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plafleur10 02-21-2004 08:49 AM

To trade or not to trade
 
I was up to recently one of the most frustrated Habs’ fan waiting for Bob Gainey to do something.

Strangely, while most seem to have become more frustrated, particularly in view of the Habs’ recent losing steak and of the low prices on the market which enabled the Sens to pick up Bondra and the Flyers to pick up Zhamnov for next to nothing, I, for one, am becoming less frustrated and more realistic.

My reasoning:

1) Habs have a plethora of small to midsized skilled forwards already, both in the NHL and in the minors, the only thing they miss is one or two skilled power forwards. In that sense, while a Bondra or Zhamnov might have brought a temporary boost, neither would have fixed the real problem and, whatever trading chips the Habs feel they have and are ready to trade, should in my mind be kept to ultimately fill the real need (ie Power Forwards with skill)
2) I know this is the tough one to swallow and sounds cliché, but whatever they do, Habs are not yet a cup contender this year. There are too many teams with so more depth and talent willing to bare their bank account and farm system for a run, including desperate teams like the Leafs and Flyers, not getting any younger, and pressing for time before their aging stars fade and the effects of their empty system starts to be felt
3) Since the Habs are not going anywhere, except at best one or 2 rounds in the playoffs, if they are able to withstand the charge of an underrated and talented Buffalo team, why risk the farm? Ribs, drafted in 1998, took 6 years to develop into an NHL regular, why panic on Hainsey or 6’2” Hossa, drafted in 2000, who might be the only prospect in the system remotely evoking a “Power Forward”?
4) The Habs landscape will change interestingly in the Summer of 2004, as many will reach the UFA level with a one-way ticket out of Montreal. Gone for sure are Perreault (2.8 MM), Juneau (1.8 MM), Dykhuis (1.6 MM) and Traverse (800 K) in addition to already gone Audette (3 MM) and Chow (2.5 MM$), and possibly retired Quinatal (1.7 MM), with others like Dackell (1 MM) on the bubble. This is 12 to 15 MM$ available to improve the team ang give increases where warranted (ie. Souray), plus a bunch of young wolves is ready to fill the jobs and give the Habs yet another influx of youth and energy.
5) So, I say, do not sell the farm, hang on to Hossa for sure, and just look to acquire players who will fit our long term need for toughness, not provide a short term band-aid, and, if the price is too expensive, just pass…
6) This is why the only rumors that have attracted me are Gauthier (tough, price likely not too expensive), Witt (could provide blue line toughness for years to come, Caps seemingly not asking for much in exchange for their players) and Arnott (power forward likely not available in view of Stars recent surge). Players like Gonchar, in my opinion, are not a fit, the Habs play a disciplined defensive game, Gonchar would rapidly drive Gainey/ Julien nuts with his soft, free-wheeling style.
7) The other possibility, much more likely in my view, is to unload the impending UFAs listed in #4 above for anything you can get, I am all for this, but do not expect much in return with the depressed market already obvious for overpaid fading stars
8) Finally, there is one wild card, and it is Saku Koivu. While he shows flashes of brilliance, he has had at best an average year, in addition to showing attitude problems not expected of a captain in the face of the progression of understudy Mike Ribeiro. If another team, desiring to alter their own mix, were to offer an existing or potential soon-to-arrive Power Forward in a package for Saku, I wonder if Habs would consider it, which might also shed the small-team image and reality which will continue as long as our first 2 lines are centered by Saku and Ribs…

jacklours 02-21-2004 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plafleur10

I like your post :handclap: as I mostly think the same way you do. I disagree about Arnott though, but I'm not gonna fight over it with you

plafleur10 02-21-2004 11:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jacklours
I like your post :handclap: as I mostly think the same way you do. I disagree about Arnott though, but I'm not gonna fight over it with you

Thank you, Jacklours.

Maybe I should have mentioned Iginla instead of Arnott (BTW, Jason potted 3 yesterday). But, despite rumors saying otherwise, I doubt Calgary will let go of Iginla this season, in view of the Cinderella-type year they are having.

Size-wise, I am also intrigued by Denis Arkhipov in Nashville (who seems to be relagated to 3rd line duty there behind Legwand and either Hartnell, Johnson or newly acquired Sullivan) and they are looking for a stay-at-home type defenseman, of which we have a few...

Also size-wise, there is also our rumored interst in Victor Kozlov, who does not play like a power forward however and seems to play well mainly vs. Habs. I am not too excited there, except for the 1 or 2 extra wins vs Florida we may have next year, if we don't have him in our face, but provided Luongo does not stand on his head, like he also seems to like doing vs. Habs...

jacklours 02-21-2004 11:30 AM

Well, I guess it could be just me and the fact that I hate Arnott (I know a lot of posters over here seem to like him). And yeah, Iginla would be great to have, but I'm not ready to give what he's worth to the Flames (not saying over paying or anything, i'm just not ready to give the Flames his worth of players)

And I don't know about that buddy from Nashville, never heard of him, i'll go look it up on the internet to see what he looks like

habitual_hab 02-21-2004 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plafleur10
....there is one wild card, and it is Saku Koivu. While he shows flashes of brilliance, he has had at best an average year, in addition to showing attitude problems not expected of a captain in the face of the progression of understudy Mike Ribeiro. If another team, desiring to alter their own mix, were to offer an existing or potential soon-to-arrive Power Forward in a package for Saku, I wonder if Habs would consider it, which might also shed the small-team image and reality which will continue as long as our first 2 lines are centered by Saku and Ribs…

To paraphrase another poster's comments about the Koivu-Ribeiro incident:

Koivu gets testy with the reigning prima donna of the Habs during an intense practice session and the Habs go on the next day to play one of their best games of the year against a decent team, scoring 3 goals against one of the better goalies in the league. From my perspective I'd say Koivu challenged all Habs' players to raise their level of their play - the actions of a captain with attitude problems? The proof is in the pudding so let's see what happens this evening.

Souffle 02-21-2004 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plafleur10
I was up to recently one of the most frustrated Habs’ fan waiting for Bob Gainey to do something.

Strangely, while most seem to have become more frustrated, particularly in view of the Habs’ recent losing steak and of the low prices on the market which enabled the Sens to pick up Bondra and the Flyers to pick up Zhamnov for next to nothing, I, for one, am becoming less frustrated and more realistic.

I disagree, I rather think that prices have been high, and are only higher now that:

1) fewer players are available after the recent trades
2) teams with impending UFAs (like Buffalo) are fighting for a playoff spot and will not trade them

For Bondra, eg, a good prospect and a high draft pick is pretty high for a rental, and for Zhamnov, a solid defensive prospect, last year's 3rd round pick, and next year's 2nd round pick is also pretty high.

I would like to see a trade improve the club, but of course not a stupid go-for-it-this-year kind of trade. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with turning some decent prospects into reliable, veteran NHLers who could contribute for a few years.

My realistic list would include Witt, Leclerc, and Gratton, depending on cost. And maybe even Leetch or Simon, if they would come cheaply enough as rentals.

Dutchy 02-21-2004 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davedave
For Bondra, eg, a good prospect and a high draft pick is pretty high for a rental

Small correction, Bondra isn't a rental per say... There's a team option for next year. After the trade went threw, Ottawa quickly said that they would keep Bondra for atleast that other season.

Souffle 02-21-2004 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dutchy
Small correction, Bondra isn't a rental per say... There's a team option for next year. After the trade went threw, Ottawa quickly said that they would keep Bondra for atleast that other season.

That's a good point. I stand corrected.

plafleur10 02-21-2004 01:10 PM

Davedave, you say the prospect Ottawa gave in the Bondra deal is a good prospect. Tell me more about him, for one, I had never heard of him before. Who would you say equates him among Habs prospects?

KILLger 02-21-2004 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plafleur10
Davedave, you say the prospect Ottawa gave in the Bondra deal is a good prospect. Tell me more about him, for one, I had never heard of him before. Who would you say equates him among Habs prospects?

Better than Plekanec..

Habsfannova 02-21-2004 02:19 PM

Great post, Plafleur! I think the only guy that could REALLY(I mean in the amount of resources we would have to give up) improve the team would be O'neill, just becasue of the need for a power-forward.

Marchy79 02-21-2004 02:23 PM

I'd like to see a trade for a forward... A top 6 forward would be nice but I am unsure if it can be pulled off without giving too much... We have top 6 forwards being developed right now, that are close to stepping in the line up, and I'd hate to think that all this struggling for the past few would be for nought.

Souffle 02-21-2004 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plafleur10
Davedave, you say the prospect Ottawa gave in the Bondra deal is a good prospect. Tell me more about him, for one, I had never heard of him before. Who would you say equates him among Habs prospects?

His name is Brooks Laich, a LH center/winger. He had an impressive WJC two years ago, centering Canada's checking line. He is not a premiere offensive talent, but he is a Pierre McGuire favorite for doing little things well. He has good size but he needs to fill out a bit more. An intelligent player, he is good at faceoffs, and has unusually good defensive awareness.

He doesn't really equate to any Habs prospect. For what it's worth, he's put up some nice numbers in the AHL this year, and Hockey's Future bio actually describes him as a potential 2nd line Power Forward. But he will probably be a solid two-way checking liner with some special teams ability.

GhostOfTheForum 02-21-2004 04:09 PM

I agree, finish the season with our core players whether that leads us into the play-offs or not

"Perreault (2.8 MM), Juneau (1.8 MM), Dykhuis (1.6 MM) and Traverse (800 K) in addition to already gone Audette (3 MM) and Chow (2.5 MM$), and possibly retired Quinatal (1.7 MM)"

trade them for whatever even picks

see what happens with CBA and be VERY active in UFA signing


Gainey will have had a year to see what he needs and I think Gillette will open up and pick up whatever BG thinks will fit Montreal's new system

I am very much looking forward to the new season

Marchy79 02-21-2004 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GhostOfTheForum
I agree, finish the season with our core players whether that leads us into the play-offs or not

"Perreault (2.8 MM), Juneau (1.8 MM), Dykhuis (1.6 MM) and Traverse (800 K) in addition to already gone Audette (3 MM) and Chow (2.5 MM$), and possibly retired Quinatal (1.7 MM)"

trade them for whatever even picks

see what happens with CBA and be VERY active in UFA signing


Gainey will have had a year to see what he needs and I think Gillette will open up and pick up whatever BG thinks will fit Montreal's new system

I am very much looking forward to the new season

I agree those players you've mentioned and mostly only them should be the guys out the door if there is a trade... Savard has built one heck of a system in the minors/juniors/overseas. These guys will become habs (mostly, hopefully) and when disturbances come up (I.E. if Zednik was overpassed by Balej/Kastsitsyn) then pull the trigger... but why risk a top end prospect who could very well be a hab for a decade + for a player who costs 3X more, when there is little chance for a cup run (I.E. if we make a run to the cup, it's as the cinderella team... because we are not contenders right now)


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