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07-06-2006, 06:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Daryl Sutter said an interesting thing in an interview yesterday - he said that it's important to have a core of players between 23 and 30 years of age to be successful.

Here's a look at the Hab roster entering this season:

23-30 years old entering training camp:


16 players between the age of 23 and 30 on the roster at this point, five defencemen in their late 20s or 30 years old, just reaching their primes as defencemen, six forwards 26 or younger either entering their mid or early primes.

Here are the players knocking on the door:


A couple of 21-year-olds, a 20-year-old and a teenager. At least one of those players should be on an NHL roster this fall. If they were on the Leafs roster at least three of them would be starting the season in Toronto. Same thing for Boston, who has a grand total of 12 players signed for next season. Now there's a team that will have loads of chemistry, what with about three or four homegrown talents on the roster.

The old men on our roster, Koivu, Kovalev and Rivet, are all in their early 30s and very much in their primes. The other old guy, Huet, is just entering his goaltending prime.

Call me crazy, but I'm sorta glad Bob hasn't done a pile of tinkering. There's little reason not to believe that this team will not improve as our young core grows. Komo and Streit will be better, Zhogy, Higgins, Murray and Plekanec will be better, Ribeiro BETTER be better, Ryder will hopefully be healthy all season, Zednik and Bonk can't be worse.......

How many other teams can boast a deeper young core with NHL experience than the Habs? Not many.

I would like the team to add Shanahan for a veteran presence and proven goal scoring, and from all accounts Bob is attempting to do that, and also tried to lure Elias and Arnott. I don't think we can ask for much more - I'm very glad that he's not panicking and signing a Marc Savard for $20M just for the sake of getting someone; he targetted certain players, and isn't looking for UFA scrubs as he knows he has good young players ready to take those roster spots at a cheaper price.

Is Boston suddenly going to be great because they added an impact defenceman with mobility questions? He wasn't invinceable versus the Habs last season, why would it be different on a worse team? Ottawa lost that impact defenceman some think is going to make Boston so much better, plus another underrrated defenceman in Pothier. They lose Hasek and sign Gerber - which goalie as a Hab fan would you rather face next season? Corvo can be a sieve in his own end - I can't wait to see Zhogy and higgy forechecking like buzzsaws against him instead of Chara.

Toronto still sucks up front, and I don't think Raycroft is any better than Belfour, certainly not better than the Belfour of 2003. They have three solid defencemen, but I'm not crazy about the Leafs' bottom four; Toronto is going to have a new goalie, new coaches and at least four new defencemen. The Habs have the same seven returning defencemen - how many teams can boast that?

Carbo said the other day that Bob has tried to sign a couple of players and was outbid. Now he will explore some trade possibilities.

If the trades don't happen before the season starts, it's not a big deal; this is a decent team that may be a contending team. If Ribeiro isn't better we have Plekanec to replace him and Lapierre or Chipchura to come in at center; if Zednik starts the season and is unmotivated, we have Kostitsyn more than happy to take his spot. Zednik and Ribeiro can be dealt after the season starts, same thing with Souray. There will be other teams that have players that start out slowly, or run into injuries.

Last edited by turnbuckle*: 07-06-2006 at 07:02 PM.
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