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:
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.