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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

Remember Jack 'Eject the Core' Todd?

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I never understood what "core" people are referencing to. That's been the problem in Montreal for the last 10+ years, we have never even had a core. We've had Saku Koivu, Patrice Brisebois, and a bunch of temporary fillers over the years that have included Petrov, Savage, Zednik, Quintal, Malakhov, ... all of whom have failed to become good, reliable players that would have allowed us to form anything ressembling a core.

Thankfully this is starting to change thanks to the incredible efforts of Andre Savard and Trevor Timmins, who have drafted a lot if quality prospects that is now allowing us to start building a decent core. If Gainey could only start doing his job, and acquire the missing elements to complete a strong core on which we could ride for the next 10 years, the Habs will finally become a respectable organization once again.

And you probably shouldn't get used to a core either. With a salary cap now, it'll be harder for teams to keep there core players together as the teams constantley look for younger and cheaper prospects to fill out their lineups. You'll have maybe 2 or 3 guys you try to keep together for 7 or 8 years and then it roll's over to another 2 or 3 guys. Thats if you have 2 or 3 guys worth building a team around.

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And you probably shouldn't get used to a core either. With a salary cap now, it'll be harder for teams to keep there core players together as the teams constantley look for younger and cheaper prospects to fill out their lineups. You'll have maybe 2 or 3 guys you try to keep together for 7 or 8 years and then it roll's over to another 2 or 3 guys. Thats if you have 2 or 3 guys worth building a team around.

You can have a good core that changes throughout the years. The important thing is to properly replace quality players in the lineup with either other quality players or good young players. In other words, don't trade away a sure 90-point guy lile Pierre Turgeon for average-to-decent players like Corson and Baron who are both past their prime.

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Just one simple, kind off topic, point to make here. As far as the inability for teams to create a solid core because of a salary cap...only 12 teams were over what would be the proposed cap next season if you go back to 2003-2004 (last year of uncapped NHL). That means that other 18 teams were under the cap. It's not as if the implementation of a salary cap is going to create a huge amount of flux where no team has the ability to retain players. It's funny that a sticking point with the owners was a cap near $50M, and next year, the league will be close to bumping that anyway.

(Interesting side note, of those 12 teams, odds are rather high that 8 of them will miss this year's second season.)

Back to the Habs...as Cerebus has said, the Habs have some veteran players, but not what I would consider a "core" of veterans per se. That is what the Habs have been building toward. We're starting to see that with the youngsters. Players were drafted to be, hopefully, future core members of the squad. Guys like Plekanec, Higgins, Kostitsyn, Latendresse, Lapierre. Ryder is still young. When people talk about "blowing up the core", do they simply mean, trade away the players that they think are underperforming and not earning their salary?

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On a side note, I liked Todd's game article this morning. I like the way he writes (as long as it's not too over-the-top).

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Jack Todd has been watching too much Trek:

'Eject the Core'

200px-Burton_as_LaForge.jpg

AWESOME!

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