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Canadiens Roster

  • With the Mats Sundin drama over and the rather unexpected signing of Robert Lang, how will the new Canadiens look when they hit the ice October 10th?

    Who makes the roster? Who plays with who? Does the addition of Lang cancel out any slim chance of a rookie making the team?

    A surplus of talent is a good problem to have, where do the pieces all fit?

128 Comments
  1. #1 Dancan81 says:
    September 15, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    My problem with the surplus of talent is that some may take their spot for granted and not show up every night. Whereas a rookie or someone fighting for a roster spot will have that little extra motivation.

    Either way, our team appears to be set and by the trade deadline, need be, we can be that much better.

    PS. Don’t break up the akost-pleks-kovy line!

  2. So here is how I see our lines:
    Tanguay, Lang, Kovalev
    A. Kost, Plekanec, S. Kost. (this line may need more muscle at times)
    Higgins, Koivu, Latendress (Chipchura)
    Begin, Lappierre, Laraque (Kostopoulos)

    Chipchura and Kostopoulos can sub in at right or left wing if we need more muscle or in case of injury. It does not look like there is much room for any rookies this year unless we send Latendresse down to Hamilton like we talked about a month ago. Give him the wake up call they he may need.

    Looks like a pretty good offense to me.

  3. I know many do not want to breakup the akost-pleks-kovy line, but there is some rational to doing it. Firstly, early in the season Carbo will look for different line combinations and Land had his most successful season when he centred Kovalev’s line in Pittsburg. So I would like to see if that chemistry still exists.

    Secondly, Land had as many points a koivu did last year playing as a third line centre, plus he had 20 goals. So if the chemistry works then Lang is my number # centreman.

    Thirdly, Koivu has never been a centreman who could score and Land has so Koivu is my number 3 centreman.

    I disagree with the idea that all three lines should get the same icetime. If you have players on the team that can score 30+ goals a season then they should be getting the extra icetime. Also it has been a proven fact that your stars need more icetime to be productive and stay in the flow of the game. I see my first two lines getting 21-25 minutes a game whereas my third and fourth lines are going to get 12-15 minutes. Lang, tanguay and Kovalev as my #1 line and I would

    Because of this I would have see who fits best on the RW with A Kost and Plekanec either Sergi or Higgins. That still give us a solid third line regarless of who Koivu is centering.

  4. Hereis one more thought before I shut up, Kovalev had a great season last year, and not so great the year before, so which Kovalev shows up this year? I think if he is put with the two new players brought into the club it may energize him to play great, then if we put him back with Plekanec line later hopefully he will keep that Energy going.

    Also we want to see if Plekanec and A.Kost can be creative on there own with another linemate. Sergi plays well with his brother and this may be his breakout year. That leaves Higgins, what do yo do with a 27 goal scorer, well there are a number of options including playing with Koivu. Only thing is he needs more than 15 minutes of icetime per game to score that many goals again this year. It is a nice problem to have.

  5. #5 groundworking says:
    September 15, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    This is the most exited that I’ve been at this time of year in my 22 years as a Habs fan.

    Youth, Experience, Skill.

    Playoff Goaltending might be up in the air!

  6. Carried over from tehe other thread….

    Senet1
    September 15th, 2008 at 8:01 pm
    I like most of your line combinations but you have Koivu with 65 points he only had 56 last year and Lang had the same number of points with more goals. I like lang either our first or second line centre

    You don’t think with Tanguay on Koivu’s wing that he will see an increase of 10 points?

  7. Senet1
    September 15th, 2008 at 8:03 pm
    So here is how I see our lines:
    Tanguay, Lang, Kovalev
    A. Kost, Plekanec, S. Kost. (this line may need more muscle at times)
    Higgins, Koivu, Latendress (Chipchura)
    Begin, Lappierre, Laraque (Kostopoulos)

    I’m sorry but I think this is way off. I don’t think one of those lines will happen. Begin will not be on the team to start the season. That spot is between him and Kostopolous, and the latter has way more heart and tenacity. Lang will only be 1st or 3rd line, but why wuold they impede the progress of Pleks & Andrei Kostitsyn? That line will stay intact. The 2nd line WILL be Tanguay, Koivu, Higgins. It’s a perfect fit for all those guys. They all have speed, Koivu is a set up man, Higgins more of a finisher, Tanguay a balance of both. 3rd line Lats-Lang-S. Kost this line is also a good mix of different talents as I mentioned in the other thread. As for your 30+ goals theory, the only 30+ goal guys will be the PP1 guys (line 1) when I said equal ice time I meant 5-on-5 ice time will be close to equal between the 3 (within 2 min. avg) Take a few minutes from lines 1,2,&4 give them to line 3 and there ya go.

    P.S. Lang was not 3rd line in Chicago….the Dobber article meant he would be 3rd line in Montreal. He played 2nd line mostly, 1st when Toews was hurt.

  8. I would like to think that Tanguay would help any centre be 10 points better, but lets face it Koivu has never been a big poing producer, we went through this last June, look up his stats. He has very few 20 goal seasons whereas Lang as been seven 20 Plus goal seasons, whereas Koivu only has three with the biggest year being 22 goals. That is why I like Lang and besides he had some of his best seasons centering Kovalev.

  9. Alais you could be right personally I think any of yours or my line combinations will serve the team well. However, Langs stats do no lie and if he can find the chemistry with Kovalev, then that would be even better.

    I do not think moving higgins or sergie on Plekanec’s line will cause him any problems in his development in fact it could help because he will have to take more of a leadership roll whereas when Kovalev was on his line he took a back seat to Kovy in that department. sergi gives the line a little grit and they still have speed. Kovy is not going to be around forever and these three could make up one of the best lines in the league for quite a few years. Besides, the two Kost brothers seem to play well together every time that were put on the ice together last year.

  10. Another stat that is interesting is over Lang’s career he has average 57 points in 11 seasons, Koivu 49 points in 12 seasons, Lang is a plus 53 and Koivu is a -14. Then we have size, land 6’3″ 216 lbs, Koivu 5’10″ 187 lbs.

    If I am point to put my best line head to head with most other teams best lines when needed, I know which centre I would want on the ice.

  11. Bottom Line we can make two real powerful offensive lines and a third line that is better than 95% in the league. Our fourth line is a good energy line and can take care of business. Our defence is one year older and more mature, still wish we could have added a strong defensive defenceman to the group, someone who could be here for say three years while our younger players develop.

    Anyway I am sure that Carbo will try many different line combinations, that is what the Canadiens have always done, so I think you will see various combinations so each of our top 9 forwards get a change to play with different players, come playoff time we will be prepared.

  12. I was wrong about Lang’s number of season, he did bounce around between the minors and the NHL between 1992 and 1998 before he played his first full season so that stat is not really reflective as far as points is concerned. Whereas Koivu came right into the league and played full seasons except for his year out with cancer.

  13. you keep comparing Lang to Koivu, but I never said Koivu should be #1 center….its between Lang & Plekanec. Remember Lang is 38 years old….how many players have productive seasons at 38? Productive for him being 65-70 points. The only players I can think of having solid seasons at this age are among the likes of Sakic(100pts at 38), Gretzky (90pts at 37), Lemieux(91pts at 38) and those were not one of the top 5 seasons for those players. Lang is not near that calibre of player and a 70 pt season would be Lang’s 2nd best season ever. The chances of him hitting those numbers are slim.

  14. Schneider on waivers

    http://ducks.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=382137

    Think Montreal could make room for him?

  15. Well I compare Lang to Koivu because I think he is the big centreman that we need to go up against the other top centers in the league, Koivu has proven that he cannot compete in the faceoff circle with these big centerman and hopefully Lang can. Also if you put Kovalev and Tanguay on his line I would be very surprised if he does not get 70 points. Even Koivu would get 70 points with those two guys, however, Lang will score more goals and he will give us a better defense that Koivu will. That is why I have him in my top two centers and that is why I am comparing him to Koivu. And let’s face it Koivu is no spring chicken either.

  16. #16 habknot says:
    September 16, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    I think there is room for a surprise rookie. Our 4th line RW position is a battle between Begin, TomK., Dandenault? If Max Pac or D’agostini have a great camp… Also, as mentioned above, Lats has much to prove and I believe still has options.

    On D Valentenko could outsize Franky B. [though noone outhearts him] or Carle or Suppan could be kept for PP. I think O’B's a lock

    I still think the big line stays intact, and Lang is 3rd line center, in a role much like Bonk’s two years back: steady D, occaisional O.

  17. Anybody know what Schneider’s salary is, because if we pick him up we at stuck with his salary arn’t we?

  18. We I see Habknot agrees with alias about Lang being out third line centre, personally I just cannot see someone who scored 21 goals last year and has had 7 other season when he scored more than 20 goals being relegated to the third line when Koivu has only score 20 goals 3 times in his career and also carries a minus in the plus minus stats. But I will stop nagging about it because I seem to be outnumbered.

  19. I like the fact that we have extra depth for the fourth line but I would like to see chipchura, Stewart get a crack at the lineup this year. If we cannot find a defensive defenseman then I would like to see at least two of our young defenseman given a chance this year.

    Personally, I would like to see one of our fifth.sixth defenseman traded sometime this fall along with two of our extra fourth line forwards to make room for some of these young guys.

  20. Schneiders cap hit is 5.625. We have about 2.5 in space, but when you scratch a player his cap hit is pro-rated. If Brisebois, Bouillion, Dandeneault are scratched/released we could make teh space. But I doubt we get him since we are near the end of the waiver list and he will most likely be snagged by LA, VAN, PHX, OTT before he gets to us, so it may be a moot point.

  21. Your right about schneider, although his salary may hurt him from getting snapped up. Not too many times interested in paying 5.6M for his age, how many years left on his contract?

    He could be that steadying force that we need for our defense and could mentor one of our young guns on the blueline. Too bad his salary is so high.

  22. #22 habknot says:
    September 16, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Senet1, I don’t think it much matters if we call it 2nd or 3rd line: I think Lang will be lined up against the big boys most of the time, especially when protecting a lead, I wouldn’t be surprised if its with Begin and Higgins in close games. Koivu would fit with Tanguay and Sergei K. as a more offensive line that Carbo will try to keep away from the Thornton type big lines and the real physical lines.
    Its all just guess work and fun at this point. I also liked Stewart, but have been less impressed with Chipchura, who was mediocre overall while up here [OK on D, OK on O, but not great at either]. Hey, I’m one of the guys preaching patience with Lats, so hopefully a year at Hamilton has improved him.

    Schneider doesn’t help us unless we release Dandenault and Brisebois, maybe even Gorges. I don’t like the fit.

  23. remember LA is barely at the cap floor, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him land there, they could really use someone to fill in Blake’s spot

  24. Habknot – I agree regarding Chipchura, I really thought he cold have done better….not sure if he will turn into the top 6 forwards he was projected to be. I also could see S. Kost play with Koivu & Tanguay, but I really doubt we see Begin much anymore.

  25. Habknot, your right it is all guess work, we all have our own ideas about how everything will fit into place. Bottom line is Montreal has always mixed up their lines so I expect we will see a number of different combinations over the season. I also agree with you about Latendresse, I think is is improving but I would like to see him sent down while he we can since I believe he can only play 8 more games before he has to clear waivers.

  26. I don’t like having to give up too much for nothing in order to sign him and I don’t like his salary, does not leave a much room for making a move in March if we need to.

  27. In Schneiders situation, once he clears waivers, are you not on the hook for only half his salary on re-entry waivers (meaning when he gets called back up by Anaheim. Anaheim, I believe is on the hook for the other half. However, the teams with the fewest points last year have first crack at him ,so I don’t think Montreal would have any chance of getting him at half his salary. I think thats the way it works (correct me if I am wrong).

  28. i think when he clears waivers (which he has now) its first come first serve. Thats just a guess though. But for 1/2 his salary we should definitely try to grab him!

  29. either that or when he clears waivers Anaheim still owns his rights and can trade him (but at 1/2 his salary) Either way ANA is onteh hook for 1/2 his salary which is why I think nobody claimed him, nobody wants to aid Burke

  30. If Schneider clears waivers, than no team has grabbed him and he remains Anaheim property. They can choose to buy him out or to send him to the minors. If they buy him out, then he is a UFA to the highest bidder. If they send him to the minors, the only way he can come back is on re-entry waivers and if he gets claimed there, then the Ducks are on the hook for half his salary (remember the Ron Hainsey situation with the Habs a few years ago). If someone grabbed him before the noon deadline today, then they will be on the hook for his full salary. As mentionned by a preivous poster, LA will probably grab him so they can get up to the minimum cap level.

  31. if he has a 1-way contract i dont think they can send him to the minors, and the window to buy him out has passed.

  32. #32 habs 4 me says:
    September 17, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    I doubt we’ll pickup Shneider because other teams will precede us with the pecking order. Besides we’re too close to the salary cap to afford him.

  33. I like what they have done in the Off Season. Deciding nto to take Mats was a great call. Mats isn’t a guy that we would want in Montreal.

  34. #34 habs 4 me says:
    September 17, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    the players I can see making the team: Pacioretty, the power forward we’ve been waiting for 15 years now, Valentenko, big and strong with a very hard shot, and Webber, the highest scoring Dman in the OHL last year, who could certainly replace Streit on our PP. what do you guys think?

  35. habs 4 me – remember if we happen to get schneider our cap hit would be 1/2 of 5.6 mil which we easily would be able to work out Also, tough to see any rookies making the squad. Unless we totally shake up our defense or are plagued with injuries Valentenko & Weber should stay in Hamiton almost all year.

  36. senet 1 – one more thing about Koivu’s lack of 20 goal seasons, did you take into account games played? If you pro-rate his goals to a 82 game schedule he actually would have had 5 20+ goal seasons. And two years he was out for a very long time….99-00 he played 24 games, 01-02 3 games (which were not one of the 5 seasons I mentioned above). Another thing to note, when you come back from injury you aren’t always 100%, it could have taken some time for him to get back into the groove, where if he never was injured his goals/game ratio would be higher. Koivu’s point per game is 0.81 and goals per game is 0.241. Lang’s ppg is 0.73 and gpg is 0.267. So Koivu gets more points overall (+0.08/g) while Lang contributes slightly more goals(+0.026/g)

  37. I waited 3 hours to try to get two tickets for Montreal- Anaheim on October 25. My wife and I are travelling to Montreal from Nova Scotia for our wedding anniversary on that weekend. I had no luck as I had to leave work to pick my son up at school. Does anyone know if I would have luck outside the Bell Centre on game day?

  38. #38 habknot says:
    September 17, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Pergamepoll: Mats is certainly someone I would have loved getting for our team, but once again, I think BG did exactly the right thing. Invite, entice, but keep your ship on course.

    On the Koivu/Lang thing: Koivu is dangerous. If you have a one goal lead on Mtl late, Koivu is who you don’t want to see. Totals mean something, but not everything. He has guts and drive that are hard to measure [Finns are crazy - just like Canadians :-) ]

    Lang has offensive skills; but is a way above average defensive player. If I’m coach, he centers my top defensive line and Koivu centers a more offensive line. Best guys for the best jobs. Koivu’s defense is slipping each year, I hope you guys remember his early years when he would literally carry guys on his back while trying to set up plays for a pretty mediocre squad. He needs reduced ice-time, reduced defensive responsibility and I think his output will actually increase. Montreal should have four strong lines[maybe including a rookie - noone's mentioned Maxwell yet, I don't think] and home/away, lead/behind will determine how much icetime each gets.

  39. #39 habknot says:
    September 17, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Jaker1, there will be tickets available. Normally Anaheim wouldn’t be that big a draw; but they have some bruisers on that team and I think fans will want to see Parros/Laraque etc..
    Plus, if we’re 5-0 or 6-0, you will pay dearly for those seats.

    Good Luck!

  40. good points habknot with lang/koivu’s offensive/defensive skills. I’m curious….how do you see the lines playing out?

  41. I really believe that the acquisition of Robert Lang is one
    of Gainey’s great move, he will build us a team again and
    players like Latendresse who don’t put out every night should be sent to the minors or traded. Montreal is a team
    that has speed and talent and Latendresse is dogging it just
    like John LeClair used to do it and look where he ended up.

  42. #42 habs 4 me says:
    September 17, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    you can always buy tickets on Craigslist, and abit cheaper if lucky.

  43. hey Jean-Guy yeah LeClair ended up in Philly and came back to haunt us…and had a pretty solid career just incase you forget here are his stats
    - –
    2003-04 Philadelphia NHL 75 23 32 55 +20 51 182 12.64
    2002-03 Philadelphia NHL 35 18 10 28 +10 16 99 18.18
    2001-02 Philadelphia NHL 82 25 26 51 +5 30 220 11.36
    2001-02 Team USA Olympic 6 6 1 7 +2 4 18 33.33
    2000-01 Philadelphia NHL 16 7 5 12 +2 0 48 14.58
    1999-00 Philadelphia NHL 82 40 37 77 +8 36 249 16.06
    1998-99 Philadelphia NHL 76 43 47 90 +36 30 246 17.48
    1997-98 Philadelphia NHL 82 51 36 87 +30 32 303 16.83
    1997-98 Team USA Olympic 4 0 1 1 – 0 – -
    1996-97 Philadelphia NHL 82 50 47 97 +44 58 324 15.43
    1995-96 Philadelphia NHL 82 51 46 97 +21 64 270 18.89

  44. #44 Jean-Marc says:
    September 17, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Chantal Peticlerc the Olympian with 5 gold medals at the Pekin Olympic should be honoured on opening night at the forum.

    Yes or No

  45. Jean-Marc
    September 17th, 2008 at 10:24 pm
    Chantal Peticlerc the Olympian with 5 gold medals at the Pekin Olympic should be honoured on opening night at the forum.

    Yes or No

    First off, where is Pekin? And second, I hope she doesn’t show up at the Forum, she’ll be quite lonely.

  46. Even if he is on a one-way contract, he can agree to go to the minors and when the Ducks try to bring him back he is more attractive to be claimed because the Ducks are now on the hook for half his salary.

  47. Higgins-Koivu-Tanguay(then the all around great line.)
    A.Kostitsyn-Plekanec-Kovalev(Crazy speedy line)
    Latendresse-Lang-S.Kostitsyn(defensive line to put out.
    Kostopoulos-Lapierre-Laraque(energy line)

    Markov Komisarek
    Hamrlik O’Byrne
    Gorges Boullion

    goalies Price and Denis, I say that becaue Halak can develop better in the AHL where he can play all season.

  48. My predictions: Kovalev 81 pts Plekanec 76 pts Tanguay 74 pts Koivu 72 pts Andrei K 64 pts Sergei 63 pts Higgy 53 pts
    Markov 51 pts Lang 44 pts(with Kovy 66)Price gets nomineed for VEZINA.ETC. (CUP!!!) I would like to see 1 more vet on the team though. Schneider is too much but maybe some one like Shanahan or something. and I say I would like to, but Montreal doesn’t need it. I want Denis up with the club because if Price goes down in the playoffs I rather have an expierienced 31 year old Quebecer in nets than a 24 or whatever inexpierienced euro in net.(HALAK)

  49. You want Denis in becuase he is 31 and from Quebec? Do I need to point out his stats to you? Last 3 NHL seasons his best GAA was 3.19. Only once in the last 7 years has his GAA been under 3. I think you’re overvaluing Denis and undervaluing Halak a lot. #1 goalie in the AHL last year, he is 12-7 with the Habs, and had he played instead of Huet that last game we would have made the playoffs 2 years ago. This kid is not your average 23 year old netminder. He could step up into a #1 NHL job tomorrow if need be. He is more advanced mentally than most ‘tenders his age. What does he have to accomplish in the AHL? Putting him there will not help him progress at all. The progression he needs is more NHL experience. Denis is in Hamilton so he can get his confidence back after Tortorella shattered it. Halak will play 20-25 games this year and if not by the trade deadline, before next season begins he will be traded. Denis is our long-term back up WHEN Price is able to handle 70+games and IF Denis proves he can still play in the NHL. He is in the right environment now, let’s just hope he thrives.

  50. Remember if we get Schneider we only pay 1/2 of his salary, so he is not that expensive. He would easily fit under the cap, but I’m not sure Gainey wants to be so close to the cap at this point in the season. Kind of ties your hands when trying to make a deal at the trade deadline for a solid player to help in a Cup run.

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