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03-30-2012, 05:17 PM
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I would evaluate the situation to see where the biggest problems have been.

1. Development system/Asset Management- Too many skilled young players are lost only to see them succeed on other teams. Clearly our scouts are getting the job done in selecting guys that can see time in the NHL but we need to vastly improve our development systyem.

What I would do first is rebuild the farm system structure. I'd go to the Flames and see if we can work out a deal where they take the final year of our lease with Hamilton in exchange for their farm team in Abbottsford. I hear things aren't going so well there, so if the AHL would approve a move, then I'd have the Habs buy the franchise and move them to the bell center until Laval is a go.

Having 3 possible 1st rounders in Hamilton next season, Leblanc, Beaulieu, Tinordi along with Ellis, Bournival, Gallagher and others I think if tickets were reasonable they might draw better or close to what Hamilton does. The future young guns would get exposed to the bell center and be more comfortable when they move up down the road.

I would try and get the best coaching staff and sign them to a couple year deal to try and keep them there for a couple seasons if possible. I know it would never happen and people would freak out but I would talk to Martin and see if he would rather coach then scout for us, since he's under contract next year. I know that people would think that he isn't good with young guys but I like him as a coach more then others. I'd try to get a former defensemen like Eric Desjardins to see if he would be interested in being an assistant to work with our D as the future for our defense is very close now that Beaulieu/Tinordi/Ellis are turning pro and Bennett/Dietz could be there the following season. So I think it's of major importance to get a quality D coach (I have no idea if Desjardins would be good for the job or even consider it but just a name I thought of from someone that was a great D for us at one time) If not the Randy's would be fine for Hamilton if they would agree to go back to the AHL.

2. Cap space management- More of a problem under Gainey, as when you add too many UFA's, you are going to have to overpay them most likely in order to get them here. If you have too many UFA's it's likely going to create cap problems down the road. I wouldn't buy out Gomez, but I would talk to him about retiring if he feels he can't play, and I'd actually consider bringing him back next season. Why? because, one I don't think we can turn around this mess too quickly and while it would be painful to suck again and very painful to have to watch gomez on the Habs, a high pick next year could be just what we need as Nate is being compared to a young Crosby.

Plus by buying out Gomez we waste cap space for 4 years, but if you bring him back, he either improves his play or if over time he doesn't, see if you can work out a deal to loan him to Alaska of the ECHL since it's close to home for him. I know people will really hate this idea but think of the Gomez situation logically, buying him out will get rid of him but hit us for the next 4 years, I just don't like it. Send him to the AHL, if Molson would agree, that's a tough thing to ask your new boss to spend 10M on a guy to play in the AHL for 2 years.

I'd hire someone that is great with the cap. Work on a big long term contract for Price. Subban I wouldn't give the big money to yet but would sign him and keep at least one RFA year for when the contract expires, maybe 2 years. It's risky as he could have a huge year but I'd rather overpay later as it's more fair to the players and you want them to be happy. If Pac continues his play next season i'd make his next contract a priority and lock him up long term.

Out of the UFA's- Moen, Darche, Campoli, Lawson, Staubitz, Callahan, Willsie, Henry, Stafford. I'd bring Moen Henry and Staubitz back. I like Darche and he would be cheap but I would go in another direction to get younger and quicker.

I'd bring back all the RFA's except Noke, Engqvist (I can't see him agreeing to play in the AHL again), Slanney (I would offer him an AHL contract). Bishop I'd bring back depending on the health issues (he's had several injuries since leaving the NCAA).

I'd sign Beaulieu and Quailer, Kristo if he wants to turn pro. I would try to sign the following to AHL contracts, Malka, DeSimone, Kishel, Ken Reiter (FA NCAA goalie, teammate of Kishel's) and some other undrafted FA's like David Makowski (teammate of Didier's) if he would turn pro which I doubt he will yet or Doug Carr (not sure if he will turn pro or not) forward Jeremy Welsh (Union), forward Daniel Carr (Union, if he will turn pro), Goalie Troy Grosenick (Union), Goalie Frank Slubowski (Western Michigan) Goalie Willie Yanakeff (Michigan St, if he would turn pro) etc... Not saying to sign all these goalies, just one most likely.

3. Injuries/Lack of Depth- Not sure what you can do about injuries, but in this decade it seems like several seasons now that the Habs have been crippled by injuries. I know they happen but for some reason they seem to happen to us more then most of the rest of the NHL.

As for depth, I would have the team buy an ECHL franchise and load it up with FA's out of the QMJHL, NCAA and the rest of the CHL (though try to focus heavy on the Q ala Desharnais, Desjardins) Our depth was exposed this year as we had barely anyone in the ECHL, granted you can only sign 50 to NHL contracts and you want a little wiggle room throughout the season, but I'd like to see us get more guys on AHL contracts as there's nothing to lose but some cash.

4. Improve the Pro Scouting- We seem to come up short on trades too often or the return isn't anything to write home about. Time will tell with some of these younger guys that the Habs have acquired in the past, Palushaj or D'Agostini, Eller/Schultz for Halak, Bounival for O'B, Holland for Cammy, Geoffrion/Slanney for Gill. Right now we aren't looking so hot on a number of these trades so this needs to change.

I'd like to see Weber and Kabs moved (if possible), Mayer released outright.

Last edited by montreal: 03-30-2012 at 05:24 PM.
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