  43. coachdoug says:

    SD…your plan would be a thing of beauty…only problem is the only man who would take on Gomez’s albatross contract is now a retired GM :}

  44. sh00n says:

    Halakheads will jump on you for it but I agree with you. Price had better stats in losing efforts than some all-star calibur goalies did. Fact is, most of the games he played this year, he needed a shutout to get the W. Halak didn’t.

  45. Dylan Steinberg says:

    metropolit gone, pleks gone,either halak or price traded, hamrlik bought out, spacek bought out, and the kostitsyns traded , the rest of the players will stay and jeff carter and st louis or horton will be traded to us along with some key free agent pick ups

    by the way dose anyone know if greg stewRT IS STILL ON ARE TEAM


  46. sh00n says:

    We have to keep both, but if I had to choose I’d rather hold on to Carey because
    A) Jaro has more value
    B) Jaro is going to be more expensive
    C) Jaro’s ceiling is exactly what we saw – an unbelievable goalie who can do spins on his head and win entire series, but can also mentally shut down after a few bad goals, which happened more consistently in Philly than Washington of Pittsburgh. I think Carey has all the potential to be even better if we give him the chance.

    In an ideal world, we would re-sign Pleks, Lapierre, both goalies, Moore, and Pyatt, and trade out Hamrlik with the Sisters. I’d love to bring in guys like Nathan Norton, Patrick Sharp and Buffy. The last two would asbolutely require a goalie +, but I’d do it in an instant to land those two.

  47. habs4_25th says:

    Let’s look at this realistically, Halak’s agent is a crack head and he’ll want some outrageous price for him, I say if that is the case we trade him for the big power forward, as Price might not carry this team yet, his talent isn’t far off from Halak ( yes it was this year but he was the previous year before injury, he was in great form) will not be asking for a huge raise just yet.  as for Metro would love to have him, but can be replaced with younger and cheaper players.  Keep Darche and Moore, very good supporting cast.  Pleks I say offer him 3.5/yr for 3 years if he doesn’t want that then let him walk, we gave him a fairly good raise after a crappy season so I think that the team has been generous to him.  I think if you can’t get Pleks for that price then you trade Halak to get that bigger centreman for the second line.  Everyone has there own opinion, this is just mine don’t jump on me for what I think.

    “To you from failing hands we throw the torch. Be it yours to hold high.”

  48. coachdoug says:

    Curse you Glen Sather!  Indirectly you have put us in this position…that 3 million we are overpaying Gomez may be the difference between a legit cup contender and “Meh”…

    I say let Price go and sign Halak for sure…if Price blossoms so be it…Halak has blossomed for real and we need to keep him…

    I think we will lose Plek because of the Gomez situation…we get an older 2nd line center way over-priced vs. a younger solid second line center a little over priced…

    The UFA market is never the key…you draft and develop Cup teams and then you augment the missing piece or two with free agents ( I spell H-o-s-s-a)…

    I got a bad feeling about this summer…the Cap wall BG put us up against was going to haunt us later and I think it will be this summer…

  49. havok says:

    Biron yes, Mason had a career year, so he will ask for too much, I have a weird feeling Theo or Brion will back up whomever the Habs decide to keep…

  50. Max_a_million says:


    I like Gomez and Plekanek, but I wonder if Plekanek is redundant on this team.  It would be nice to have someone with more size who scores more.  Of course I am sure every team is in line for guys that score more with size, and I don’t think those type of players make it to free agency.  It worries me to go long term with Plekanek, even though I think he is the best center available.

  51. Max_a_million says:

    Pleks is not taking 3 million.  This is his livelyhood, he will take the money just like all of us would.

  52. Max_a_million says:

    Kovalchuck wants what 9 million, that’s all of our cap space.  We have not realistic shot at him.

  53. HFX-HabFan says:

    MAB, Metro, and Darche are likely gone.  Subban, Pacioretty and White replace them.  That’s easy and done with.  Moore can be brought back for 1 to 1.5 million.  Aside from the goalies, the other RFAs will get very modest (if any) raises. 

    The key to bringing back Plekanec is moving Hamrlik.  We have to find a team that will take him on.  Gauthier should be working the phones to any listeners:  “Hammer stepped up in Markov’s absence, he’s a great mentor for younger D, he is a great guy to have on your second pairing.  He comes off the books next summer, so if your team is out of contention you can move him at the deadline and salvage a draft pick or a prospect.”

    I still am putting forward the somewhat unpopular notion that we should deal Halak because a) his value is fairly high right now, b) his agent is going to command big bucks, c) teams that need goaltending will look at his playoff/Olympic success, d) I still hold that Price has the higher upside and really just needs a veteran goalie to mentor/platoon with him.

    I’ve floated out other deals in the past involving names like Nathan Horton and David Backes.  We need that type of forward to help out our top six.  If Plekanec hits the market on July 1, Boone is right, he’s as good as gone because someone will throw more money at him than we can.  If he leaves, we still need to move the Kostitsyns and Hamrlik and even Halak to bring in two forwards how can fit in to our top six, and then sign a cheap veteran goalie (Biron? Mason?). 

  54. volcano62 says:

    I would keep both Halak and Price for another year (if we can afford that)

    Big mistake teams make is playing their #1 goalie for 70+ games during the season. Come playoff time they are too tired to make it far. Price and Halak should play about 40 games each. I remember Bryan Hayward playing 25+ games easy when he split net duties with Roy.

    I would also like to add that Plekanec can be replaced easily with a bigger center. BUT if he is willing to stay for less than 3M then i’d keep him.

    Go Habs Go!

  55. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    As for Pleks, I say you wait till free agency hits,  make a hard play for Kovulchuk, if you can’t get him resign Pleks to whatever crazy contract his agent will be looking for but try to work in part of it as playoff bonuses so maybe we can get him to produce some offence in the playoffs.

  56. _Habsoloutly_ says:

    I think both goalies will be signed to fair market contracts.  Then, if and when PG gets an offer he can’t refuse (like the godfather quote?)  he will trade one.

  57. Offensive DMan says:

    Thinking that we have immediate holes to fill, and one of our goalies is the best way to do it.  They will both be #1s somewhere, sometime and by keeping both, we will not improve. They have value now to fill some of our gaps.

    And in this division, or the NHL for that matter, to remain the same is just not a great strategy given the way progressive teams are setting themselves up year over year.

  58. TomNickle says:

    You keep Halak if he gets awarded $5 million for next season via arbitration?

  59. rogieshan says:

    Plekanec is a solid 2nd-line centreman. Unfortunately, we’re already paying for one in Gomez and his 7.3 mil/per for the next four years. Time to go young on the 3rd & 4th line with Paciorety, Pyatt, White, Desharnais, Trotter and Maxwell. Use the money saved to pursue a forward upfront: Eric Fehr, Derrick Brossard, Ryan Clowe, Patrick Sharp, Dustin Penner, David Legwand…       

  60. Habsrule1 says:

    I think they would rather have Halak or Price than Ellis, and they need to shed some salary. they would rather get rid of Briere, but it’s unlikely anyone would take that contract, despite his playoff success. If they’re going to get a good goalie anyway, why not try to improve our team in the process?

    Pleks is a nice little player, but he’s no Jeff Carter.

    Go Habs Go!! “I don’t have a copy of Georges’ code, I don’t know what it is,”. “I think the code is that you’re here for your teammates. It’s not your code, it’s our code.” – Bob Gainey

  61. RockinRey says:

    You sign both goaltenders. They are assets. Pleks is an asset. From time to time guys will walk away for nothing as a UFA…but the Habs should see if they can give a team exclusive rights to negotiate with Pleks even if it is a late round pick. They need to manage the assets better. Surely they new Pleks was going to walk away. Couldn’t a trade have been arranged? The fan reaction at the time could be no worse than getting nothing for him now.

    I envision Pleks as a regular season scoring machine . Okay stats, 70 pts or so. Which back in the day was cause for people to say Lafleur had lost it.

    If Pleks walks then the Habs  have to go out and get a bona fide number one center. They are okay on the back end but really as I have maintained all along the cupboard is bare. The brothers K add nothing substantial and cannot be counted on to elevate the Habs beyond a bubble team. It is a little alarming to think that when you go down the roster the habs have some great journeymen.

  62. HabFanSince72 says:

    The Sedins wanted to stay together, so you could argue it wasn’t so much a hometown discount as a realization that they would have to be split up to get Hossa-level money.

    And anyway $30M isn’t bad.


  63. HabFanSince72 says:

    I agree with whoever thinks we should avoid giving Philly a good goalie. In any case, they  might try to get one through free agency (e.g. Dan Ellis), so why would they give up Carter?

    Trading Price could be a big mistake. He is only 22. Remember Ryan Miller became a starter at 25 and a top goalie at 27.

    Pleks is worth $4-5M (same salary as Patrice Bergeron). The problem is: might somone pay more?

    My advice is more conservative:

    1. Keep both keepers.

    2. Sign Plekanec (if he signs).

    That’s it.


  64. Habsrule1 says:

    I must have been dreaming because I thought Hammer & Spacek were heroic when Markov was injured. The beginning was tough cause they were playing out of their realm, but they really got it together and they were also key in shutting down Ovechkin.

    I still think Hammer should be traded, but I think he may actually be tradeable to a team looking for veteran defense presence, but that is not as easy as i make it sound.

    Go Habs Go!! “I don’t have a copy of Georges’ code, I don’t know what it is,”. “I think the code is that you’re here for your teammates. It’s not your code, it’s our code.” – Bob Gainey

  65. sisu says:

    Hometown discount? I call that a tax on stupidity.

    Wouldn’t it be sweet to have a couple of star players as stupid as the Sedins?

  66. says:

    If this site had the big thumbs up thumbs do there would be a lot of down thumbs.  Sorry I don’t have time to rebut your opinion.


    They Call Me Shane

  67. says:

    I love Gomez and Price, but if they got us two second line players that would be a great trade.  Not going to get a first line player in that deal.

    They Call Me Shane

  68. Habsrule1 says:

    Coaching-Habs get the furthest in the playoffs in almost 20 years and the coach had nothing to do with it. This story is getting so old.

    Hal Gill-Probably our best defenseman in the entire playoffs.

    Bergeron-I like him as a 7th D-Man, but can’t really argue much on this one.

    Go Habs Go!! “I don’t have a copy of Georges’ code, I don’t know what it is,”. “I think the code is that you’re here for your teammates. It’s not your code, it’s our code.” – Bob Gainey

  69. Offensive DMan says:

    A nice thought, but that particular team is REALLY going to have to believe in Price as the next big thing to do that.

    I don’t think that Gomez is the most pressing problem we have, although I do not like his contract either.

  70. says:

    I agree.  No way should anyone have to pay for a one hit wonder.  Tim Thomas!!!!

    If he turns out to be a the greatest little fella on ice than we missed the boat and oh well.  That’s hockey.

    There’s a FA out there that can fill his position.

    They Call Me Shane

  71. SmartDog says:

    >I don’t buy into the Price-as-thoroughbred theory.

    Yeah, but can you bake bread?

    … I agree with your post.

    Not signing or trading Pleks = yet another missed opportunity.

  72. LTHF says:

    Here,s at least four reasons why the Habs cant win if things remain the status quo:

    Coaching–Martin and Perrins  too old for coaching young upcoming players, they blew it by losing Boucher. So theres 2 reasons, there are others in the NHL that should call it quits, because hockey today has passed them by.

    Hal gill: The premier give away artist in the league>.Very weak defensively, cant clear the puck and very weak along the boards despite his size. People talk about his shot blocking, well if I was 6 ft 7 in, and stood in front of the net  some shots would havde to hit me. NO SHOT.

    Beregeron, another give away artist,  terrible defensively, good skater with a good shot but that dont make up for the turnovers that he creates.

    Replace those 4 and things can only get better.



  73. SmartDog says:

    Find someone who a) needs a good goalie and a 1st or 2nd line center and b) has cap space. 

    Give them Price IF they’ll also take Gomez and take a big 1st or 2nd line center back or other high level player(s) to trade for the big center. 

    In other words, turn our goaltending assets into more cap space and making us bigger up the middle.


    Not signing or trading Pleks = yet another missed opportunity.

  74. Habsrule1 says:

    We seem to forget Pleks had 39 points last season. who’s giving him $3M for that? I still don’t think he’s worth more than $4M, but someone will give him $5M. I just hope it’s not the Habs.

    Go Habs Go!! “I don’t have a copy of Georges’ code, I don’t know what it is,”. “I think the code is that you’re here for your teammates. It’s not your code, it’s our code.” – Bob Gainey

  75. Chorske says:

    I don’t buy into the Price-as-thoroughbred theory. Send him west where he will be less likely to haunt us.

    This organization needs to rethink its policy of not negociating contracts in midseason. The whole “distraction avoidance” thing is a boondoggle (Boone doggle?) because it is absurd to think that a 28yr old player in the final year of his contract isn’t thinking about it every day. The strategy doesn’t make an ounce of sense because a) if the player has a bad year and gets short changed, the player is unhappy- and has no incentive to sign long term; and b) if the player has a great year and goes elsewhere, we lose them with no compensation for developing them. Either way, someone loses– and everyone knows that the best deals are the ones where both parties win.

    It’s a disaster, but I agree: Pleks is gone. Could’ve had him for 3 million and term back in December, now he’s as good as a Shark, or maybe in Minnesota, where they’ll be looking to back up Mikko.

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