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07-07-2004, 12:39 PM
  #1
OilerFan4Life
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A few questions

Hello Habs nation. I just wanted to ask a couple of questions.

1) Is there a guy in the system that can replace Langdon? (Fighter)
2) Other then the need for a scoring winger, what is your biggest need on offence?
3) Will the habs dip into free agency for a defenceman?
4) Which prospect(s) will likely make the team next year?

I would appreciate your answers. GO Habs GO

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07-07-2004, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OilerFan4Life
Hello Habs nation. I just wanted to ask a couple of questions.

1) Is there a guy in the system that can replace Langdon? (Fighter)
No.
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2) Other then the need for a scoring winger, what is your biggest need on offence?
Somebody with size who can drive to the net and win battles in the corners. We have two smallish great playmaking centers in Koivu and Ribeiro, and while Zednik and Ryder don't shy away, they also don't wreak any physical havoc or really get in the face of the goalie or D.
Quote:
3) Will the habs dip into free agency for a defenceman?
I doubt it. We have 6 returning on D, and the organisation seems to be leaning towards letting Hainsey and Beauchemin compete for any other spots.
Quote:
4) Which prospect(s) will likely make the team next year?
I would guess at least 2 forwards: Hossa will get a chance, Higgins or Plekanec are possibilities (and Perezhogin if Gainey can circumvent the AHL suspension by playing him in the NHL, but I doubt very much that would happen). Hainsey will get the same chance on D as Hossa does at forward, with Beauchemin in the wings if he screws it up as the 7th D.

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07-07-2004, 01:04 PM
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I would add Kastsitsyn to the rookie possibilities. He is expected to impress and will be given a good look.

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07-07-2004, 01:07 PM
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Interesting topic but Blind Gardien answered to your questions perfectly.

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07-07-2004, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Shazbot
I would add Kastsitsyn to the rookie possibilities. He is expected to impress and will be given a good look.
I intentionally left him out... from what I'm reading about him (never seen him myself, of course) it just sounds like he has too much of a learning curve to be in the NHL right away. He sounds like he needs A LOT of work on his strength and defensive play, and I'd rather see him playing 1st line in the AHL than getting panned by the Montreal media as a "bust" for failing to score 30 goals right away with the big club. One step at a time. There are others in line ahead of him who have paid some dues already.

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07-07-2004, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shazbot
I would add Kastsitsyn to the rookie possibilities. He is expected to impress and will be given a good look.
Perhaps he will impress. You still have to sign him though. Not as easy as you might think. The other players mentioned ( Higgins, Hossa etc...) don't have that problem.

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07-07-2004, 01:09 PM
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So if you dont have a fighter/enforcer in the system, do you think you have enough team toughness to offset any 1 guy being a pest??

Who could be a "going to the corners" guy that the Habs could get via FA?

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07-07-2004, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OilerFan4Life
So if you dont have a fighter/enforcer in the system, do you think you have enough team toughness to offset any 1 guy being a pest??

Who could be a "going to the corners" guy that the Habs could get via FA?

I think we can play good hockey and survive without an enforcer... And the need of a "going to the corners" player will be adressed if there is really a need for that.

What i see from Gainey right now is that he wants to go with our young players and if the team struggles because we are too young then we will finish low in the standings and we'll get high round picks in the strong 2005 draft.

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07-07-2004, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OilerFan4Life
So if you dont have a fighter/enforcer in the system, do you think you have enough team toughness to offset any 1 guy being a pest??
Yes. (Inasmuch that I don't think that "1 guy being a pest" has any real effect on the outcome of the game... if we can skate circles around the pest, that's just as good as pummeling him into the ice). Rivet or maybe Komisarek will have to step up a bit to fill Quintal's occasional scrapping role. Gainey will have ample opportunity to snag a guy off waivers if it really seems necessary once the season gets underway (if it ever gets underway).
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Who could be a "going to the corners" guy that the Habs could get via FA?
I don't think there is an ideal candidate. The way we got Bonk, a guy on the outs with his organisation, with some contract problems, that might be the only way we can get a power presence who has enough talent to play on the top-2 lines. I don't think we necessarily have the salary overhead to go after any of the really overpaid guys (Tkachuk/Guerin/etc) via trade or the desire to go after any older UFA power guys (Shanahan). But if the season wears on and there are some Group II holdouts, or younger guys who get rumoured to be moveable (e.g. O'Neill, Smyth last year nearing the deadline), then I imagine Gainey will keep his ears open.

We do have some holes to fill, but I don't think the organisation necessarily feels a great deal of pressure to fill them *now*. There might not even be a season next year. There might be hundreds of new free agents set loose when a new CBA comes into effect. I get the idea that Gainey et Co. are content to see what the future holds, knowing that we have enough kids to ice a decent team, even if it leaves us with some weaknesses. We are still developing and evaluating our talent, and now might not be the time to make any aggressive moves to try to fill all the holes right away.

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07-07-2004, 01:30 PM
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The question about having a fighter in our system has been asked many times before and the answer that we always get is no. If that's the case, then what does Jimmy Bonneau do?

Talent Analysis: One of the better fighters in the QMJHL, has good size and is improving his overall hockey skills.

2002-03 Montreal QMJHL 65 1 5 6 261

Now, he won't be ready for years to come but that right there seems to be a fighter in the system.

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07-07-2004, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPHabsFan
The question about having a fighter in our system has been asked many times before and the answer that we always get is no. If that's the case, then what does Jimmy Bonneau do?

Talent Analysis: One of the better fighters in the QMJHL, has good size and is improving his overall hockey skills.

2002-03 Montreal QMJHL 65 1 5 6 261

Now, he won't be ready for years to come but that right there seems to be a fighter in the system.
I think the question implied somebody who could conceivably step in next year. Bonneau is a fighter, yes, he is in the system, yes, but there are no convincing signs that he'll ever be able to play in the NHL. He still has another year in junior, where hopefully he can continue to show the progress that he did this year (7 goals and 19 points), and then after that he'll probably need at least a couple of years in the minors to hone his technique and build his pro strength. (cf. Andrew Peters - didn't score a bit in junior or the AHL, but after 3 years with Rochester, he progressed on his pure fighting ability).

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07-07-2004, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OilerFan4Life
So if you dont have a fighter/enforcer in the system, do you think you have enough team toughness to offset any 1 guy being a pest??
I'd say no, at least not up front. And I don't want Souray and Komisarek being handed 5 min. majors all the time because nobody else is willing or able to step up. That is something that would need to be addressed, likely via the waiver draft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OilerFan4Life
Who could be a "going to the corners" guy that the Habs could get via FA?
Grant Marshall was that guy. I really don't see a way for us to acquire that kind of player through free agency honestly. That is, if we want him to play in a top-6 role. If all we want is a 4th liner able to play a regular shift, play physical and drop the gloves once in a while, Sandy McCarthy's still available and could do.

What we would really need though is a top-6 forward able to drop the gloves and bang bodies. Those don't grow on trees and are in demand throughout the league. There's none I can think of on the UFA market that would fill our needs at a reasonable price. So that kind of forward might eventually come from a trade.

Also, I'd rather get a pure offensive talent like Kovalev on the top line and if we acquire him, there's no room or money (most likely) for anybody else.

On a side note, I think some fans will be surprised by Higgins' deceptive strength in the corners. That's in part why it was such a logical move to convert him into a LWer. If he worked on adding muscle mass this summer like he did last summer, he could come to camp at around 200-205 lbs and if he does, I think he will be the "going to the corners" guy. He doesn't drop the gloves, but he works relentlessly along the boards and in the crease and wins most battles. It's the only viable and costless solution for now, so might as well embrace it.

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07-07-2004, 03:19 PM
  #13
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Thanks to all you Habs fans

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