If gainey absolutelly wants a center, what are options B through E on UFA list?
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06-27-2008, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Originally Posted by
Let's see, my priorities would be ...
Plan A: Sundin. Of course, Sundin is precisely what the Habs need: big, strong net presence, excellent offensive skills, not lacking defensively, a leader and a consistent, proven star forward.
Plan B: Hossa. Okay, it's nice to be optimistic and dream a little, but I don't think it's all that likely that Hossa's going to come to Montreal. I'm also not all that convinced that Hossa fits Montreal's needs precisely. But with that said, he's a proven top-10 winger in the game who's strong defensively, proved this past year that he's not a flake in the playoffs, and he's got plenty of speed. Even if he's a puckhog and more comfortable over an 82-game schedule of playing with pure complementary players as opposed to quality talents (such as his days playing with Bonk in Ottawa), then just stick him with Chipchura to create 3 dangerous lines.
Plan C: Naslund. I'm really interested to see Naslund in Montreal. He's a player who's fallen on hard times, playing in a system, with players that don't fit his style. Naslund generates offense off the rush. He's got strong fundamentals but needs to be in an open system with talent in order to thrive. He can play either wing, and I believe Montreal is the perfect place for Naslund to recapture his game and put up 30-35 goals on a point-per-game pace on a good-value contract (say, 4.5m).
Beyond these plans ... I wouldn't be opposed to the following:
Straka - I've always had a soft spot for Straka. A tenacious worker, speed to burn, versatile, decent defensively, solid on the PK, and a good playoff performer.
Rolston - I'm not convinced he fits Montreal's style, but he does have speed, fundamentals, able to use a booming shot from the point on the PP and able to play the PK.
Liles - I like his puck-moving abilities and skating.
Straka's going back to his Czech homland. Naslund might interest the Penguins as a less expensive alternative to Hossa. I'm skeptical that Hossa would sign with the Habs. Maybe Holik as a shutdown centre if Sundin goes elsewhere, but that's it.
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