I'm thinking about it, and our team really needs Brière. The problem is that we have problems to sign the top UFAs. Here is my idea : lure Brière with a one year insane contract, give him the most he can get for one year. If we miss the playoffs again, we can trade Brière for prospects, and if we end up with a competitive team, if Brière likes it here, resign him to a 4 year normal contract the year after. He will get used to Montréal, and if we have success next year, Brière will see how cool it is to play in Montréal. Dump all the dead weight in Hamilton or through the waivers, and you have enough $$ for that team.
Kovalev, Sammy, Bouillon, Dandy, Begin (About 10M a year saved, counting the salary of the rookies) on waivers or to Hamilton. A lot of young players take their place and develop, and if we manage to make the playoffs next year, if our young gunz progress well and if we manage to sign Brière the year after to a conventionnal deal, we have a very good team in two years.
So basically, you overpay for a center, you bring in 5 players from Hamilton/Europe (Milroy, O'Byrne, Emelin, Grabovsky, Chipchura), you have two 2nd years guys (Lapierre, Latendresse) and Kosty who hasn't played half a season and expect to win another Stanley Cup before the team's centennial, is that right?
IMO, it's laughable. Plus, Gainey would so get crucified for doing that. Especially after having publicly said that team wasn't in rebuilding mode anymore.
I too like the ingenuity, but the problem is that there's a reason no one has done this before
Guaranteed money is a pretty crucial aspect of any professional sports contract. Especially in a sport like hockey where a single injury can end/de-value your career. So i dont think a guy like Briere can be bought by giving him an extra 2 mil this year when another team would lock him up for 4-5 years at 6 mil. It just isn't smart business on Briere's part to put his career up in the air at this point (also considering the disastrous results playing in montreal could yield)
so while its a good idea on paper...in reality it just doesn't seem like a viable option
If we can't get the players that we NEED to improve our team via UFA signings, then there is another way. We could always trade for them.
Personally, I'd rather see Gainey stand pat than bring a player that we do not need to Mtl.
And I don't subscribe to the Briere bandwagon. Another small forward. A small forward that just had a career year on the most succesful offensive team in the league.
I'm just very wary(?) of players coming off career years in their UFA season.
The reason I would like Brière is because Latendresse and Kostsitsyn, two possible future 1st line players, will improve a lot more with him than with Plekanek, Lapierre or even Grabovski. The 8M one year deal was an idea, but I doubt it happens. But I have to agree, my first option, with the habs, would be to "rebuild" in the sense of trading up to draft, getting a future superstar and let the young players develop. I wanted Cherepanov, I still wish we could draft him, but I would also like to see Kane...
How about Gainey find in himself some imagination and come up with trade proposals. The UFA avenue is not the only thing that exist to get players. I think a lot of disapointed elemited teams will be game for trades next summer.