What are you ready to give to get PECA ?
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12-03-2003, 10:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Not sure why anyone would want to get Peca unless they decided that the way to go was to forget the youth movement and start going for somewhat overpaid vets who are on the downside of their careers. Peca is an extremely hard-nosed player, and as such will probably run out of gas before the average player, and while many might not agree with that statement, I submit to you that ever since that injury sustained from Tucker, Peca has been nothing more than worthy of a checking line role.
Even if you did bring him in, even if he did start playing to his potential, you would have to put him on the second line. Okay, we'd have one of the better one-two centre punches in the league then, but what of the kids who are going to mature into spaces on the regular team? Are you willing to give away ten years of future for only a guaranteed two or three, as his contract states? At this point, a player may only become UFA at 31 (that might change in the next CBA, but I have a feeling the players will allow that number to stay high in order to get some of the other things they'll be demanding) and that means that from the time you draft him to the time he becomes a UFA, he's basically yours.
It's a good bet that Higgins is going to make the NHL sooner rather than later, and I think it'd be a worthy bet to say that he'll be a solid second line centre for the first few years behind Koivu. He's got the hustle and work ethic...he's got the hockey sense...he's got the offensive know-how...I just don't see Peca as being that much of an improvement. You'd get leadership with Peca, but you'd completely alter the team chemistry and you never know what happens with that.
I find it disappointing to see all these fans who feel the need to win now, particularly since Montreal finally has it's management system going in the right direction. Savard started a plan, Gainey has improved upon it, but the cupboard is stocked and the future looks bright. Why not relax and make the best in the short run knowing that Montreal will be a force in a few short years. It's impatience that cost Houle his job; impatience that makes the Rangers one of the biggest jokes in hockey; impatience that ruins players like Manny Malholtra.
Peca is not the answer in Montreal - unless Gillett comes up with about $40 million more and Gainey wants a winner *this* year and can buy up all those players that other teams want to get rid of before the CBA. Anyone think that's ever going to happen?
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