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05-27-2011, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
And thinking about it, Ghost, I'm not sure that you're wrong that Spacek's worth more to Montreal than a 4th rounder. In fact, I'd probably say you're right. Spacek's a stabilizing presence and a warrior for the team. I think his contract makes him undesirable for others, and especially Detroit, but that doesn't make him a player worth only a 4th rounder in Montreal.

I think Spacho even if he is 'replaceable' material in the long run, and even near so in the here and now... is a favourable advantage for Montreal.
They have a mature responsible d-man around for back up... Yes, he is steep... but because his contract expires at the end of the year, as the season wears on, he will become more valuable nearing the trade deadline (if we are to deal him) because he isnt going to hurt us being a member of this team at all next year.
His experience, and skillset around deadline day, along with the combination of an expiring UFA contract makes his impact on the cap more and more minimal as the seasons wear on.
That's not even to mention if Montreal has a left side injury next year, with 2 d-men returning from season ending injuries from last year (Markov, Gorges), and a supposed physical speciman all but assured a spot on the club (Yemelin).
Finally, for a team that is trying to expand on it's attractiveness to potential UFA's... It's quite attractive to players to see teams sticking with guys who are playing out their years. The Canadiens didnt bail on their end of the bargain.
Spacho signed for 3 years, and at the end of 3 years, IMO our usefulness for him will probably expire along with the contract, and he goes UFA, or Retires. But even depending on what his mindset is for this upcoming season (13th NHL season, around 900 GP, 77 G, 340 Pts @ 38 years old +43 playing on some pretty lousy teams, A solid heartbreaking cup run w/ the Oilers, and 2 times going deep in the East with Buffalo and us)
He may just fit this room perfectly.

Markov IMO is a shoe in for resigning... IMO Gauthier made it plan #1 this offseason, I would see it as a MAJOR fail if he isnt retained.
Gorges is RFA, and IMO will supplant Gill in the depth order. He isnt as tall, or one could argue for hours as to who is elite on the PK... But Gorges has been identified as a major vocal leader in the dressing room, and a stabilyzing force on the defence.
At this point, an RFA Gorges >> Both Gill & Hamrlik.
Emelin was signed to play for Montreal. IMO the only thing that stops him from being on the opening day roster (or pressbox, as a rostered player) is him falling completely flat on his face. I am optimistic however, as he does bring an element that the Habs lacked, and needed to address.

Emelin, being a rookie, IMO will be brought along slowly... He wont be sent down, but he may be sharing time with Jaro Spacek.

All 4 are LD's.

This means, that we drop Gill (2.25), Hamrlik (5.5), & Mara (750 K)

If I am Montreal, out of those 3, I would have the order
1) Mara -- Cheap! brought a physical element, was decent in the run, and is still young enough to be a decent NHL'er.
2) Hamrlik -- At a reduced salary. He has given the organization 4 great seasons IMO... Very crucial to our team when Markov went down... IMO Hamr still has some left in the gas tank... It's his age that drops his value.
3) Gill -- He's losing a step 5 on 5... but is showing the world how PK'ing works as a 6'7 bohemoth. Gorges IMO supplants Gill as the defensive specialist on this team.

As far as the right side goes,
Weber and Subban IMO are going to be ft NHL'ers on the RS this year. That leaves ONE spot open on the RS, and we have a few contenders within the organization there for the role.

IMO the question is what does the organization believe the depth chart to be?
The LS is easy to read IMO:

Markov resigned, #1 LD
Gorges resigned #2 LD
Spacek signed 1 yr remains # 3/Spare
Emelin signed 1 yr, RFA #3/Spare

The RS, does Subban play with Markov, or Gorges? & Does Weber play with Gorges, or the Spacek/Emelin combo?

That will answer where the habs are headed for the longer term.

Montreal does have some more prospects making their way in to legitimate NHL chances... Or they can sign a free agent. But considering the spot is open on the RS, I dont see the value of spending millions retaining the services of very serviceable players, whose holes are more or less sealed, and ask them to play their opposite wing.

Within the organization, M. Carle is coming off an AHL Allstar season, and was a driving force to Hamilton's impressive playoff run. Gauthier has also signed Diaz from Switzerland... who potentially could step in to a role as early as next year, Or another option is resigning the UFA Wisniewski, seeing as he was impressive in his stay here, fit in well and the money made available to us via the departures of Hamrlik & Gill make him affordable.

With a 65 + million dollar cap, it's not outrageous to think 15-20 million will secure a SOLID top 4. Esp. considering that Gainey's mess that Gauthier inherited on the defence has/was already costing us that.
I am not at all worried of spending the money, so long as it is responsibly.
Gotta remember, a solid nucleus being built from the back end out is going slowly, but the pieces are still being put in to place.
To me, a very solid #2 RHD is definately what I hope Gauthier has in mind of when it comes to UFA d (save for Markov who I feel is irreplaceable on the Canadiens defence... He is key for us to be a contender).

I dont think it's OUT of the Question that Gauthier is FINISHED tinkering with the D after doing his resigning of Gorges/Markov.

With the RS being the opening, and 2-3 contenders vying for a position... We may just save the money alltogether, wait for something attractive for the forwards, and let the D Nucleus gel together, with Carle, Klubertanz (who was also impressive in Hamilton), or Diaz.

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