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Canadiens sign Hamrlik, Smolinski & Kostopoulos

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I don't think Kosto will be on the press box ... he's the kinda player you want on your 4th line.

He'll be like Bégin ... exactly like him (which is good).

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The more I read up on Kostopoulos the more I like him.

He seems to have Souray's leadership/locker room/stick up for your team mates type of attitude. He is a good skater and is tough on the boards. If this holds true then he is a big upgrade over Mike Johnson.

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First, let me say that I like both Hamrlik and Smolinski. I think they are solid players.

Like many I think our PP will suffer a little without Souray(shouldn't be a surprise) but I think our D will be better overall and I think Hamrlik moves the puck in transition better which MAY greatly help our offense in 5 on 5 situations. This team still needs another quality d-man that can move the puck IMHO. Since special teams are so important I think it's probably a wash in the offensive end and a slight upgrade defensively.

As for Smoke...he's less of a defensive specialist then Bonk which potentially gives the team more balance. He's still a quality two way player so I don't think this team will suffer too much losing Bonk. Again it's a very slight upgrade.

My biggest concern is that this team is really leaning on it's youth to step up and get better quickly for it's improvement. Some of the youth NEEDS to step up, but I don't think they should be so dependant on it...

This team needs a gritty two-way winger that can pot 50-60 points and another puck moving d-man IMHO. Both would take pressure off our youth and provide some additional balance to the offense.

At forward, I realistically wish we had ended up with:

Higgins - Koivu - Ryder

Kosty/Grabovsky - Plekanec - Kovalev

Latendresse - Smolinski/Handzus - S. Walker

Dandenault - Lapierre - Begin

That's only a couple of changes...we're not far off of it but just having a gritty guy like Walker(I know he re-upped with Carolina) would really solidfy the top 3 lines.

Now the D is still a problem...we need to sign another D-man to a short contract IMHO.

Markov - Komisarek

Streit - Hamrlik

Boullion - Gorges

That D still needs work...whether Dandenault is playing D or F it's still low level depth IMHO.

Edited by Zowpeb

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At forward, I realistically wish we had ended up with:

Higgins - Koivu - Ryder

Kosty/Grabovsky - Plekanec - Kovalev

Latendresse - Smolinski/Handzus - S. Walker

Dandenault - Lapierre - Begin

That's only a couple of changes...we're not far off of it but just having a gritty guy like Walker(I know he re-upped with Carolina) would really solidfy the top 3 lines.

Now the D is still a problem...we need to sign another D-man to a short contract IMHO.

Markov - Komisarek

Streit - Hamrlik

Boullion - Gorges

That D still needs work...whether Dandenault is playing D or F it's still low level depth IMHO.

Handzus has signed with LA ...

And with the Kostopoulos signing, no way Dandenault will play F.

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The more I read up on Kostopoulos the more I like him.

He seems to have Souray's leadership/locker room/stick up for your team mates type of attitude. He is a good skater and is tough on the boards. If this holds true then he is a big upgrade over Mike Johnson.

yeah more on the likes of Johnson than Downey... or maybe a combo of both?

he is also playable on the LW.

yeah last I heard Downey never made these numbers in the AHL

2004-05 GP:64 G:25 A:46 Pts:71

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A couple of things about the Smoke-Kostopo signings. They look like our new Bonk-Johnson, and show the team isn't ready to just hand over roster spots to guys like Chipchura, Lahti, and the Milroy/Ferlands of the world. There's one F spot to battle for, and it looks like it could be a semi-offensive role...

Smoke and Lapierre will battle as the centres drawing the top opposition assignments. Chipchura's only a callup at this point. Kostopoulos and Begin provide 2 experienced wingers to help out.

One of Smolinski or Lapierre will likely play with Kovalev to start the year. Which position is the battle really for... chcecking duties or playing with Kovalev? :lol:

There's one regular forward position to battle for: a LW role, likely an offensive one. That's what Lahti, Grabovski, and Locke will duke it out over. Streit is also an option, but I am changing my tune about that since

The rest of the spots will be for spares, most likely. That's the best a guy like Milroy or Ferland can hope for... same with Murray.

Lahti will have a 2-way deal, by the way. So he hasn't made this team yet.

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There's no way Kostopoulos is an upgrade on Johnson. Kosto is a 4th liner plain and simple.

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My lineup :

Kovalev - Koivu - Ryder

Higgins - Plekanec - Kostitsyn (best line at the end of the season)

Latendresse - Lapierre - Smolinski

Bégin - Chipchura - Kostopoulos

HS : Lahti

Markov - Komisarek

Sreit - Hamrlik

Bouillon - Dandenault

HS : Gorges / O'Byrne

Edited by Theberge43

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OK, OK I think it's time to put a GLASS HALF FULL RANT:

Koivu - Special K doesn't need analysis.

Higgins - Solid and dependable. Many teams in the NHL no doubt covet this guy.

Kovalev - Here we go. No doubt most of the objections from my rant will emerge here. A rant with a positive twist. Kovy has an ego. He was a joke this year. He cannot get traded (so he believes). He had an awful season and to add insult to injury, the Russian National Team passed on their x-captain in the worlds. He also had to stomach a teammate in Markov going. Kovalev's ego may be very bruised and don't be surprised if he wants to prove to all detractors that they "ARE WRONG" (I'm hoping)

Andrei Kostitsyn - This guy was picked before Getzlaf and Parise in the draft. I'm not going to sit here and type he is in their calibre player range. But, he went 10th for a reason. And while many have written him off, we must all admit that HE HAS NOT HAD AN NHL CHANCE YET! 30 games doesn't qualify. Give this guy 82 games and he may surprise. By the way, is he still an eligible for rookie status or have the Canadiens ruined his Calder cup (rookie) eligibility?

Tomas Plekanec - We all know that after two 3rds of the season last year, he was a reborn player. DANGEROUS offensively. He carried that performance right into the Worlds and DOMINATED!

Guillaume Latendresse - RED ALERT TO ALL ENEMIES. It's possible that this 2nd year player is about to take a talent "quantum leap". Opponents of Les Canadien - BEWARE!!!

Kyle Chipchura - We are all going to be in for a treat. Even if he's so so. He will bring a new element to our roster. I'm excited.

Michael Ryder - If we keep him, we all know what he can do. If we don't, the return should be impressive.

Bryan Smolinski - Good reserve, utility forward who is a veteran. Dependable but not a superstar. However, agree or not - he fits well.

Mikhail Grabovsky - has a chance to crack the lineup.

Steve Begin - Maxim Lapierre - Garth Murray - ALL have center qualities. I love situations where if Begin gets thrown out of the faceoff circle, Lapierre comes in for relief. Having many players with C skills is good.

Cristobal Huet - Jaroslav Halak - Carey Price - GOAL IS SET

SUMMARY: Why didn't Andrei Kostitsyn play in Montreal last year from the beginning? Guy said he made the team in camp. Some could say that Perezhogin beat him out and stole the spot. But, it was acquiring a UFA in Samsonov that closed a spot. If we keep getting more and more UFA's like we are all complaining about not acquiring, how will the kids ever get NHL experience?

If we should have injury trouble, we can always call upon Sergei Kostitsyn or whoever is the deserving call up. Perhaps we also get to see O'Byrne for the first time in Montreal. Add in sneeky BOb and what the trade or move he will make (might take until January) and it's not all that bad people.

Edited by ATHLÉTIQUE.CANADIEN

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Koivu, Kovalev, Kostitsyn (Andrei), Komisarek, Kostopolous, Kostitsyn (Sergei).... Gainey's gone koko!

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OK, OK I think it's time to put a GLASS HALF FULL RANT:

Koivu - Special K doesn't need analysis.

Higgins - Solid and dependable. Many teams in the NHL no doubt covet this guy.

Kovalev - Here we go. No doubt most of the objections from my rant will emerge here. A rant with a positive twist. Kovy has an ego. He was a joke this year. He cannot get traded (so he believes). He had an awful season and to add insult to injury, the Russian National Team passed on their x-captain in the worlds. He also had to stomach a teammate in Markov going. Kovalev's ego may be very bruised and don't be surprised if he wants to prove to all detractors that they "ARE WRONG" (I'm hoping)

Andrei Kostitsyn - This guy was picked before Getzlaf and Parise in the draft. I'm not going to sit here and type he is in their calibre player range. But, he went 10th for a reason. And while many have written him off, we must all admit that HE HAS NOT HAD AN NHL CHANCE YET! 30 games doesn't qualify. Give this guy 82 games and he may surprise. By the way, is he still an eligible for rookie status or have the Canadiens ruined his Calder cup (rookie) eligibility?

Tomas Plekanec - We all know that after two 3rds of the season last year, he was a reborn player. DANGEROUS offensively. He carried that performance right into the Worlds and DOMINATED!

Guillaume Latendresse - RED ALERT TO ALL ENEMIES. It's possible that this 2nd year player is about to take a talent "quantum leap". Opponents of Les Canadien - BEWARE!!!

Kyle Chipchura - We are all going to be in for a treat. Even if he's so so. He will bring a new element to our roster. I'm excited.

Michael Ryder - If we keep him, we all know what he can do. If we don't, the return should be impressive.

Bryan Smolinski - Good reserve, utility forward who is a veteran. Dependable but not a superstar. However, agree or not - he fits well.

Mikhail Grabovsky - has a chance to crack the lineup.

Steve Begin - Maxim Lapierre - Garth Murray - ALL have center qualities. I love situations where if Begin gets thrown out of the faceoff circle, Lapierre comes in for relief. Having many players with C skills is good.

Cristobal Huet - Jaroslav Halak - Carey Price - GOAL IS SET

SUMMARY: Why didn't Andrei Kostitsyn play in Montreal last year from the beginning? Guy said he made the team in camp. Some could say that Perezhogin beat him out and stole the spot. But, it was acquiring a UFA in Samsonov that closed a spot. If we keep getting more and more UFA's like we are all complaining about not acquiring, how will the kids ever get NHL experience?

If we should have injury trouble, we can always call upon Sergei Kostitsyn or whoever is the deserving call up. Perhaps we also get to see O'Byrne for the first time in Montreal. Add in sneeky BOb and what the trade or move he will make (might take until January) and it's not all that bad people.

I like your positive attitude and i hate to ruin the party, but in terms of Lats and Lappy, players almost ALWAYS have a sophmore slump. Plex stunk for half the year before improving, higgins' solid play (though he was snake bitten for goals in the second hafl, I think he was still playing solid over the course of teh season) in year 2 is the exception, not the rule...

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I like your positive attitude and i hate to ruin the party, but in terms of Lats and Lappy, players almost ALWAYS have a sophmore slump. Plex stunk for half the year before improving, higgins' solid play (though he was snake bitten for goals in the second hafl, I think he was still playing solid over the course of teh season) in year 2 is the exception, not the rule...

You not agreeing is not going to ruin my party. The "jinx" is not any more a given versus no jinx. Number 2, when you have several 2nd year players, they're not ALL going to be jinxed simultaneously.

It ain't October yet.

ShortHanded does have a point. Hoping that all conditions hit full postive results is contrary to reality. There will be bad times and slumps and issues. How do you get through 82 games without some? At the end of the day though I think we are lowballing our ability out of frustration

Edited by ATHLÉTIQUE.CANADIEN

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From Kings' fans

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

- He's a player with an amazing attitude and work ethic. He's willing to go through a wall for a team and he has a pretty decent scoring touch for a grinder. Nice signing.

- Yeah TkO (as we called him here in LA) simply didn't fit into the team's plans this year, and alot of us are sad to see him go. As was stated, he's got huge heart and a hilarious sense of humor to boot.

- He's a great lockeroom guy, great at defense and he stands up for himself and his teammates (drops the gloves) i'll miss him in LA. i wish him all the best in Montreal.

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Interesting point of view, AC. It's nice to imagine Lats exploding, but I expect that he'll need another year or two before he blooms into the 30-goal-scoring power forward he could become. Plekanec really surprised me in the second half, but projecting a full season at that point-per-game pace is probably too optimistic. 60 points should be well within reach, though.

Here's the real key for 2007-08 in my view: Chris Higgins. He has quietly shown the potential to be a star. But after two seasons he has not yet assembled a full season of playing at that level. IF he can put it all together for a whole year, then suddenly we have a bona fide, all-star calibre winger, and suddenly our roster looks a whole lot stronger.

I don't think this is a pipe dream. This is THE season for Higgins to establish himself as an elite player. It may not happen, but if it doesn't I would rank it as a major disappointment.

Can I just add that all of this frothing rage over the signing of Kostopoulos seems absolutely bizarre to me? You should read the RDS message board on this. It's an INSULT that the Habs sign a useful role-player and character guy! An INSULT I tells ya!!!!

Sheesh. People need to GET A GRIP. It's as though all common sense has simply dissipated.

Edited by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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Koivu, Kovalev, Kostitsyn (Andrei), Komisarek, Kostopolous, Kostitsyn (Sergei).... Gainey's gone koko!

LOL

The MTL Kanadiens

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A quiet but good signing by Gainey. Kostopoulos can fill the 12th forward spot and we can use Streit as a defenceman to round out the top 4. Now our biggest need seems to be a 2nd line LW - we'll see if Grabovski can fill the spot.

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The TSN profile on Kostopo is pretty funny:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?i...amp;hubname=nhl

Assets: Likes to play a North-South game and is strong along the wall. Defensively responsible, he's also a potential captain down the line.

Flaws: Has limited scoring ability at the NHL level, and doesn't do enough in other areas to keep a regular job in "the show".

Career: potential Reserve winger.

A potential captain that can't keep a regular job. That's funny.

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There's no way Kostopoulos is an upgrade on Johnson. Kosto is a 4th liner plain and simple.

Yep, Johnson could easily score 60+ pts and was a second line forward prior to coming to Montreal. Kostopoulos has never scored more than 22pts in a season, it's not comparable. Tom's a decent player, I don't mind this signing - it was a bit expensive, but on the other hand he does have good character, can fight and can actually play everyday

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saskhab Posted Today, 04:29 PM

The TSN profile on Kostopo is pretty funny:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?i...amp;hubname=nhl

QUOTE

Assets: Likes to play a North-South game and is strong along the wall. Defensively responsible, he's also a potential captain down the line.

Flaws: Has limited scoring ability at the NHL level, and doesn't do enough in other areas to keep a regular job in "the show".

Career: potential Reserve winger.

A potential captain that can't keep a regular job. That's funny.

Yup I was thinking the same thing!!!!

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I could see Gainey bringing in a guy like Niinimaa last year for some D depth, especially if O'Byrne isn't ready. Aside for that, it looks like we're set for the start of the season.

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That's what is so worrying - there's no significant offensive addition to a team that's starved for it.

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And 4000 Park-Ex residents buy season's tickets...

Can you please send my Red Canadiens jersey with "Kostopoulos" written on the back to Athens Greece please?

Kalos orises sto Montreal Thanasi (Tom)!! Oloi i elliniki parikoia tha einai dipla sou...

Kane mas yperifanous....!!!

(Welcome to Montreal Tom (Thanasis is Tom in Greek). The whole Greek community is behind you...Make us proud!!!)

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The TSN profile on Kostopo is pretty funny:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?i...amp;hubname=nhl

A potential captain that can't keep a regular job. That's funny.

Johnson was primarily a third line player in Pheonix, that was why his stats were so impressive.

Koivu, Kovalev, Kostitsyn (Andrei), Komisarek, Kostopolous, Kostitsyn (Sergei).... Gainey's gone koko!

We seem to go in cycles....a few years ago it was all B names.

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The more I read up on Kostopoulos the more I like him.

He seems to have Souray's leadership/locker room/stick up for your team mates type of attitude. He is a good skater and is tough on the boards. If this holds true then he is a big upgrade over Mike Johnson.

Congrats, you apparently get it too. ;)

Kostopoulos seems to be a typical Canadian grinder who is tough on the boards, rough, and will actually fight.

Here is Johnson's TSN scouting report:

Assets - Plays a smart positional game and shows good offensive instincts. Has good speed and is an accomplished defensive player.

Flaws - Lacks a physical edge, despite his 6-2, 201-pound frame. Needs to be able to grind it out better along the boards. Is capable of scoring more goals, but doesn't.

Johnson maybe Canadian, but he lacks the typical Canadian toughness.

Relax everybody, there's still lots of spots for the non physical Euro's!! :P

A potential captain that can't keep a regular job. That's funny.

umm, I'm pretty sure "the show" that they are refering to is strictly the L.A. Kings, and not the NHL in general, so really its only funny when misinterpreted. ^_^

btw, am I the only 1 who realizes both Smolinski & Kostopoulos are right-handed shots? In which the Canadiens desperately needed.

Go :hlogo: Go!!

Edited by Sir_Boagalott

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