Of course, Maxwell is a longshot and Yemelin is still in Russia.
D'agostini can make it.
Free agents may also come, but don't expect massive trade or Ufa sign by Bob Gainey.. just not his style.
B.G prefers to develop his own players.
Lats can use the next camp to show if he's ready to supplant Higgins on a top 2 line.Higgins is the utility player who can be plugged into any of the top 3 lines and thus, most prone for a natural sideways demotion.It would sure add some balance to have him as 3rd LW.
S. Kostitsyn - T. Plekanec - A. Kostitsyn
G. Latendresse - S. Koivu - A. Kovalev
C. Higgins - M. Grabovski - R. Vrbata
M. Streit - K. Chipchura - M. Lapierre
T. Kostopoulos, S. Begin
A. Markov - M. Komisarek
R. Hamrlik - R. O'Byrne
J. Gorges - K. Korneev (P. Valentenko in reality)
* Dandenault bought out (unless some team magically wants him for experience).
* Bouillon traded (because after such a great year, I don't think he'd accept being the #7 for our young guys to move in.. If he does, see ya Breezer).
* Vrbata - 4 YR / $15M
* Breezer - 1 YR / $.7M
* Streit - 3 YR / $8M (if not re-signed, D'Agostini slips into that spot).
Sorta sad this thread...but we can now look forward to next season
I see the lineup like:
The playoffs proved that this team needs a physical banger up front that can score. I have not looked at the UFA's yet, so not sure if this will be a signing or a trade. But, it is clear that the Habs need someone willing to get "dirty"
Smolinski was great in the playoffs, and based on that I'd consider re-signing him, but again, worried about the dollars. It is time to integrate Chipchura into the line-up
Latendresse. Here is a guy whose development is a concern to me. He needs to improve his skating, in particular his acceleration, otherwise we are looking at his ceiling.
Dandenault: Last year of contract - he might end up in the minors if need be. Good team guy but will be happy to get rid of the contract.
Grabovski: I listed him as a spare but I think he will get into a fair amount of games this year
I just like the top 7 the Habs have. O'Byrne got valuable experience and as this is the last year of Bouillion's contract (I think), we will most likely see O'Byrne take over no later then next season.
As for Streit, despite a disappointing playoff, his value to the club is clear. The key is not to overpay. So, if financial demands are reasonable, then I think the Habs should re-sign him.
The experience that Price got this year will serve him well in the chase for "25 in 100"
Haha I wasn't trying to be realistic. But I think there is as much chance of all that happening as Maxwell making the team out of camp.
I'm just dreaming a little. This team doesn't need big changes. A Hossa or Rolston would be great, but realistically, we can compete with what we have. O'Byrne should be a full-time player, Price is the starter from day 1, and the only rookies that are likely to make the team are Chipchura and maybe D'Agostini or Stewart. Pacioretty as a darkhorse, or Emelin if he comes over. Otherwise it is likely to look similar to the way it did this year, which is fine as our kids progress.