2006-07-04

Pipeline

First, an update on some prospects...

Hockeysfuture.com had a Q&A with Mat Carle.

The Kootenay paper had an article on Ben Maxwell. It suggests the Habs tried but failed to trade up to select Maxwell early in the 2nd round.

And now for the next big thing...

Dallas has their Finns. New York has Jagr and his merry band of Czech Rangers. A
Wild Slovakian dyad is now in place in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Montreal Canadiens have The Kostitsyn Bros. & Mikhail Grabovsky. Yes, an all-Belarussian line. Never mind the Flying Frenchmen - here come the Belarussian Bullies!

But seriously, Andrei Kostitsyn is the only one of the three that could make the Habs next year, and that's not even a given. Although there have been rumours, I have yet to see a formal announcement of Grabovsky's signing. The younger Kostitsyn, Sergei/Siarhei, only just finished his rookie year in the OHL with London.

~~~

Breaking news: FAs don't like the taxation, pressure, language environment in Montreal.

Thank you, Captain Obvious. This revelation is often trotted out to explain the lack of FA activity in Habsland. There is truth in it, but this year the reality is that Gainey is almost certainly seeking only one mid-level forward on the FA market and/or a depth defenseman. And maybe not even that - he could go with more youth next year.

You can already fill out a 23-man depth chart with signed players and RFAs:

Ryder-Koivu-Kovalev
Higgins-Plekanec-Zednik
Perezhogin-Ribeiro-Begin
Murray-Bonk-Downey
A. Kostitsyn

Markov-Rivet
Souray-Komisarek
Dandenault-Bouillon
Streit

Huet
Aebischer
Danis

The RFAs are in red. Other threats to make the team are A. Kostitsyn, Latendresse, and Chipchura.

~~~

So. Pronger is a Duck, and Oil fans are not exactly Smidden with what Lowe got in return. I'll have to agree that Brian Burke is looking pretty good right now. Niedermayer and Pronger? Wow. That has to be the best top-2 we've seen since Pronger/MacInnis.

~~~

When I read that Bouillon signed for 3 years at $1.875M, I was shocked.

Then we saw Brian Pothier sign for 4 years at $2.5M. And Frank Kaberle for $2.2M. Hal Gill for $2.1M. Yes, *that* Hal Gill - the guy that moves like an 800lb grizzly bear. Wait... grizzlies are deceptively fast. He moves more like a grizzly that has been hit with a tranquilizer dart, but hasn't thrown in the towel just yet.

Needless to say, there have been changes in the marketplace since Dandenault's 4-year, $6.85M deal. Bouillon's contract is the most level-headed one signed this week (possibly excepting Zyuzin for 2 at $2.8M - that's looking good on Sutter).

And after seeing the Gerber and Roloson numbers, maybe Huet's money isn't so bad after all.

~~~

We're in for another Nor'easter.

Boston is starting to scare me. Sure, they overpaid for Marc Savard but they can carry that burden as long as Patrice Bergeron continues to be criminally underpaid. I have visions of Bergeron/Boyes drawing penalties and Savard/Murray stepping in to capitalize on the PP. Now with an extra $5M to spend, the Leafs can't be worse than last year, can they? The Sens appear to have stepped back, but they could afford to. Same for the Sabres. It looks like the NE will be a tough place for Montreal to earn a playoff berth.

~~~

Gainey should have overpaid Andre Savard to keep him with the team. With the cap on player salaries, teams should be willing to pay over the top for front office talent when they can afford to. Andre Savard signed some bad contracts as GM of the Habs, but over his career he has been gold at the draft. It would be worthwhile to keep him on board just for that.

5 Comments:

Anonymous kazmojo said...

Dandenault looked a bit overpaid at first, but now looks like a good deal (esp with his late season performance). But is Bouillon worth more than Dandenault?

If we are stuck with Ribeiro, let him play out his contract on the fourth line. He is by far the biggest liability on the team.

And after a new centreman to replace Ribeiro, Gainey should go after a scoring right winger. I think that's more important than a d-man. Souray's the weakest link defensively, but we'd sure miss his shot from the point.

7/04/2006 6:02 PM  
Blogger Jeff J said...

If both were on the market starting July 1, Dandenault would have been signed to a bigger contract than Cube. That's the way the cookie crumbles. Once again, GMs took their fill of stupid pills just in time for this year's FA frenzy.

Gainey has said that he plans to have a 'competitive' team in time for the 100th anniversary season in 2009. I wish I could find a link to prove it. Smart FA signings are fine. I just hope Gainey doesn't go for another Kovalev-type deal and overpay for talent past it's prime.

7/05/2006 1:53 PM  
Blogger Ingmar "W" Bergman said...

I must say I'm impressed with the constraint Gainey has shown so far.

If Gainey stays the course, and he doesn't sign one UFA all summer the better for The Habs.

You are insanely stocked with prospects, have cap room to spare and a team that could go Presidents Trophy on the league in a year or two.

(A comparison could be made that you are as stocked with prsospects and good players as the Nordiques were before they started winning again).

The Canadiens will be one of the few "good enough for the playoffs"-teams that could make a big splash next year, which so far is looking like it'll be the mother of all UFA-season.

I'm a believer in what Gainey's doing. He has a plan and heäs sticking by it.

Here's to some sanity in this insane era of insane spending.

7/05/2006 5:57 PM  
Blogger Jeff J said...

Gainey is a tortoise among hares.

As well-stocked as the young Nords? I wish! There's no one like Sakic, Sundin, Forsberg or even Adam Foote coming down the chute. That's what three straight first overall picks will do for you. The Habs have amassed a ton of skilled young forwards. I'll be ecstatic if just a couple of them turn into surprises like Svatos or Prucha.

7/06/2006 11:08 AM  
Blogger Brushback said...

7/7/06

It's now being reported by several Russian sources overseas, as well as by Russian Prospects, that Mikhail Grabovsky has signed with the Canadiens.

This news just came out last night.

7/07/2006 10:51 AM  

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