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04-19-2008, 10:26 PM
NWT Habs Fan
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Edmonton, AB
Country: Canada
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The Montreal-Hamilton deal has to work for both parties.

Montreal develops its top prospects in Hamilton until it feels they cannot learn more from being in the AHL. Sometimes that happens too fast and the team is left short changed (this season). Sometimes they fast track some new prospects and they play in Hamilton before anyone expects to see them impact in the AHL (Carey Price in the A last season - that did help get Cup #1).

There is no doubt Gainey knows the benefit of the kids growing up within a winning tradition in their farm team. With the new CBA and more teams promoting younger kids earlier, it is no long predictable. All the "old vets" that used to stick around are much harder to find, and many are trying Europe with the lure of a few more bucks. There should be more and more turnover in the AHL team lineups as teams all struggle with this new reality. Also with kids becoming UFA's quicker, there will be more movement between teams of past-due prospects that just don't cut it with teams any more and are not worth the contract spot.

The AHL has been very up front in its desire to be a 30 team league affiliated with every NHL team one on one. In that model, the "Chicago model" goes the way of the dodo unless a team cannot draft worth beans...and the Habs are not there by any means.

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