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07-20-2010, 09:17 PM
  #61
MathMan
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Loaded, complex question.

Hockey-wise, IMO, the Lightning is likely to finish next season ahead of the Habs, and that could last a couple more years depending on what the two teams do. Their long-term views are a lot more nebulous. The Bolts have a number of excellent young players that are going to make a long-term impact, but the Lecavalier and Saint-Louis contracts is going to be something they'll need to carry for a long while whereas the Habs have no players signed past 5 years, and then only Plekanec.

There's salary coming off the Habs' books over the next few years so there's leeway to make some moves, but they need kids to pan out -- and they need to hang onto their kids that pan out and not simply feed their best young players to other teams. The Bolts have the benefit of two low draft picks, but those will command big salaries in the upcoming years. Basically, past 2-3 years, it's really hard to tell where the teams will be. They have a certain core set and a lot of leeway.

If you're an owner and want to pick between the teams, though, the Habs are a no-brainer. They have a fantastic marketing operation, and make money hand over fist.

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