I think there are two wildcard areas left in the Lang situation that none of us have any grasp on whatsoever.
One is how much Plekanec signs for/is awarded in arbitration. We could have around $2M in cap space available if he doesn't get more than $2M himself. Subsequent to that, we don't know how likely Gainey is to be willing to press himself up against the cap limit, or how much Lang would want to be paid. After his injury, I don't think he'll have a choice but to take a hefty paycut. Would he take $2M? Would Gainey be willing to basically totally max out his cap space? In the past, I think Gainey has always been conservative enough to want to leave a fairly comfortable cap cushion. But he has shown a bit more recklessness this summer, so maybe that would change. I definitely don't think he'd be reckless to the point of throwing Price's bonuses over to a potentially-overtight cap situation next season. But even chewing up his existing remaining cap space might be too reckless for his style.
Secondly, I think there is fair question about Lang's health / ability to recover from that injury. He was slow to begin with. At his age, it has to be a legitimate concern. But none of us has any insight into how he's doing in that respect, whether he will lose any speed that he simply can't afford to lose or not.
Personally, I'd be willing to use our $2M on him. (It would indeed be at the cost of waiving Metropolit, btw). Presuming there was reasonable assurance of his health not impacting his ability to perform. I don't really care where you pencil him into your imaginary lineups. He was extremely effective for us last season. He hasn't always played center in his career. You can never have too many good players. Sooner or later you need them all, injuries WILL happen.
The only player I'd rather have, still, is Manny Malhotra.
Great on face-offs and speed to burn. Can't say that I didn't think about this guy but from what I've heard, he's asking for too much money.
Sorry to reply to this in a thread about Lang, but I can't help myself. It has indeed been suggested that he wants too much money. But hey, we're past the middle of July so maybe he'd realize he's not getting it. Who knows. But he sounds like a good character/community guy, a bit of leadership to go with his face-off/speed/youth mix. Like I said, we should have around $2M to spend, if Plekanec doesn't break the bank. I'd offer that to Malhotra on a multi-year deal. But I have no idea if he's been rebuffed enough yet to take it. It's still a nice little raise on what he was making. Even if it's a lot short of what he's rumoured to be looking for.
Past that, if Plekanec *does* break the bank in arbitration... well, I'd rather not think about that, but... Lang/Malhotra options may become increasingly attractive in quite a different scenario.
I loved what Lang did last season(1/2 season), but he's too old, too slow, and too expensive and he didn't get any faster or younger by severing his achilles tendon. Let him go to Atlanta and center Kovalchuk or something. Sign Plekanec and move on.
For god's sake, Plekanec had one horrible year like most of the team. Because of this we can get him cheap. Besides he is a perfect centre for Martins style of play. And I really want to see him play without Kovalev in the picture.
Lang was good, but how many years does he have in him? One, two years max? With all the new acquisitions, chemistry will be a problem early on and getting Lang for one year will not help.
We also don't know, how will Lang recover form his injury. Just like we don't know if Plekance will rebound this season.
That sums it all pretty well. But still, I'd find a way to sign the guy.
Why is it I was on my bike thinking of random things, when suddenly the name 'Plek" comes into my head, and I automatically associate the word "trade" with him?
Seriously, I can't remember the last time I haven't heard "plek" without it being "trade plek"
He's a good player, will be more productive than a worn down 40 year old.
Lang is good, but you're trading a potential 60-70 point player for one who might not even score 35 points next season.
Many of you guys are being extremely unfair towards Plekanec. And before you say he was unfair to you, the guy doesn't owe you anything. He's a hockey player, hockey players go through tough times throughout their careers, no matter who they are. At one point, even after having an established career, even a guy like Gretzky was often criticized and lambasted. Get off your high horses and wait a bit, because odds are you'll end up looking silly in a few years, once again proving why you aren't and never will be close to the Montreal Canadiens (or anyone else's) front office.
Unless you actually have a vested financial interest in the Habs, I don't get this dehumanization of hockey players. After being an excellent player his whole LIFE, all of a sudden Plekanec has no heart and is not worthy of being a Montreal Canadien. Seems like a scapegoat to me.
Oops, almost forgot that this isn't at all what this thread is about.
With all that being said, I really like Lang and would not at all be disappointed to see him back as a Hab. I've even said he's the only guy I could really see getting a permanent captaincy on the team right now (although I think 4 alternates would be a better option). Of course, bringing in Lang would mean a little cleanup elsewhere, but that's Gainey's job.
I would take the risk of going after Legwand. A Legwand and Cammalleri combination would look great together. A 4.5 cap hit who would continue through 13-14 is a risk, but we would have a group of nice core players signed for quite a while, a coach signed for quite some time, the exact stability we are looking for.
Understand that Legwand is quite big but doesn't play exactly big. Still has a reach and still protects the puck well. Has some great speed and is really good defensively. Would fit in a Jacques Martin system pretty easily.
Why do people keep talking about "replacing" Plekanec? We have a good young cheap second line capable center in him.
You want to dump that for 1 year of Robert ****ing Lang?
Give me a break..
I wouldn't mind signing Lang AND keeping Plekanec.
Montreal potentially has a cheap second line center in Plekanec.
All depends on arbitration and what Plekanec comes to play next year.
The Plekanec that would dart in and out of high traffic areas, who used his speed and showed fire of two years ago would be great. If its another 39 point campaign then its time to look elsewhere. This will be a very telling year. If he rebounds to 50+ points, Montreal will be fine.
If you guys don't want Lang and we end up losing Heatley and not getting too much Cap hit on the way back, I would love for Lang to come to Ottawa.
Lang is amazing, he can really improve the players he's playing with and that's why he was so great with Montreal: he made Sergei Kostitsyn a better player, and that kid is going to be phenomenal.