The problem that I see is that even if Dandy and Laraque are traded, and Sergei is kept down, we have way too many players. Metropolit may be a stop gap unless he lights it up and plays outstanding, but I see a trade coming.
I would like to see Plekanec stay to eventually take over center duties from Koivu in a few years because he's only 26. But until then we have a unique opportunity when our great young players are light on the wallet. Koivu and Lapierre aren't going anywhere, so I think Plekanec is the odd one out. He may be packaged with Chipchura and/or Higgins and some draft picks/prospects to land a big center. I definitely don't see a Tkachuk type signing. We already have WAY too many wingers. It's either an offensive right-handed center or nothing.
I definitely like the moves that we've made though since last year to become tougher. Calling up D'Agostini, Pacioretty and Stewart who all play a more physical style. I do think that we are a top 4D and top 2 center away from contending strongly this season.
I was thinking about young like Cam Barker or Jack Johnson
Thanks for dropping a couple of names to emphasize your point. I figured this was just the classic "dump Higgins" mentality we've seen a lot of lately. However, these players make some sense. However, I doubt that either of those trades would go down.
I highly doubt that the Kings would move Jack Johnson as he's a big piece of thier future. The Kings would need to rob us blind to give up on him.
I would rather not see the Habs trade Higgins straight up for Barker. I have seen a ton of the Hawks this year and Barker has offensive promise, but really needs to work on his defensive game. Besides, the Hawks would want a center in return, as that's where their need is. Higgins is terrible at center and the Habs can't afford to give up a centre without getting one back right now (unless that center is Chipchura).
Going by Carbo's past attitude, its gonna go by talent level first. Unfortunately, that's gonna put Kostopolous out of the lineup unless one of the better players doesnt deliver or is hurt. Assuming nobody else comes or goes...
These top 2 lines I wouldnt change
Bottom 6 players are all interchangable. I wouldn't say any of these guys are 4th liners.
Reserves in order of use: Kostopolous, Sergei, Chips, Dandy(if hes still here), BGL(if hes still here)
Defence is fairly simple
Reserves: Breezy, Janik
Of course if Lang makes a miracle recovery, then all hell breaks loose in the lineup of forwards. Fun problem to have.
I think Dandenault needs to be in on D rather than Breezer, he was playing good before he broke his arm. And I would keep S.Kostitsyn, Dags, and Chips in Hamilton, or at least in the press box. I think Lapierre Latendresse and Higgins would be awesome together, kind of a crash and bang line that could put some goals in.
Wow, there's alot of people living in the twilight zone The exepriments are done... what you see is what we're going to look like in the playoffs, Tanguay will take D'agostini's spot next to Koivu and Higgins where he belong and that will be that, plain and simple
- (Chipchura/Stewart are going to help Hamilton win the Calder Cup.. where-as Kostitsyn belongs here, even if he has sucked this season. Not to mention, Sergei was incredible in the playoffs last year).
- Brisebois was incredible in the playoffs last year, but we need more of a shut-down, physical type guy.. and O'Brien would bring that. He may of played his last regular game in the Canucks line-up tonight.
TRADE: Dandenault (low pick?), Laraque (waive?)
To Vancouver: Francis Bouillon, Mathieu Aubin, 4th
To Montreal: Shane O'Brien
- After acquiring Vannanen, Vancouver now has a #6 better than O'Brien. This could open them up to trading him especially to get two (albeit small) assets in the process, instead of possibly losing him for free.
To Phoenix: Brock Trotter, 3rd
To Montreal: Steve Reinprecht
- Phoenix needs help on the wing, yet we have no depth there after Pacioretty and Quailer. Maybe with the loss of Ballard and possibly Morris, they may be more into a defensive prospect like Carle?
I would put d'Agostini ahead of Stewart. Even if you want to pair up Koivu and Tanguay (I would prefer to try the top three vets on three different lines), I would make the following changes: d'Ago in Latendresse's spot, and Latendresse in Stewart's spot.
What I like about these lines is that each of the top three combinations has a proven productive veteran, an established 24-26 yo to second him, and a 20-22 yo with offensive potential to round them out. Each of the lines has playmaking as well as finishing ability. I would not want to be the opposing coach and try to figure out who to match my defensive specialists against!
It ultimately becomes a numbers game, and while D'Ago certainly deserves to be up on the big squad, I think he's the odd man out. Either him or the other rook Pac. Playing either with grinders on the 4th line wouldn't be utilizing them properly anyway...
For next year, if we go young and give the kids a shot, and doin't make a trade:
I'm terribly exited about Tanguay's return! I'm rather positive he'll be paired with Koivu again, but who else will be put with them. Probably Higgins, so far, I feel he's been playing better ever since our team turned 180 degrees (I suspect he wants and will leave the team after the season). I think he'll start with them.
I hope Lats plays well when he comes back. I don't know what to add for him, I don't hate him, I don't adore him either.