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The Chicoutimi Cucumber

Who should the Habs re-sign?

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Pronger and/or Bouweester are just not possible in a salary cap world. Assuming Komisarek get's signed to a hefty raise, that leaves us with high priced Markov and Hamrlik as well. You can't have over 20 million tied up with 4 defencemen. To further complicate this, as well all know, the cap is expected to decrease.

The cap won't decrease in 2009-10, and if it does decrease the year after, it won't likely be a massive one. The CBA has a mechanism where the NHLPA holds the right to automatically bump the salary cap up by a certain amount (I think it's 5%, but it may vary). I'd assume they would invoke this in any instance where revenues shrunk the year previously, offsetting (and perhaps negating) any cap decrease.

If the Habs were to re-sign Komisarek and then add another high priced d-man (like Bouwmeester), I would assume they would try and move Hamrlik, even if it were for another team's bad contract. Roman has a partial NTC, so it'd be tricky. If not, then the team would have to go cheap at forward at least for a year.

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Hamrlik was amazing last season - the key to stabilizing our D - and his decline into mediocrity this season has an inverse effect, making him one of the understated keys to our dismal play in our own end. If he keeps playing like this, his contract will be a total albatross around the organization's neck for the next two seasons.

I say this because I too think signing Bouwmeester or Pronger is out of the question as a direct result of this contract. No one will take on Hamrlik with that salary. The cap could sink considerably in 2011 (a drop to $45 mil was one scenario I heard reported). So that'd be crazy, even if Bowie/Pronger wanted to sign here.

So we just have to cross our fingers and hope Hammer can bounce back.

Is Hossa the only other high-value UFA out there this summer? If so, I'd hold off. There are a lot of American teams that will be interested in unloading high-priced talent (e.g., Vinny) and Gainey should be aggressive in pursuing these leads. Obviously we need a centreman. Which is why I remain aggravated that Bob did not go after Jokinen.

As for who we should sign, people around here are generally making sense. I'd go with the following in order of priority:

1-Komisarek. You're paying upwards of $5 mil, like it or not; but maybe he'd take less on a long-term deal - ? Worth it if true.

2-Tanguay. A veteran, proven scorer with Cup experience. French Canadian. Relatively young. No brainer. But what, another $5 mil? $4? Somewhere in that range, no? What are his comparables? Thoughts?

3-Koivu. But he has to take a pay cut and a relatively short term deal (2 years), and I doubt that this proud athlete will be very happy about that, especially if an offence-starved Minnesota with cap space starts sniffing around. He likely wants a Cup, too, and after this season it will be hard to argue that we're any more likely to deliver one than any other run-of-the-mill team. He has endured what is perhaps the most punishing career, both mentally and physically, of any major Montreal Canadiens captain. I would not be stunned at all if Koivu wants out. For sure Gainey will want to keep him.

The rest are take -em or leave 'ems, but here are some I think we should keep:

4-Schneider. One a one-year deal at an affordable rate. (I can't see him accepting less than $2 mil, though - maybe with a good bonus structure?). IF he's interested. I suspect he will be. Great, high-quality depth with gusts up to top-2 D-man on the PP - kinda Souray on the cheap. If he's not cheap, then cut him loose and take your chances.

5-Kostopolous. A genuine old-school grinder, as good as most 4th liners, seems to like it here. These guys - real grinders as opposed to hopeful grinders, or quasi-grinders - are actually kind of hard to find. Give him a 2 year deal at 4th-liner rates.

Lang is a long shot. But I doubt there will be any rush to sign him, so you might wait and see if you can't upgrade at C before making him an offer.

Kovalev? No, no, a thousand times no. I love Kovalev as a player for his entertainment value (even when he's sucking ass, his larger-than-life personality is still amusing). But this is why you develop young players, precisely so that you don't have to pay significant dollars to aging enigmas. Like it or not, it will be time to give the ball (or puck, as it were) to Andrei Kostitsyn next season. That's just how it has to work in a cap era. Who knows, it may help Kosty's game.

The Old Three on D obviously require no re-signing, although one of either Bouillon or Dandeneault wouldn't be terrible to keep around, at cut-rate prices. Both are maligned for their yeoman's work. Brisebois is of course done; his career ending on an appropriately perverse note, with an unforseeably disastrous centennial season. (Not that it's his fault. I like him, always did).

As for our RFAs, all should be tendered the necessary offer to prevent poaching. (But is it the case that a team need merely tender an offer to the player in order to avoid this? There must be more to it than that, no -? Can anyone help me out on this?). Anyway, Latendresse is top priority, followed by (sigh) that jerk-off Pleks (only for the nauseatingly-tiresome reason that we have no centremen) and then Higgins - who has played himself all the way down from 'future star' to 'glorified checker' - and D'Agostini, who should be no problem to sign.

The only good thing about our sure-to-be-short season/playoffs is that it will give Gainey a few more weeks in which to sort all of this out before UFA season hits. Worst silver lining ever.

Edited by The Chicoutimi Cucumber

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followed by (sigh) that jerk-off Pleks

Hey, why the hate for Plex? One of the few guys that actually tries hard and has been doing something worthwhile in the bad stretch. Not his fault he was stuck having to carry Kovy's 1000 pounds dead weight for most of the season. If it wasnt for Plex & Halak lately, we'd probably be 9th in the East...

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Hey, why the hate for Plex? One of the few guys that actually tries hard and has been doing something worthwhile in the bad stretch. If it wasnt for Plex & Halak lately, we'd probably be 9th in the East...

Oh, I'm just in a foul mood. Plekanec was a disaster for the entire season until the last few games. That's a level of incompetence that's just plain ridiculous, hence my aggravation. He is young and all - I'm just so tired of being disappointed, and his 50-game regression into a worthless perimeter player just epitomized what's gone wrong with our young core. OK, he's not a jerk-off, just a crashing disappointment; harder to take than Higgins because Higgins was never consistent, unlike Pleks last season, and never showed a consistent pattern of annual improvement the way Pleks did. I thought Pleks was rock-solid. So I'm angry at him. One of many Habs I'm angry at right now. Sorry.

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Who they definitely shouldn't re-sign:

#1. Koivu: as long as the smurf that has been masquerading as a #1 centre / captain continues to be a habs, this team will never move forward.

#2. Higgins: unless he's willing to sign relatively cheaply and accept a role as a third liner, he needs to go. He just doesn't have enough 'finish' to be a top two line guy

Maybes:

#1. Schneider: depends on the price and term...neither should be too large.

#2. Kovalev: if he was willing to sign for a good price and a one-year deal, I'd do it...because he's due for an 'up' year next year. But I wouldn't want to give him 2 or more years.

#3. Lang: depends how his rehab goes, and whether something better can be had. I like Lang a lot tho, and if he can still play, I'd like to see him in a Habs uniform again.

#4. Tanguay: if nothing better is available on the wing, and if the price and term are reasonable...gotta consider bringing him back

Gotta sign:

#1. Komisarek: he's looking bad right now, but I am fully confident that it's because he's playing hurt. This guy is a monster when he's healthy, and should be our shut-down D-man for years to come.

#2. Plekanec: I think given talented wingers, this guy can produce...he's going to get more consistent as he matures in the role of being a second-line centre.

#3. Latendresse: I think he's close to having a breakthrough season; he has all the tools...he just has to get his mental game up to the level of his physical gifts...and that should happen with experience.

#4, D'Agostini: He's shown flashes of brilliance, enough to make it worth continuing his development for a few more years.

Edited by sbhatt

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Who they definitely shouldn't re-sign:

#1. Koivu: as long as the smurf that has been masquerading as a #1 centre / captain continues to be a habs, this team will never move forward.

The rest of your post made reasonable sense but this part is just so unutterably stupid that I just couldn't let it pass without comment. I am not referring to whether or not we should re-sign our Captain but the commentary.

Exactly why do you blame Koviu for all the team's problems? Is it his fault Molson didnt replace Ronald Corey before he went senile? Is it his fault that Corey hired a beer salesman to be GM? IS it his fault that Reggie Houle made most of the worst trades in the 100 years of the Canadiens and gutted the team( his draft record was rather miserable too)? Is it his fault Andre Savard was in over his head as GM? IS it his fault that the Habs for whatever reason havent been able to find a big tough centre to move him to a second line role?

All that Koivu has done is give the Canadiens courage, effort, and class. To blame him for the Habs not winning since 1993 is asinine. Even Lemiuex and Gretzky couldnt win until their teams built up the supporting cast around them. In the Pens case that took seven years.

Sarcasm alert!! Warning sarcasm ahead

IF this team hadn't had so many injuries and Price suddenly losing his Mojo we would be cruisng comfortably. I know... the injuries are Koviu's fault too... he's been drugging his team-mates so they would get hurt and sleeping with Price's girlfriend and he pissed in Kovalev's coffee too. What am I thinking waive the useless SOB today :puke:

Sarcasm warning ended go back to your regularly scheduled bitching and bashing

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Bye bye to: ------Total of 4,375 m freed up which will compensate for the increase partly of the RFA salaries

-Bouillon ( frees up 1.875 m)

-Brisebous ( frees up 0.75 m)

-Dandenault ( frees up 1.75 m)

the maybes...(depends on how much he asks)

Centers ( in my mind we should either pick Lang Or Saku in the following season ...but i'm not confident we find a UFA centerman for next season....)

-Koivu

-Lang

Wingers (( In my mind it's either gonna be Kovy or Tanguay for next season...one of them will surely go...hopefully not both)

-Kovalev 4.500 m (actual salary- because of many events i doubt Kovy will resign here)

-Tanguay 5.375 m (Would Tanguay sign for a bit less for a multi year deal contract with the CH?--hes more a 4m player to me)

Defensemen

-Schneider 5.750 m ( at that salary the CH cannot keep him...would only sign him for a 1yr deal if he gets a huge salary cut down to 3m)

Sign them for sure

-Komisarek (as long as possible)

-Kostopolous ( i wouldnt mind an other 2 yr deal)

Offer a contract to all RFA:

-D'Agostini (roughly increase +0.8m a year as a first full pro contract = 1.2m for a 2 yrs)

-Higgins & Plekanec ( i think Higgins and Pleks if they arent traded will get a small raise ass well in mid 2.5m per year contract)

-Latendresse ( i think bob will sign latendresse for 2m a year multi deal - similar to the 1.9 2 yr deal he did with Higgins a few years back)

Edited by Partisan

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To be fair, he never said that it was all Koivu's fault, just that we need to lose him in order to move forward. And he DOES have a strong supporting cast around him. Very few captains in the league have a better one.

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The cap won't decrease in 2009-10, and if it does decrease the year after, it won't likely be a massive one. The CBA has a mechanism where the NHLPA holds the right to automatically bump the salary cap up by a certain amount (I think it's 5%, but it may vary). I'd assume they would invoke this in any instance where revenues shrunk the year previously, offsetting (and perhaps negating) any cap decrease.

If I'm thinking the same thing you are, they exercised that a couple years back. I don't think it's something that can be done every year, otherwise, they would for obvious reasons. (I think it was a one-shot deal myself...)

Also, a report from Radio-Canada that Koivu's extension may already be done:

*Une source m'affirme que le contrat de Saku Koivu est déjà dans le tiroir, signé, mais qu'on attend l'été pour ne pas faire de vague.

http://www.radio-canada.ca/sports/hockey/2...ust-6mars.shtml

Basically, a source confirmed that the deal is signed in a drawer, but won't be announced until the offseason. I'm very much for this, so this is an encouraging report to hear. I wouldn't want a long-term deal, but considering the lack of organizational depth at C and the lack of quality UFA C's, bringing him back makes some sense to me.

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Just dreaming there, and it's purely theorical, but in all honesty, if we have to chose between signing the WHOLE list, or just getting Lecavalier and playing with our depth, without signing anyone on the list (UFA)... I wouldn't mind.. I'm so tired of that team's inconsistency. I love them, seriously, I don't want any to go... but they are hurting me when they are so inconsistent!! :P

I mean it'd still look pretty good.

Pacioretty -Lecavalier - Kostitsyn

Higgins -Plekanec - S. Kost

d'Ago - Lapierre - Latendresse

Laraque - Metropolit - Stewart

Markov - Gorges

Hamrlik - Weber

O'byrne and Subban, McDonaugh, Carle, whoever makes the cut.

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Pacioretty -Lecavalier - Kostitsyn

Higgins -Plekanec - S. Kost

d'Ago - Lapierre - Latendresse

Laraque - Metropolit - Stewart

I'd bet that third line outscores the second, factoring in injuries and hangovers.

If the report is true about Koivu, then I say we have to try and include Plex into a deal for a #1 ctr. For example, I'd think TB (or most teams) would only listen if we included at least a partial replacement at the position (unless they are stocked well in the minors with attacking C's). I don't want Koivu re-signed but it seems inevitable. In this case, Kovalev shouldn't be re-signed.

Higgins, I'm very worried about this guy, his frequent late-night ramblings are one thing; but he has been seen many times with Price in tow. I'm sure this has nothing to do with Carey's struggles whatsoever. Package deal part.

Pronger would be an interesting addition, but we'd have to lose Komi to get him, becomes a choice between the two (if he was even interested).

Schneider keep at a reduced salary, who wants another year of S. Kost at the PP point?

Lang, age and that injury scare me. Guillaume yes. D'Ago yes. Tanguay yes. Kosto sure...

Somehow I'd like to see a couple of top-level, very strong characters come in and impose their will upon the team. Not 3rd liners, top-shelf guys. Rare of course, expensive naturally, but I think guys at the top and whose teams seem to follow them, guys who will their teams beyond a certain point.

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Desjardins just stopped working for the Flyers. :)

now that i would support. I don't know what breezy has to teach, how to hang your head after an awful giveaway in your end? ok i'm kidding but he is not a defensive stalwart

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I'd bet that third line outscores the second, factoring in injuries and hangovers.

If the report is true about Koivu, then I say we have to try and include Plex into a deal for a #1 ctr. For example, I'd think TB (or most teams) would only listen if we included at least a partial replacement at the position (unless they are stocked well in the minors with attacking C's). I don't want Koivu re-signed but it seems inevitable. In this case, Kovalev shouldn't be re-signed.

Higgins, I'm very worried about this guy, his frequent late-night ramblings are one thing; but he has been seen many times with Price in tow. I'm sure this has nothing to do with Carey's struggles whatsoever. Package deal part.

Pronger would be an interesting addition, but we'd have to lose Komi to get him, becomes a choice between the two (if he was even interested).

Schneider keep at a reduced salary, who wants another year of S. Kost at the PP point?

Lang, age and that injury scare me. Guillaume yes. D'Ago yes. Tanguay yes. Kosto sure...

Somehow I'd like to see a couple of top-level, very strong characters come in and impose their will upon the team. Not 3rd liners, top-shelf guys. Rare of course, expensive naturally, but I think guys at the top and whose teams seem to follow them, guys who will their teams beyond a certain point.

Yes, if it's true that Koivu's signed, than Kovalev's going to have to go, keeping both just isn't an option to me. I'd still want to re-sign Lang. Plekanec could be expendable but how many young, available 1st line centers are there? Lecavalier, is that it? I won't get my hopes up. Unless they consider Hamrlik a good enough defender for them and something like Hammer, Higgins & Plekanec could happen. I'm not sure how I'd feel about that.

Komi, Tanguay, Kostopoulos and Schneider should definitely be brought back. The reduced salaries of Schneider and Lang are enough to cover all the raises Komisarek and the RFA will be getting. Then we'll have a few million to replace Kovalev, Bouillon, Dandenault and Brisebois. We already have internal replacements for all of them except Kovy.

I don't really want to hand the mantle to Andrei Kostitsyn and tell him to be our star forward. How often do young players break out in such situations? They usually do it on good teams when they're still playing behind better players.

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Hamrlik was amazing last season - the key to stabilizing our D - and his decline into mediocrity this season has an inverse effect, making him one of the understated keys to our dismal play in our own end. If he keeps playing like this, his contract will be a total albatross around the organization's neck for the next two seasons.

I say this because I too think signing Bouwmeester or Pronger is out of the question as a direct result of this contract. No one will take on Hamrlik with that salary. The cap could sink considerably in 2011 (a drop to $45 mil was one scenario I heard reported). So that'd be crazy, even if Bowie/Pronger wanted to sign here.

So we just have to cross our fingers and hope Hammer can bounce back.

Is Hossa the only other high-value UFA out there this summer? If so, I'd hold off. There are a lot of American teams that will be interested in unloading high-priced talent (e.g., Vinny) and Gainey should be aggressive in pursuing these leads. Obviously we need a centreman. Which is why I remain aggravated that Bob did not go after Jokinen.

I know what people are thinking RE: our d-men, but let's not overstate the obvious here... if Bob somehow outbid everyone and landed Bouwmeester, I don't care that we couldn't sign one of our forwards as a result. I'd try and flip Hamrlik's contract, and maybe you can't, but I would not let the thought that I couldn't move Hamrlik prevent me from signing a 25 year old high end blueliner that skates like the wind and is the NHL's iron man (i.e. not damaged goods in the slightest). If nothing else, I'd see if we could trade a Hamrlik for a Nylander or something along those lines (not that move specifically, but an overvalued D contract for an overvalued F if I felt our forward depth wasn't adequate). But even if that were not the case, I'd go cheap at forward... have guys like Pacioretty, Latendresse, the Kostitsyns and D'Agostini play bigger roles for a couple years until Hamrlik's contract was off the books. I'd be prepared to make our forward group a team soft spot for two years in order to acquire a d-man like Jay Bo.

Hossa is a UFA, so are Gaborik, Havlat (although apparently a new deal with Chicago is near), Mike Cammalleri, Franzen, Gionta, and the Sedins for genuine front line talent. Obviously, there are drawbacks to all, and Hossa is the most obvious frontrunner.

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To be fair, he never said that it was all Koivu's fault, just that we need to lose him in order to move forward. And he DOES have a strong supporting cast around him. Very few captains in the league have a better one.

I don't get the distinction. If SK is not to blame for the team's woes- past and present- then why do we have to lose him to move forward?

And yes, there is a strong supporting cast. My point was that last season we finished first.... Koivu's fault that Price ran out of gas against Philly? This season injuries and Price. But before that for years we had a very weak roster.

I am not saying that Koivu is a perfect player--or that we might not need a bigger 1st centre for next season. What I have trouble with is all the other comments. It is as though for some people Koivu now symbolizes the dark years. Give him a break and go buy a poster of Reggie Houle to throw darts at

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I don't get the distinction. If SK is not to blame for the team's woes- past and present- then why do we have to lose him to move forward?

And yes, there is a strong supporting cast. My point was that last season we finished first.... Koivu's fault that Price ran out of gas against Philly? This season injuries and Price. But before that for years we had a very weak roster.

I am not saying that Koivu is a perfect player--or that we might not need a bigger 1st centre for next season. What I have trouble with is all the other comments. It is as though for some people Koivu now symbolizes the dark years. Give him a break and go buy a poster of Reggie Houle to throw darts at

LOL!! Houle was the bane of my existence for years!

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Regardless of his numbers this year which are meaningless because of his injury the first priority

should be on Tanguay. He still can skate, sees the ice very well, create plays and can bury the puck

in the net.

He still has very good years ahead of him unlike Kovy and Saku.

Komisarek has become a question mark ???, i am not sure anymore, he has platooned and became a stedy defensemen, now

he has regressed, because of an injury? maybe Don't know the insight but from outside would i'd like to see Montreal invest

4 million+ for a d in a one dimension player that can't pass or shoot past he red line. When is the last time you've seen Komisarek make a crisp

sharp pass in the offensive zone ?

I think one of the reason Gainey put so much commitment to O'byrne(Lever being is mentor) is that he see him as a replacement dor Komisarek as a stay at home

D that can hit for a lot cheaper.

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I would sign all the young guys and Tanguay, if the price is reasonable. I would not resign Koivu or Kovy.

I think Higgins and Komi are suffering a bad season but there is no reason to assume they won't rebound next year. If this season lowers the asking price it might be a good thing. If someone wants to pay them too much money.. then bye bye.

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Kostopolous

Tanguay

Unless people are impressed with what they see this why would you resign the rest. The will all be a year older, slower and less porductive. I think you could probobaly get a little for for 10 mill (Koivu, Kovalev) then 26 goals.

Komi can be replaced, i like him alot but has been brutal all year. If it means Boumeester for more money and Komi out, so be it. They'll have Emelin and Weber coming up.

I package Higgins for a similar age centre. Edmonton has several, Cogliano, Gagne, O'Sullivan, Shremp, etc.

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I package Higgins for....
It wouldn't shock me at all if the hope is that Komi and Higgins receive offer sheets and Montreal opts not to match. Perhaps it's that simple that the team is hoping to get the compensation for 1 or both players.

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It wouldn't shock me at all if the hope is that Komi and Higgins receive offer sheets and Montreal opts not to match. Perhaps it's that simple that the team is hoping to get the compensation for 1 or both players.

Komi is a UFA, so the days of receiving compensation for him are over. It's Higgins and Plekanec that could get offer sheets as RFA's (so could Latendresse, D'Agostini, Chipchura and Stewart, technically).

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