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04-25-2004, 02:42 PM
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#1 Habitant
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BG Only Needs to Tinker With Lineup!

I am also disturbed by the posts suggesting the number of current players who ought to be traded this summer. What's up with that? Is it because if the Habs don't win the Cup in 2004 that these individuals feel the team needs to overhauled?
As the old cliche goes, "patience is a virtue!" This team does not need to be traded away and rebuilt from scratch. As I see it, BG only needs to tinker with it a little at a time.
Goaltending: The Habs have perhaps the best 1-2 punch in net in the entire league. Most teams would die to have a starter and a backup with the skill of Theodore and Garon. We also have a few prospects sitting in the wings.

Defence: In this position the Habs have some good, young, quality players who can only get better. Markov (deemed the Bobby Orr of Russia a couple of years ago) is starting to come into his own; Komisarek is young but has improved dramatically this year and, man, can he hit! Rivet is solid top-4 dman; Brisebois had a great season even though he didn't score as in previous years - he also didn't make the mistakes as in previous years; Souray played great when healthy and there is no reason to believe that he will come to camp hurt. Having the summer off will help him to heal and strengthen the wrist; Boullion - a small man with a big heart, can skate and carry the puck - he will not hurt you; Hainsey - had a great year in the AHL and there is no reason to think he can't translate that into the NHL next year; Beauchemin also had a great year in the AHL. He is solid defensively and I can see him playing steady very soon on the Hab's d; and don't forget about the other developing d-men in the AHL/ECHL/CHL/OS such as Archer, Shasby, Flood, Glenn/Korneev/Korpikari/Linhart.

Forward: We have a great, young crew of players and prospects, many of whom will develop over the next couple of years. We are one of the youngest teams in the league as opposed to teams like Toronto and Philadelphia who are 35+ years.
Koivu is our leader, heart and soul. He is the Captain. Look at our other solid players such as Zednik, Bulis, Dowd, Juneau, Ribeiro, Ward, Kovalev, Ryder, Perreault, Begin, Sundstrom, Dackell.

In my opinion, BG only needs to tinker with his team, not overhaul it as some have suggested. BG needs to ...
1. resign Kovalev; 2. replace a couple of 3/4 liners; 3. perhaps add another solid d-man to replace Quintal (should he retire); 4. find and add a big 1/2 liner if they come at modest price.
I would not throw tons of money at UFA's but invest that money into the Hab's system and develop our prospects. And keep in mind, we are rated #1 overall in organizational strength relating to prospects. I believe BG is smart enough not to trade away our future no matter how tempting it may be for the moment. Look at the skill we have coming: Higgins, Plekanec, Katsitsyn, Korneev, Korpikari, Linhart, Shasby, Glenn, Flood, Danis, Michaud, Lapierre, Locke, Deveaux, Lambert, Urquhart, Stewart, Bonneau, Perezhogin, Hossa, Milroy, Ferland, O'Byrne, Marois, Larrivee Halak, Thinel, Archer among others. This is not to say that all of them will make the big team or have an impact at the NHL level. We all know that some will not, however, there is no denying that the future is bright. And who knows who will develop into what - I am sure that we will see plenty of surprises along the way to our next Cup.
Lastly, we have a great coach in Julien who knows the game. He is perhaps one of a dying breed - an old-style coach who doesn't along himself to get tangled up with systems but keeps it simple - the way hockey was meant to be played. He is honest with his players and in return he expects them to play his way. We also have the best front office in hockey today headed by: Bob Gainey, Andre Savard, Trevor Timmins and Pierre Gauthier. What more can we ask for?
Take heart, Hab faithful, we will win the Cup again very soon. GO HABS!