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REALISTIC Free Agent Acquisitions

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Old
05-08-2006, 10:44 AM
  #1
Sam I Am
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REALISTIC Free Agent Acquisitions

Don't hold your breath waiting for Joe Sakic, Patrick Elias, Zdeno Charra or Wade Redden to suit up for the Habs next season. Ain't gonna happen.

Who is left that Bob Gainey can actually sign? Here's my take:


Centermen

Much has been made about Jason Arnott, the big right-shooting C that the Habs covet so much. Coming off a career season in Dallas, his stock has never been higher. Destined to disappoint whichever GM signs him for big bucks.

I'd rather roll the dice on Marc Savard who is not big but would nonetheless be a major upgrade on Ribiero who could then be packaged for help on the wing. French-speaking, he will be an asset in marketing the team. Sign him...unless he's asking for 5 million or more.


Wingers

Jamie Langenbrunner strikes me as exactly the kind of player Gainey and Carbo would reach out for. They have lots of history with this guy...maybe they could woo him up to Mtl.

Mark Parrish and Anson Carter are wingers that will attract attention. Carter will command more bucks after his 33 goal season. Look for Parrish.


Defence

Lots more choice here. Of the stars D-men available, Jovanovski strikes me as the only one that might be remotely possible. His name has been mentioned in a variety of trade rumours over the last season or two. His value has not been this low for many seasons. A good gamble that could completely change the face of our defence.

If Buffalo lets him get away, Jay McKee would go a long way to toughen up our blue line. And he must block about ten shots a game...

Pavel Kubina is a rare commodity: a right-side FA D-man. Love to sign him and get rid of Dandenault. Unfortunately, Gainey is not about to dump Dandy who is a coveted interview for the French press and who was inked to a strangely lucrative four-year deal. Kubina's arrival would more likely lead to Rivet's departure which makes acquiring Kubina a lot less worthwhile. Unless. of course, Gainey wants to use Komisarek as trade bait for help up front.

Any thoughts?

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05-08-2006, 10:50 AM
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My only thought is that I don't like this UFA crop, and I don't expect any big signings.

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05-08-2006, 10:54 AM
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You know a player is not under the radar (see Savard) when every team is taliking about acquiring him lol.

UFAs:

I would start with Huet.
Do we resign cube before July 1rst or does Gainey wait to see whats out there?
C/big foreward: If teh CAP goes up to 46M$, then EVERY team has at least 5M$ to add...it will not be simple. I don't think Gainey will acquire a guy at 6M$ plus neither...?

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05-08-2006, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike8
My only thought is that I don't like this UFA crop, and I don't expect any big signings.
I agree. Next year the pickings will not be this slim.

That said, no way will Gainey stand pat. As a minimum, I predict he will sign Huet and Bouillon prior to the July 1 deadline. Once free agency is declared he will move quicky to sign Langenbrunner or another forward of that stature. Remember, the Habs cannot count on much help from the farm in replacing the departing Bulis and Sundstrom.

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05-08-2006, 11:11 AM
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Sundstrom doesn't need to be replaced. He didn't have a spot in the lineup and down the stretch was often considered the 14th forward. That is replaceable by Lapierre, Ferland, et al.

Kostitsyn has shown signs of being almost-there. The team also seems interested in Lapierre, and traditionally he has been good in camps and had solid progression year-to-year.

I don't think it's totally unrealistic to see no UFA signings (other than keeping the team's own UFAs), and looking at picking up a top six winger via trade, and/or a minor pick-up, as we saw with Downey, Begin, Murray in each of the past few seasons.

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Old
05-08-2006, 11:12 AM
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I'll agree that Huet is the #1 priority.

Past that, it's also going to be worthwhile to take care of Bouillon, and start the ball rolling with our RFAs too.

For realistic acquisitions...
Langenbrunner is my #1 choice at forward. But I fall back on my list of secondary guys as more likely still: Jeff Halpern, Chris Clark, Dallas Drake, Scott Mellanby, Alyn McCauley, Serge Aubin, Marc Chouinard. Derek Armstrong and Fernando Pisani are listed as UFAs too. Scott Thornton. I could go on. But basically, we just need some character up front, and if it comes with any ability at all to chip in on offense or be a big centre, so much the better (but not essential). Bargain hunting is a good way to go on the UFA market in the modern era, IMO.

Basically, assuming Bulis and Sundstrom are gone, and that there's at least a reasonable chance that somebody else will be also (Zednik? Ribeiro?), then we're going to need to fill those holes on some short term deals until some more of our kids are ready. Hence I'm not really afraid about putting Drake or Mellanby's names on my list. OR Shanahan or Nolan at a higher end, if it came to it. Probably it would end up seeming like you didn't get as much out of any of them as their salary warranted, but I still think this team has some leadership and experience vacuum to fill that won't show up on the scoreboard.

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05-08-2006, 11:27 AM
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Free agents are nice,but what we really need here in Montreal is a FRANCHISE player and we do not have any.Koivu,Kovalev are not Franchise players and Higgins,Pleks and Perezoghin are not either.Maybe Price but we need a Centerman.A Lecavalier or Richards.If it costs 2 or 3 picks it dosen't mather,or we will be fighting for a playoff spot every year,7th or 8th and out first or if lucky 2nd round.We need an impact player in my opinion a game breaker

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05-08-2006, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am
Centermen

Much has been made about Jason Arnott, the big right-shooting C that the Habs covet so much. Coming off a career season in Dallas, his stock has never been higher. Destined to disappoint whichever GM signs him for big bucks.

Wingers

Jamie Langenbrunner strikes me as exactly the kind of player Gainey and Carbo would reach out for. They have lots of history with this guy...maybe they could woo him up to Mtl.

Mark Parrish and Anson Carter are wingers that will attract attention. Carter will command more bucks after his 33 goal season. Look for Parrish.

Agree with what you said for Arnott. And Jamie Langenbrunner would be a solid signing. I don't want Anson Carter, he fits well with the Nucks, not sure he would do so well elsewhere.

In defence, I believe none will be signed.

Obviously I would like Selanne, I've been wanting him for the past 5 years or so...I don,t believe we will get him either.

I would rather see BG trade for a Big Center than sign Arnott and be stuck with him

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05-08-2006, 11:37 AM
  #9
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I think that realistically, a guy like Langenbrunner has more chance of coming to Montreal than anyone else in this crop of UFA.

Up front, there's probably 2 spots opening up with Bulis gone and possibly Zednik traded.

As it's been suggested in the trade forum, I think Zednik for Lang is not a bad idea for MTL and DET. Lang is not that expensive and only has one year left in his contract, so he's not a huge risk and is an upgrade over Ribeiro. Although he's not the perfect centerman we're looking for, he is right-handed, has size, has played well with Kovalev before, and still puts up decent numbers. We can evaluate him for one year, then decide if we should keep him or not. The next crop of UFA centers could be more interesting than this year's.

If we don't sign any UFA, Kostitsyn will get a fairly good shot at making the team.

Of course, I'd love to have Elias and Chara/Redden.

But realisticaly, I'd be happy with Lang and Langenbrunner/Kostitsyn up front next year, and a decent UFA on D.

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05-08-2006, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HF-Addict
I would rather see BG trade for a Big Center than sign Arnott and be stuck with him
Well said.

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05-08-2006, 11:42 AM
  #11
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How old is Lang?

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Old
05-08-2006, 11:44 AM
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Unfortunately I'm not sure it is Gainey's style to swing for the home run, unless he's sure that he has a legitimate shot at the Cup. (see IGINLA for NIEUWENDYK).

There has been some suggestions that may be he should try and move Zednick for Lang. I could see him making a serious pitch for Lagenbrunner to replace Zednick on the RW. But this would add some serious $$$ to the payroll.

I wouldn't mind him making a pitch for the likes of Aaron Ward or a Brendan Witt. Kubina may be too pricey.

Someone recently mentioned Matt Cullen on these boards.

Is Axellson still a UFA or has he signed. He's may be a solution.

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Old
05-08-2006, 11:49 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habs 4 Life
Free agents are nice,but what we really need here in Montreal is a FRANCHISE player...
True but franchise players are rarely acquired via trade. We cannot reasonably expect Joe Thornton or his like to fall in our lap. However, picking up someone like Pavel Kubina via free agency may enable us to spare an attractive asset such as Komisarek and aquire the gifted forward we seem to always be lacking. Someone like Brad Richards, Gaborik or the like.

Alternately, Gainey can stockpile his cap room until such time as free agency age goes so low that GMs cannot lock up all their franchise players. Whether this occurs next year or the year after I don't know. What I am sure of, though, is that Gainey will have do more in the meantime than resign Bouillon and promote Kostisyn. It won't wash...not in this town. So, if there's no big trade in the offing, expect to see a minimum of a Langenbrunner type signed this year.

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05-08-2006, 12:10 PM
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First of all, IMHO, never should we trade Komisarek... it's been since Markov that we had drafted a blueliner that could blossom into something very good, no way would I part with him for the sake of Rivet, or Dandenault, or Bouillon...

Now for the 'realistic' free agent acquisitions, who knows what will happen ?? Who knows what can be realistic or not... I think EVERYTHING can be possible until it happens or not. What you mean is 'not so popular' free agent acquisitions, I think...

Of course, Elias, Arnott, Chara, Redden, etc. will be coveted by every and all NHL teams... who knows what they will think all of a sudden ? Are you guru Pedneault ?

Langenbrunner, Savard, Parrish, Carter, Kubina, McKee could be something decent... althought I think Parrish is a Ryder clone, Savard played with Kovalchuk and is a tad bit on the small side, Carter plays when he wants to...

Elias, Redden, Langenbrunner, Kubina, McKee would be the names I'd go for... I'd even add Willie Mitchell and Ruslan Salei to the lot, as they are big physical Dmen, with leadership in Mitchell's case and a very aggressive demeanor in Salei...

Don't forget, IMHO...

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05-08-2006, 12:12 PM
  #15
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for the franchise player, I can see three that COULD become just that.

Markov, Price, Kost

but i'd rather see a trade for a top 10 1st line center if we can instead of getting one of this year free agent.

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05-08-2006, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am
Don't hold your breath waiting for Joe Sakic, Patrick Elias, Zdeno Charra or Wade Redden to suit up for the Habs next season. Ain't gonna happen.

Who is left that Bob Gainey can actually sign? Here's my take:


Centermen

Much has been made about Jason Arnott, the big right-shooting C that the Habs covet so much. Coming off a career season in Dallas, his stock has never been higher. Destined to disappoint whichever GM signs him for big bucks.

I'd rather roll the dice on Marc Savard who is not big but would nonetheless be a major upgrade on Ribiero who could then be packaged for help on the wing. French-speaking, he will be an asset in marketing the team. Sign him...unless he's asking for 5 million or more.


Wingers

Jamie Langenbrunner strikes me as exactly the kind of player Gainey and Carbo would reach out for. They have lots of history with this guy...maybe they could woo him up to Mtl.

Mark Parrish and Anson Carter are wingers that will attract attention. Carter will command more bucks after his 33 goal season. Look for Parrish.


Defence

Lots more choice here. Of the stars D-men available, Jovanovski strikes me as the only one that might be remotely possible. His name has been mentioned in a variety of trade rumours over the last season or two. His value has not been this low for many seasons. A good gamble that could completely change the face of our defence.

If Buffalo lets him get away, Jay McKee would go a long way to toughen up our blue line. And he must block about ten shots a game...

Pavel Kubina is a rare commodity: a right-side FA D-man. Love to sign him and get rid of Dandenault. Unfortunately, Gainey is not about to dump Dandy who is a coveted interview for the French press and who was inked to a strangely lucrative four-year deal. Kubina's arrival would more likely lead to Rivet's departure which makes acquiring Kubina a lot less worthwhile. Unless. of course, Gainey wants to use Komisarek as trade bait for help up front.

Any thoughts?
Great post not like the other dreamers out there . If BG can get kubina, Savard ( I don`t other teams blow thier brains out on him ) and McKee , a solid off season .
Langenbrunner , Arnott , and a others will be

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05-08-2006, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am
Don't hold your breath waiting for Joe Sakic, Patrick Elias, Zdeno Charra or Wade Redden to suit up for the Habs next season. Ain't gonna happen.

Who is left that Bob Gainey can actually sign? Here's my take:


Centermen

Much has been made about Jason Arnott, the big right-shooting C that the Habs covet so much. Coming off a career season in Dallas, his stock has never been higher. Destined to disappoint whichever GM signs him for big bucks.

I'd rather roll the dice on Marc Savard who is not big but would nonetheless be a major upgrade on Ribiero who could then be packaged for help on the wing. French-speaking, he will be an asset in marketing the team. Sign him...unless he's asking for 5 million or more.


Wingers

Jamie Langenbrunner strikes me as exactly the kind of player Gainey and Carbo would reach out for. They have lots of history with this guy...maybe they could woo him up to Mtl.

Mark Parrish and Anson Carter are wingers that will attract attention. Carter will command more bucks after his 33 goal season. Look for Parrish.


Defence

Lots more choice here. Of the stars D-men available, Jovanovski strikes me as the only one that might be remotely possible. His name has been mentioned in a variety of trade rumours over the last season or two. His value has not been this low for many seasons. A good gamble that could completely change the face of our defence.

If Buffalo lets him get away, Jay McKee would go a long way to toughen up our blue line. And he must block about ten shots a game...

Pavel Kubina is a rare commodity: a right-side FA D-man. Love to sign him and get rid of Dandenault. Unfortunately, Gainey is not about to dump Dandy who is a coveted interview for the French press and who was inked to a strangely lucrative four-year deal. Kubina's arrival would more likely lead to Rivet's departure which makes acquiring Kubina a lot less worthwhile. Unless. of course, Gainey wants to use Komisarek as trade bait for help up front.

Any thoughts?
Great post not like the other dreamers out there . If BG can get kubina, Savard ( I don`t other teams blow thier brains out on him ) and McKee , a solid off season .
Langenbrunner , Arnott , and a others will be TOO EXPENSIVE , WE DON`T NEED ANOTHER THEO ISSUE ON OUR HANDS .

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05-08-2006, 01:15 PM
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I think Gainey already said that he's not going to make a big splash. Which to me means he's not going to compete for the $7-8M players.

So, I expect nothing less than a Chara.

I would prefer a Zidlicky. He'd be affordable and a major upgrade for our top 4 (adding offense, defense, grit, and a guy who can move the puck safely and properly, and better yet, we can push Rivet to the third pairing and get rid of Bouillon and his projected $1M salary!).

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05-08-2006, 01:18 PM
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Realisticaly guys like Langunbrunner, Elias, Dumont, Mckay have as much chance of being UFA then Huet and Bouillon. They have no reason to leave ship, there respective team needs them and they are with great organization. So in essence I highly doubt we will get a shot at any of those guys...

The Chara/Reddon is a different story, even if the cap goes up it does not mean Ottawa will have money to go towards the high end of the CAP and they might have to part with one of there two big guys on D... And as you point out just about every team in the league would enter a bidding war for Chara (including the Ilse).

My choice would be to target two guys: Jamal Mayers and Kim Johnsson. I think Mayers could realy help boost our third line or perhaps even play on one of the top two lines to make room for the other two guys. Johnsson IMO would be a very good upgrade on Souray and would be a very good backup in case we loose Markov for injurry.

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05-08-2006, 01:18 PM
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I would love to have JP dumont, he's a ufa and was born in quebec.

He won't cost 4m, making him appealing to me...

I wouldnt hate Jarko ruutu too, he would be a good acquisition and a cheap one. Ruutu and begin together would bring a lot of energy

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05-08-2006, 01:24 PM
  #21
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I highly doubt Gainey signs a slightly faster Ribeiro for 3-4 times the price.

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05-08-2006, 01:27 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shtalenkov
I would love to have JP dumont, he's a ufa and was born in quebec.

He won't cost 4m, making him appealing to me...

I wouldnt hate Jarko ruutu too, he would be a good acquisition and a cheap one. Ruutu and begin together would bring a lot of energy
I wasn't aware that Dumont was a UFA. If so, I imagine Gainey will be calling...

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Old
05-08-2006, 01:42 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am
True but franchise players are rarely acquired via trade. We cannot reasonably expect Joe Thornton or his like to fall in our lap. However, picking up someone like Pavel Kubina via free agency may enable us to spare an attractive asset such as Komisarek and aquire the gifted forward we seem to always be lacking. Someone like Brad Richards, Gaborik or the like.
Ah! the always reliable quick-fix. Sign UFAs, trade the kids. Not to mention our strenght at the moment is in young forwards.
That's the kind of thinking that had us watching poker and curling for a year. When I saw realistic in the title I knew it was almost too good to be true.

Besides, shouldn't a franchise player "grow up" in the franchise? I see Marleau as the franchise player (and captain) of SJ imo. Maybe my definition of franchise player is off.

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05-08-2006, 02:00 PM
  #24
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To me, realistic means that the player would sign with the Habs without commanding a king's ransom. So which players would fit the expected budget?

The Habs can go high only if they free up enough salary room through trades or letting players enter free agency without making them an offer. If Gainey goes after Elias or Redden or Chara, he would have to make more drastic personnel cuts than simply not holding on to Bulis and Sundstrom.

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05-08-2006, 02:02 PM
  #25
Sam I Am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sXe
Ah! the always reliable quick-fix. Sign UFAs, trade the kids. Not to mention our strenght at the moment is in young forwards.
That's the kind of thinking that had us watching poker and curling for a year. When I saw realistic in the title I knew it was almost too good to be true.

Besides, shouldn't a franchise player "grow up" in the franchise? I see Marleau as the franchise player (and captain) of SJ imo. Maybe my definition of franchise player is off.
Ah! The always reliable build with the draft. How long has it been since the Habs drafted their last keystone player? Let's face it. It's a lot easier to draft the Ovechkins and Crosbys when you're picking first. The Canadiens cannot afford be so crappy a team that this an option. Let's face it. Drafting in the middle of the pack as they have for many. many seasons, a variety of Canadiens' GMs have come up with this many franchise players: zero.

Meanwhile. a number of other organizations have acquired some extremely valuable players through trades. Prior to the new CBA, these teams were almost exclusively the rich teams, namely Detroit, Colorado, Philly and a few others. Players such as Forsberg, Sundin, Neely and Blake have gone on to have Hall of Fame careers for teams which did not draft them. Since the advent of the saalry cap, this approach is now available to less wealthy teams. I. for one, would have been delighted if the Habs put together a deal for Thornton or Chris Pronger.

With the new UFA rules, it will be increasingly unnecessary to draft and develop defencemen. With a very few exceptions, d-men require many years to mature and often do not reach their peaks until their late twenties or thirties. Komisarek is a perfect example of a player who we could conceivably lose to free agency prior to him realizing his considerable potential. Replace him with Kubina who is big and fast, plays the right side and is now entering his prime. Then use Komi as trade bait for the elusive frachise player who is not just going to be given away by his current team.

To me this approach makes a lot of sense in the new NHL.


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