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I don't see BG giving McDonagh up. He will be incredibly valuable very soon. I fully expect him to take Bouillon's spot next year. He plays like the Hamrlik of today with the wheels of the old Hamrlik.

Well to get quality player, you usually have to make sacrifices. Once again it comes down to trying to move some our depth at the defense positon to our weaker centre position. McDonagh is a great prospect, there is no doubt about it, but so is Derick Brassard. In addition to being a potential number 1 offensive centre, he also happens to be a francophone and he's played with Latendresse back in in the juniors.

Again, this is not only for this season, but for the mid-to-long term as well. We have great depth at defense postion, and some very good depth in wingers and goalies (including Price and Halak). However, we are very thin at centre, and Koivu won't last very long, if he even comes back next year.

Of course, we can always hope that Ben Maxwell will eventually to good enough to be a decent number 2 centre, but he doesn't have Brassard's offensive potential, and could hardly stay healthy for a whole week even at the juniors level. Our other only hope is Brock Trotter, but he has a lot to prove before we can even consider him an option.

Also, there's the UFA market, but great centers are rare, and Montreal doesn't have a good record at signing top free agents.

Thus, either we make a bold move, and risk trading for a top centre prospect like Brassard... or we risk spending several more years wondering worrying about our centre situation.

Edited by CerebusClone

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I agree with your assessmnent on needing a young offensive minded centre. As CC and Saskhab point out the habs do have quality young D they could move. I am just saying i think BG has McDonagh as untouchable. Carle is a RD, I think Valentenko is a LD. I just think he is already ahead of Valentenko. As you guys point out there isn't a reason to rush the young D up.

I just look at the D as a group of 6, I am assuming Komi gets resigned, so then you already have 2 big stay at home defenseman and Hamrlik close to that. Valentenko is the same type of player as those guys and does possess great speed. McDonagh does, So with Markov and Gorges around i just feel the D needs another puck mover on the LD, which is the only position opeing up in the next year or 2.

I think that's why the oiler rumors were interesting with Schremp, you could move a Valentenko, Carle or even Subban to get that centre.

Sorry typo, Valentenko is NOt a great skater.

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McDonagh is our most untouchable prospect we have in Gainey's mind. He wouldn't move unless it was an obviously amazing trade for the Habs. A straight up trade for Brassard seems fair in terms of talent but I can't see Gainey doing it.

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McDonagh is our most untouchable prospect we have in Gainey's mind. He wouldn't move unless it was an obviously amazing trade for the Habs. A straight up trade for Brassard seems fair in terms of talent but I can't see Gainey doing it.

I agree, I think Gainey is trying to rebuild the strength of this team through the 70s and 80s, when they

were the best defensive team in the NHL 10 out of the 20 years.

McDonagh is going to be one of the core guys very soon

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Well, worse comes to worst, we can always find a #1A-type C someplace (e.g., a Pavol Demitra-type wouldn't be terribly hard to sign as a UFA...it's the Briere-types that are hard). It may be better to stick to the plan and build a dominant defence corps in front of a superstar goalie, than to damage the plan in the hope of finding that elusive bona-fide #1 centreman. I could live with the equivalent of Pleks-Koivu as a medium- to long-term situation IF we compensate with massive strengths in other areas. There's not a team around that doesn't have some sort of less-then-optimal situation at some key position or other, after all. Even Detroit has seen fit to lurch around with Joseph-Osgood-Hasek.

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Well, worse comes to worst, we can always find a #1A-type C someplace (e.g., a Pavol Demitra-type wouldn't be terribly hard to sign as a UFA...it's the Briere-types that are hard). It may be better to stick to the plan and build a dominant defence corps in front of a superstar goalie, than to damage the plan in the hope of finding that elusive bona-fide #1 centreman. I could live with the equivalent of Pleks-Koivu as a medium- to long-term situation IF we compensate with massive strengths in other areas. There's not a team around that doesn't have some sort of less-then-optimal situation at some key position or other, after all. Even Detroit has seen fit to lurch around with Joseph-Osgood-Hasek.

Agreed. The Devils won in 95 with Broten, Carpenter and Holik and again in 2003 with Gomez, Nieuwendyk and Brylin.

Remember that was a 35 year old Nieuwendyk and a 22 year old Gomez

Edited by Wamsley01

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Well, worse comes to worst, we can always find a #1A-type C someplace (e.g., a Pavol Demitra-type wouldn't be terribly hard to sign as a UFA...it's the Briere-types that are hard). It may be better to stick to the plan and build a dominant defence corps in front of a superstar goalie, than to damage the plan in the hope of finding that elusive bona-fide #1 centreman. I could live with the equivalent of Pleks-Koivu as a medium- to long-term situation IF we compensate with massive strengths in other areas. There's not a team around that doesn't have some sort of less-then-optimal situation at some key position or other, after all. Even Detroit has seen fit to lurch around with Joseph-Osgood-Hasek.

I agree with what you say, I just think we should expect

more.

We had a weakness on D several years ago and look where

we are now?

Timmins and his crew solved that problem through the draft,

maybe we just need to be patient? Our scouting has had a

pretty good track record of finding enough talent that we

seem to be able to add players to the NHL every year, and

there seems to be NO end in sight. :clap:

Ok, Trevor draft us a 1st line C :hlogo:

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I agree with what you say, I just think we should expect

more.

We had a weakness on D several years ago and look where

we are now?

Timmins and his crew solved that problem through the draft,

maybe we just need to be patient? Our scouting has had a

pretty good track record of finding enough talent that we

seem to be able to add players to the NHL every year, and

there seems to be NO end in sight. :clap:

Ok, Trevor draft us a 1st line C :hlogo:

Agreed. I just hope that as of the 2009 draft (in Montreal), Timmins and his crew will focus on talented 6'0"+ centres. If we can draft 4 or 5 of them this year, it'll be a good start!

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We had a weakness on D several years ago and look where

we are now?

Timmins and his crew solved that problem through the draft,

maybe we just need to be patient? Our scouting has had a

pretty good track record of finding enough talent that we

seem to be able to add players to the NHL every year, and

there seems to be NO end in sight. :clap:

Ok, Trevor draft us a 1st line C :hlogo:

To be fair, Markov, Komisarek, Bouillon, and Rivet (which we used to trade for Gorges) were already within the organization, not to mention Sheldon Souray. The only defenseman that Timmins drafted who should be playing regularly this season is Ryan O'Byrne. There's also Streit, although he was a proven veteran in the European leagues and at the international level.

As for the others, none have made it to the NHL yet.

Also, we're not in a rebuilding phase anymore, the Canadiens finally now want to be competitive every season. If we're weak at the centre position, we have to do something about it (at least resign Koivu for 2-3 more years) because we can't wait another 3-4 years for a centre to hopefully emerge, if we're lucky.

ps. How long have we being saying we needed another strong top 2 centre? At least 5 years? 10 years? We're borderline "ok" right now, but an injury could be a huge problem while we have very little depth at that position, and Koivu is not getting any younger, not to mention he may not want to come back if he spends the entire season explaining why he didn't feel obligated go attend a golf tournament, or why he hung up on Marc DeFoy when he called him directly at his home in Finland.

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To be fair, Markov, Komisarek, Bouillon, and Rivet (which we used to trade for Gorges) were already within the organization, not to mention Sheldon Souray. The only defenseman that Timmins drafted who should be playing regularly this season is Ryan O'Byrne. There's also Streit, although he was a proven veteran in the European leagues and at the international level.

As for the others, none have made it to the NHL yet.

Also, we're not in a rebuilding phase anymore, the Canadiens finally now want to be competitive every season. If we're weak at the centre position, we have to do something about it (at least resign Koivu for 2-3 more years) because we can't wait another 3-4 years for a centre to hopefully emerge, if we're lucky.

ps. How long have we being saying we needed another strong top 2 centre? At least 5 years? 10 years? We're borderline "ok" right now, but an injury could be a huge problem while we have very little depth at that position, and Koivu is not getting any younger, not to mention he may not want to come back if he spends the entire season explaining why he didn't feel obligated go attend a golf tournament, or why he hung up on Marc DeFoy when he called him directly at his home in Finland.

I have no disagreement with your post and would add why can't any player have a summer free of questions from hockey or concerning his team? They are on the microscope from the moment training camp opens to the end of their season and that should be sufficient. Golf tournament is NOT a mandatory requirement of being on the team and I would not travel that distance to appear at a golf tournament only to have to return home and come back in a few weeks.

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It's true, our offensive depth at C stinks. This is why I'm pretty sure Bob will make *some* kind of move to acquire a centreman, but I suspect it will be more of the Bonk-Smolinski-Robert Lang variety - a 3rd-line C who, at least in theory, can step in and offer decent temporary service as a 2nd-line C should either Pleks or Koivu go down. Then again, both Higgins and Tanguay are players with at least some claim to being able to play centre, and we've heard Carbo musing about trying Sergei Kostytsin there. The fallback plan in case of injury may be to try to address the hole from within.

The departure of Grabovski is a bit surprising inasmuch as Grabs was at least a plausible candidate to offer some offensive upside at the position. While I don't see Grabs as a regular C on a good team, he did represent a bit of depth where we need it most. So it seems a slightly strange move in that sense.

Incidentally, I don't think we need to say that the "rebuild" will be incomplete if we don't get a huge upgrade at centre. As Wamsley pointed out, you can win with soft spots in your lineup. Everbody has 'em.

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I have no disagreement with your post and would add why can't any player have a summer free of questions from hockey or concerning his team? They are on the microscope from the moment training camp opens to the end of their season and that should be sufficient. Golf tournament is NOT a mandatory requirement of being on the team and I would not travel that distance to appear at a golf tournament only to have to return home and come back in a few weeks.

Tell that the some of the francophone media who want Koivu out at all cost, and are always looking for anything that could cause a controversy involving the captain... especially right now since Koivu is about to pass Jean Beliveau as the longest reigning captain in the Canadiens history.

In addition to all the past BS, Koivu now is an awful captain because like everyone else not near Montreal right now, he didn't interrupt his intensive training to travel to Montreal for a golf game (which would have cost him at least 4 days of training), because he hung up on poor little innocent Marc DeFoy who called him at home in June to know what he thought of Mats Sundin, because he didn't defend Ryan O'Byrne in the purse-stealing incident, because of didn't comment the thade for Alex Tanguay with the media, and some other made-up crap.

Unfortunaly for them, the Canadiens organization now has a solid backbone with Pierre Boivin and Bob Gainey managing the team, and they don't get intimidated by the media.

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Incidentally, I don't think we need to say that the "rebuild" will be incomplete if we don't get a huge upgrade at centre. As Wamsley pointed out, you can win with soft spots in your lineup. Everbody has 'em.

True, but it would be stupid for Bob Gainey to not even try to convert some of our great depth at the defense position into more depth at the centre position. That was my point.

This is a huge exageration, but let's say you have Roy, Brodeur, and Hasek all in their prime with a lousy offense and defense, you should probably trade two of them to improve in those other areas... although not if your GM is Rejan Houle who would trade those other two elite goaltenders into a bunch of Shayne Corsons, Murray Barons, and Andrei Kovalenkos... :puke:

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I want New Jersey to blow this season and then trade us Brodeur at the deadline. *Dreams*

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True, but it would be stupid for Bob Gainey to not even try to convert some of our great depth at the defense position into more depth at the centre position. That was my point.

This is a huge exageration, but let's say you have Roy, Brodeur, and Hasek all in their prime with a lousy offense and defense, you should probably trade two of them to improve in those other areas... although not if your GM is Rejan Houle who would trade those other two elite goaltenders into a bunch of Shayne Corsons, Murray Barons, and Andrei Kovalenkos... :puke:

Houle would have traded Roy for Thibault, Hasek for the rights to Alexandre Daigle and Brodeur for Steve Duchesne.

The press would have loved the influx of quebecois and the 90s would have played out exactly the same.

He probably would have thrown in Markov and Ribeiro.

I agree that you need to maximize your assets, but what you are thinking requires risk. And 99% of any fanbase wants

to improve their team with ZERO risk involved. Hence the Carter for Valentenko/Carle type deals.

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I agree that you need to maximize your assets, but what you are thinking requires risk. And 99% of any fanbase wants

to improve their team with ZERO risk involved. Hence the Carter for Valentenko/Carle type deals.

Or Vinny Lecavalier for Ryder, Bouillon, Dandeneault, Begin, Locke, and to show we're really serious and willing to make a big sacrifice, Jaroslav Halak ;)

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To be fair, Markov, Komisarek, Bouillon, and Rivet (which we used to trade for Gorges) were already within the organization, not to mention Sheldon Souray. The only defenseman that Timmins drafted who should be playing regularly this season is Ryan O'Byrne. There's also Streit, although he was a proven veteran in the European leagues and at the international level.

As for the others, none have made it to the NHL yet.

My point was several years ago we had a lack of depth at D

amongst our prospects. In 06 and then 07 we added 10 dman

prospects to our group.

Fischer,Carle and Valentenko from 06, and McDonagh,Subban

and Weber from 07 changed things. With Markov,Komisarek,

Gorges and O'Bryne and hopefully Emelin next year our

future D looks like it might be quite impressive. All it takes

is 2 of those 6 prospects I mentioned to be top 4 dmen and

we're set. A nice combo of grit and offence.

We might see Valentenko or Carle up for a game or two this

year, just to get a taste of the NHL. Weber will start in Hamilton

with Subban coming the following year. McDonagh could get

a contract from the Habs after this season. Fischer is more of

a longterm project and we might see Emelin.

I don't see why we can't solve our lack of C depth the same

way.

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I agree that you need to maximize your assets, but what you are thinking requires risk. And 99% of any fanbase wants

to improve their team with ZERO risk involved. Hence the Carter for Valentenko/Carle type deals.

With Montreal, when has Gainey ever given away anything important to the team in a trade, even while bringing in core guys like Kovalev? He never has. He's only traded spare parts and secondary assets. Gorges, Kovalev, Tanguay, Latendresse (trade up), and everyone else acquired by trade were all brought in using things the team didn't necessarily need. Gainey tried getting Hossa using Lapierre and O'Byrne and picks - once Higgins was named, he refused to go any further.

In EA Sports, teams trade superstars for superstars - and once in a while, even in the NHL (Heatley/Hossa) - but almost never will you see a good GM trading any part of his core, even to get a franchise player. Teams offer up their expendable assets that other teams could use - for us, that would mean Fischer, Valentenko, Carle, O'Byrne, Lapierre, ... People love to make claims that if we want Malkin, we'll have to pay at least Komisarek, Plekanec, Andrei Kostitsyn and a 1st. Anyone who knows anything about the value of players will know that that's an awfully incorrect statement and that only once every season or so does a GM give up a part of his core to get a new part of his core.

Gainey would never trade one of Higgins, Komisarek, Plekanec, the Kostitsyns, Price, etc for Jeff Carter. If he were to get him, it would be with those extra assets we've accumulated through the draft.

(By the way, I'm not claiming that Carle for Carter would be a good trade for the Flyers, it would cost us more than that.)

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With Montreal, when has Gainey ever given away anything important to the team in a trade, even while bringing in core guys like Kovalev? He never has. He's only traded spare parts and secondary assets. Gorges, Kovalev, Tanguay, Latendresse (trade up), and everyone else acquired by trade were all brought in using things the team didn't necessarily need. Gainey tried getting Hossa using Lapierre and O'Byrne and picks - once Higgins was named, he refused to go any further.

In EA Sports, teams trade superstars for superstars - and once in a while, even in the NHL (Heatley/Hossa) - but almost never will you see a good GM trading any part of his core, even to get a franchise player. Teams offer up their expendable assets that other teams could use - for us, that would mean Fischer, Valentenko, Carle, O'Byrne, Lapierre, ... People love to make claims that if we want Malkin, we'll have to pay at least Komisarek, Plekanec, Andrei Kostitsyn and a 1st. Anyone who knows anything about the value of players will know that that's an awfully incorrect statement and that only once every season or so does a GM give up a part of his core to get a new part of his core.

Gainey would never trade one of Higgins, Komisarek, Plekanec, the Kostitsyns, Price, etc for Jeff Carter. If he were to get him, it would be with those extra assets we've accumulated through the draft.

(By the way, I'm not claiming that Carle for Carter would be a good trade for the Flyers, it would cost us more than that.)

Gainey may have never made a deal of this magnitude with the Canadiens, but he traded Jarome Iginla for Joe Nieuwendyk.

He will make that type of move if he feels it will help the team.

Even though Iginla has become an NHL star, the Stars have put up 97+ points since that deal was made in 10 of 11 years.

Did they really miss Iginla? Would they have won the Cup with the 99 version of Iginla? Would they have won cups

since then if they had Iginla? WHo knows, but Gainey rolled the dice succesfully.

Gainey will make that type of deal if he feels it will put the Habs over the top.

If I was dealing Komisarek, it would have to be for an in their prime superstar. Not Carter, who may or may not turn into a 1st line centre.

But as I have said before, I understand the logic of dealing from your strengths.

Edited by Wamsley01

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I knew you'd mention Iginla which is why I said "with Montreal," just to keep it simple. I don't think Iginla was considered such a major part of the organization as he went on to become with the Flames. He was a 1st rounder but they couldn't have known that he would become as good as he did. It might be comparable to us trading McDonagh for a Hossa at the deadline.

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I knew you'd mention Iginla which is why I said "with Montreal," just to keep it simple. I don't think Iginla was considered such a major part of the organization as he went on to become with the Flames. He was a 1st rounder but they couldn't have known that he would become as good as he did. It might be comparable to us trading McDonagh for a Hossa at the deadline.

He was the 11th pick overall and was an elite prospect. I am sure Gainey would

have pawned off Botterill or somebody if he could have.

But things are different now, the cap has made elite prospects more valuable then they

were 13 years ago. So a deal of McDonagh and his entry level deal for Hossa and his 7M+

probably is less desirable than a Komisarek (5M+?) for 1st line centre (7M+).

I just think he will make a deal that moves the Habs forward regardless of who it is.

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I never said I disagree with any of that, only that many people - in the name of realists - believe that if you want to get a good player, the only way to do it is through giving up an equally good player. It makes sense in theory but in reality that is very rarely the case. If a smart GM takes his time and waits months, he'll be able to get the right player without giving up anything that is unbearable for the team to lose.

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I never said I disagree with any of that, only that many people - in the name of realists - believe that if you want to get a good player, the only way to do it is through giving up an equally good player. It makes sense in theory but in reality that is very rarely the case. If a smart GM takes his time and waits months, he'll be able to get the right player without giving up anything that is unbearable for the team to lose.

Carter is not going to be dealt by Philly for Valentenko/Carle this year or next year barring a HUGE breakthrough year by one

of those two. To get Carter you are going to have to deal McDonagh + something else good. If you are going to ask for elite young

SIGNED talent you are going to have to pay out your nose.

Carter is signed for 5M for the next 3 years. Barring the return to the NHL by Mike Milbury or Rejean Houle in Philly nobody will be acquiring him

for anything less than equal value for the next 2 years.

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It's been extremely rare to see a player that young who is signed long-term traded in the post-lockout era. The nearest player I could think of would be Mike Cammalleri, but he wasn't signed long-term, which brought about his trade. Or Andrej Meszaros, but again the issue with him was his contract.

Edited by smon

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Not really a rumor, but Tender lost 10 pounds, take power skating cours in several occasions this summer with Valentenko, his brother Olivier and Cody Hodgson (Vancouver last first pick). According to RDS, his skating looks more fluid than ever and he looks faster also.

Tender says that is looking forward to play on a stable 3rd line and occasionnaly step up on the 2 first lines when/if his play makes him deserve it.

in french : http://www.rds.ca/canadien/chroniques/259772.html

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