A day off for the Canadiens means that everyone in Habsland will be paying attention to the Canadians instead. If they play like they did against the Americans there is no doubt that they will take the gold. That said, the Russians showed just how resilient they are taking down an incredibly talented Swedish team. Go Canada Go!!!
I also wanted to use this space to throw out a couple names that might not be a bad fit if Montreal is looking to make a deal. Note* I only picked players on teams that may be willing to make a deal given their season to date, desire to rebuild, or pressure to get better.
Jerome Iginla (Contract: 7m til 20112-13). He is the prototype for power-forwards in the league. He is exactly what the Habs need, and although he makes a serious amount of dough – there are ways that the Habs could go about getting him… but at what cost?
Martin Havlat (Contract: 5M until 2014-15). Havlat is a guy that many thought Gainey would go after the summer he brought in Gomez, Gionta and Cammy. At 5M he isn’t a crippler on the cap end – but it would still take some finagling. He’s excelled under Martin in the past, and the Habs could sure use a guy who has 35 points in 39 games. Minny may be willing to move him if it meant getting better in the long term – as the playoffs are nowhere near in sight for this club who really should try to give their fans something to hope for.
Wayne Simmonds (Contract: $875,000 RFA). Its not really common for teams to trade their youth – but LA would really like to add some scoring. This may be the avenue that Montreal could use to deal AK46 in order to get something in return for an expensive player that has never taken off in Montreal. Simmonds only has 15 points – yet you have to wonder if he might do better playing more than 13 minutes a night. At 6’2 he has a long ways to go towards filling out as he only weighs in at about 185 pounds – but if Montreal was ever in need of a guy who has youth, a pedigree of scoring, and NHL experience – this could be the guy.
Jamie Langenbrunner (Contract: $2.8M UFA) is a guy who is at the opposite end of the age spectrum from a guy like Simmonds, but could be a boon to a team who has struggled of late. Langenbrunner has only 15 points and is a terrible minus – 15.. but that could be as much a function of playing for a terrible Devils team as anything. Wisniewski is a great example of this type of an effect. A new start for a 35 year old heading into a UFA season might be just what the doctor ordered.
Matt Moulsen (Contract: 2.45M UFA) was a revelation for the Islanders last season. This season he has 21 points through 37 games. Not exactly lighting the world on fire, but neither are the Habs. Moulsen is 27 and is entering a UFA season that could be critical to his career. No doubt the Islanders would like to see him as a part of their future – but clearly they are sellers. Could Gauthier make a trade for a guy who can score, and has size to use at 6’1″ 205?