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10-11-2006, 07:47 AM
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If you were GM...

I know it's early in the season but without Ribs in the lineup there seems less to talk about

I just wanted to know if you guys were the GM, what realistic moves would you make durring the season in reference to our inpending UFAs like Aebischer, Markov Souray, Rivet, Niinimaa and Bonk.

If the players play as we expect (no super break-outs or major disapointments) and the team is finishing say 7th in the east, how would you handle these players? Trade and risk playoff success this year for a better future? Keep them into the playoffs and risk loosing them for nothing? Resign them as soon as possible even if their asking prices are high?

My take:
I would attept to resign each of them durring the last half of the season, maybe earlier for Markov. We need our D for next year and we have a better chance of signing the players we already have to lower contracts then those UFA on other teams(even getting them to CONSIDER us).

I would attempt to resign Markov at 4.5. He'll likely want more and I would probably give it to him unless it's a rediculous amount.

I know Rivet is the most likely to want to stay so it shouldn't be a problem signing him at 2.5-3mil. He's a great leader and solid though not spectacular and isn't worth anymore then that. If he did want more I'd still keep him for the playoffs, try to bargain with him in the offseason. If we lose him for nothing, well so be it.

If Souray plays hardball or refuses to sign during the season wanting to test the free agent market, I would (unless major injuries hit out blueline) definitely trade him before the deadline. By then we would have the Cube and Coté, with Javenski and O'Byrne for depth. None of them can match Souray's shot, but I'd rather get something for him then lose him for nothing if he plays hardball.

Niinimaa, depending what we do with our other D, if he plays a decent year and doesn't want a big raise, I don't think signing him at 2.5 would be so bad compared to trying to sign an UFA to fill his place at 4-5mil ala Kubina. I know Kubina is much better then Janne but I can just see the inflation this year on the D being 5-6mil.

Bonk I would keep for the playoffs for his great PK skills. If he wants anything above 1.5-2 mil this offseason, which of course he will, let him walk. We've got some great bottom 6 players fighting for a spot for next season.

Aebischer I would definitly trade at the deadline or sooner(again this is if Huet plays to what we expect... what we realistically expect). Looking at last season's moves, if a team is desperate enough, we may get a good draft pick in a deep draft, or even a player. Maybe Souray(again only if he refuses to resign during the season) + Aebby to a team that needs back end help for the playoffs. We can't afford what Aebby will want for a salary next season and I believe trading him will be much easier then Huet, though of course keep my ears open.

We need help up the middle. No question. We don't have any potential #1 centres in our system and they are pretty damn expensive on the UFA market. To let Aebby and Souray walk would be a big waste of assets as our Centre position is weak. Grabovski may be the next Ovetchkin(um.. no) or the next Baskirov or likely something in the middle. It's too early to tell.

Anyhoo let me know what you would do with our UFA this season. Whether you agree or disagree with my moves doesn't matter, I'd love to hear the different oppinions of what you guys would do if you were sitting in the GM chair.

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10-11-2006, 08:09 AM
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Andrei needs to play better if he wants Koivu/Kovalev money. Yes, he's our best defender, but he needs to play like it. He was listless in the playoffs last year, and hasn't stormed out of the gate IMO. His negotiations could be difficult, but he's someone that really likes a certain level of comfort. Actually, I think he needs it. He's been insulated with a number of Russians.

If he plays well it's an easy decision. You pick him over Souray. Sheldon is flashy, but gets burned a lot. Andrei won't likely score as many goals, but he could, and he's far better defensively. We really can't afford both so somethings gotta give at some point.

Janne could be back. May as well leave the door open. He didn't play much in camp, so give him a few games. He's also got new systems and teammates to get used to. If the effort is there, and the performance follows, bring him back at a reduced rate. I like him in a third pairing, PP player role.

The market for Bonk is minimal. He's most valuable to us at this point so we may as well keep him.

Aebischer is a wildcard. If he plays well, use it to build him up and get something of a bidding war going. The biggest problem is the glut of goalies that teams would like to move. In the end, there really aren't enough trading partners to go around. The best thing David can do is play well. It helps us, and raises his value.

I don't predict anything happening before Xmas.

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10-11-2006, 08:23 AM
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Keep Aebisher til at least the deadline, never know he could become our go to guy.

ALso try to sign Markov and SOuray. Markov will sign for less then 4.5! HE would sign a four year 14 million contract. If we lose Rivet we will survive. If fact if he wants anymore then 2 a season cut his *** loose. HE goe a very flattering contract last time and is certainly not deserving of the current contract. Plus we need to start saving room for Marleau. Remember he is a FA in 08.

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10-11-2006, 08:48 AM
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I think Abeischer improved a dece amount in the off season. I think if they play him enough we'll have two good starting goalies. I think Abeischer has a lot of luck and a decent amount of skill. Sometimes you need luck more then anything. That game against Toronto the other day he played very well, but a lot of the time he was also very lucky, sprawling and some how saving the puck etc.

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10-11-2006, 09:31 AM
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Aebischer, Markov Souray, Rivet, Niinimaa and Bonk

IF I were GM? Hmmm

Markov: For sure we need to resign him, LONG TERM! At least 3 years, preferably 5. Hopefully at 4mil, but I would not be surprised if he wants more and he ends up getting 5 mil

Rivet: Need to resign him also, he is a good veteran, and plays solid top 4 D. he has leadership skills and loves to play for the habs. This is the type of guy you want on your team. I think he would take a smaller amount of cash just to stay in MTL, but I would not be surprised if he got 2-3 million.

Now that being said, the habs are currently in the 43mil range with the 44 mil cap. Not much room so there will need to be some changes if we want to sign those players.

Bonk: at 2+ million, he is too expensive for a 3rd/4th liner. We need to let him go. So I would try to trade him to Washington with a prospect and a pick or streit even for possibly Boyd Gordon and Shaone Morrisonn. Gordon can play solid 3rd/4th line at a fraction of the price, and he is still young. Morrisonn is also young, and affordable, and I believe he is a solid top 4 D man

Niinnimaa vs Souray : these 2 will battle vs each other during the season to determine who is better for our team. In the end I don’t know who will come out on top, but I feel that souray will be the one who gets dealt. I would re-sign Janne for hopefully less than 3 mil, preferably 2 mil. Then souray would be shipped out in a package with Perz to the rebuilding LA Kings in exchange for top center Craig Conroy. Conroy would take a place between Kovy and Sammy

Abby: well again this should be Abby vs Huet. They need to determine who will be the true #1 for the habs. Then whoever looses will be dealt. I think Danis is ready for the backup job, and as mentioned we will need to shed some salary to sign other players. So one of huet or abby will be dealt possibly mid season, or at the deadline to basically the highest bidder. There will likely be at least a couple of teams looking for a goaltender, so I would take the best deal available. Hopefully something with a prospect D or Cand picks, as the rest of lineup will likely be complete:

Higgins Koivu Ryder
Sammy Conroy Kovalev
Lats/Gordon Plekanec Johnson
Murray Begin Gordon/Downey

Spares: Lappiere, Chips, Kosty

Markov Komi
Rivet Dandy
Niinnima Morrisonn



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10-11-2006, 09:57 AM
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If I'm GM, I dont even enter negotiation with both Bonk and Sourray. Its time to turn the page on them, so basically they are tradeable assets or I keep em until the end of the year and let them go.

Markov: Resign, priority number 1
Rivet: Resign
Abby: Depends of huet, but I think Price will be close to the NHL next year, we might want to use Danis 1 year for cost saving.
Ninimaa: Let see how he performs.

At center, I expect Grabovski or Chipchura or Lapierre will be an option in february.

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10-11-2006, 10:24 AM
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I wouldn't overpay Markov. He's not a $5M Dman, and I don't think he would get that salary elsewhere. It's just that some of the other Dmen on the Habs make him look good by comparison. If I were Gainey I would hold firm at $4M.

I expect Souray to leave as a UFA and I would consider trading him if the right opportunity cones along. I might change my mind if he approaches Gainey about an extension.

Rivet would like to stay and I don't think his salary demands would be troublesome.

Niinimaa really doesn't have anywhere else to go as a free agent.

I wouldn't re-sign Bonk unless he agreed to a reduced salary and a short-term contract.

The jury is out on Aebischer. A lot depends not only on his (and Huet's) performance, but also on that of Danis.

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10-11-2006, 10:30 AM
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Here's what I would do!

1) Trade Markov and Kostitsyn to Philly for Jeff Carter. Philly needs a #1 mobile D-man and scoring on the wing and Montreal needs offence at center. Carter may be a futre stud, but Kostitsyn has more offensive upside and Markov is an upgrade over anything the Flyers have.
2) Re-sign Rivet first. The guy is the longest serving Hab, loves the city and wants to win here.
3) Try to re-sign Souray. He loves Montreal, but he may want to test the idea of getting closer to his daughter. He really wants to be a part of the Habs success and his leadership would surely be missed

Markov would be missed, but next season Emelin will hopefully be here. Grabovski more than makes up for the loss of Kostitsyn!

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10-11-2006, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bugsy View Post
Here's what I would do!

1) Trade Markov and Kostitsyn to Philly for Jeff Carter. Philly needs a #1 mobile D-man and scoring on the wing and Montreal needs offence at center. Carter may be a futre stud, but Kostitsyn has more offensive upside and Markov is an upgrade over anything the Flyers have.
A top pairing D and a top quality prospect for another top quality prospect? I hope we get Pitkanen in this trade as well...

Originally Posted by Bugsy View Post
Markov would be missed, but next season Emelin will hopefully be here. Grabovski more than makes up for the loss of Kostitsyn!
Emelin is signed for 2 years in Russia, might be here, might not.
Grabovski will never come close to the potential of Andrei. If you think Carter is better just because hes in the NHL atm, Andrei is only victim of the over-wealth at wing for the habs. When he will get a real chance(like lats is now getting, even if hes inferior, because of AHL rules), he will make a lot of people talk.

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10-11-2006, 03:33 PM
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I also think souray is history next year, we know his worth, but if kubina and

jonsson can get 5 mil, some one will no doubt throw big money at souray. I dont

think rivet would want to leave at this point(not really worried), but makov, who

knows, I just hope he is happy in montreal....abby and bonk will most likely be

gone, bonk for sure, too many prospects looking to fill his spot. niniima could be

back, but he really needs to improve in his own zone, so maybe gainey will think

otherwise....but every year comes with surprises, who really could have

predicted sampsonov as a hab, that signing was so far in left field

maybe next year we will pick up a star UFA, who knows with gainey

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10-11-2006, 04:38 PM
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I usually don't try to be the GM, because I suck at it, but here's what I see:

1. Markov: Priority one. Resign him in the second half on a 4 yr/18M deal.
2. Souray: Try to resign, but if not, trade him to the Oilers at the deadline for one of their young centers, maybe M.A. Pouliot.
3. Bonk: There's the door, don't forget your hat and coat.
4. Rivet: Resign him. 3yr/6.6M deal.
5. Aebi: I don't see getting much for him, even at the deadline unless another team has injury problems to their starter. Maybe a 2nd rd pick if we're lucky.
6. Ryder: Priority two. Depending on his production, resign him for 4 yr/12M deal, especially if he hits the 40 goal plateau.

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10-11-2006, 04:44 PM
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Markov is a keeper, if you can't keep it, you trade him for something good.

all the other are expandable/replaceable, but expect at least ONE of Jane, Rivet and Souray to be back next year. Sheldon definately has the most value on the market, teams may be willing to overpay for him at the trade deadline.

edit: Oh yhea we should definately sign Ryder, I forgot about him.

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10-11-2006, 05:00 PM
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i'm gonna try to keep markov at all almost any cost.
I'll let souray,rivet, niinimaa go unless they take a major pay-cut.
Bonk,Aebisher,Downey are gone.
I go after Hannan !! if i cant get hannan I switch to salo
My next year lineup:
Samsonov Koivu Ryder
Higgins Plekanec Kovalev
Perezhogin Begin Kostitsyn
Latendresse Chipchura Murray
extra: Lapierre

Markov Hannan
Bouillon Dandenault
Streit Komisarek


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10-11-2006, 05:09 PM
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Everyone forgot Johnson is a UFA after this season too? I would love to keep him in the fold for 1.5-2m if he'd accept it

Markov: Depending on this season he will get anything from 4 to 6 million, from us or another team. Hopefully closer to 4, and hopefully with our team

Aebischer: None of us can say anything about Aebischer's status with us at the deadline or offseason until the goaltender situation is solved and a clear cut #1 has emerged. If it is still a toss up late in the season, which I doubt it will be [one way or another], I think Aebischer will stay with the team and simply find a new club in July

Souray: BIG question mark. Daughter is far from Montreal, yet he wants to play here. He could demand $4m in the market, yet we can't afford that at all. There is nobody that can replace his strength, character, shot, and leadership in the lineup, but there is no one that can replace Markov's slick passing and sweet offense in our lineup either. Can we keep both? Could we really have $8m+ locked up between the two of them?

Rivet: I have a hunch Rivet will sign for $2m or so to stay with the club. Bleeds for the Habs and in this new crazy defenseman market, no one will match his play at 2 - 2.5m.

Niinimaa: Unless he takes a drastic pay cut or explodes with 40+ points this year, I do not expect to see him back with the team next year. We obviously haven't seen what he can do yet only a couple games into the season and with new team mates, but I don't see him back

Bonk: Gone, for sure. Chipchura/Lapierre could be ready to take his spot next year, and I know there will be some doofus in the offseason that will take a stab at Bonk for $2m or more, hoping he can regain his old offensive contributions. Atlanta is a popular name to throw around in this situation. He has no deadline value so I do not see him being shipped off early, but I do expect him to test the FA waters and swim away

Ryder: This guy I think is going to have a great year. Sweet, right? Well yeah, but a raise to $2.2m for a mediocre year could only see our cap take a huge hit when he could succeed and ask for $3m+

Plekanec: If he breaks out this year, what to do? We have to keep this player, and I know he will not go money hungry, but with the notion that he could have 50+ points this year while playing a solid two-way game could see us paying quite a bit more than his current $400,000 contract

Perezhogin: Who even knows

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10-11-2006, 05:49 PM
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I would keep all our players until the end of the season. There is no point in trading Souray, we will need him in the playoffs. Unless we end up missing the playoffs, I want Gainey to trade a prospect for a very good soon to be UFA center. I don't care paying the price, because that center who would play on the second line would allow us to go deeper in the playoffs. We are finished reconstructing, some of our prospects will play on our team, but we have too many good prospects that we c ould trade for help in the playoffs.

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10-11-2006, 06:08 PM
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Hey SOLR........where did I say that Carter was better than Kostitsyn???

My post said:
"Carter may be a futre stud, but Kostitsyn has more offensive upside"

Maybe you have a problem with reading?? The Habs have no centers that are potential #1 guys.........Carter is. Kostitsyn has lots of offensive potential, but he's a winger and the Habs are well stocked on the wing.

Grabovski is who makes up for Kostitsyn's loss...........wait and see, he's a keeper!

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