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Improving the Canadiens

  • What players and positions need to be filled on the Canadiens to make them a real legitimate contender?

    Here’s a list of what I’d call ‘expendable’ players that could be let go to make improvements to the team.

    • Richard Zednik
    • Jan Bulis
    • Niklas Sundstrom
    • Mike Ribeiro
    • Todd Simpson
    • Mark Streit
    • David Aebischer

    Disagree?

    Does anyone even want these players? Time will tell. If they do go, it’s important to get something in return that will fill in the gaps for the Canadiens.
    Don’t trade an underachieving forward for another under achieving forward. Don’t trade a slow footed 1 dimensional defenceman for another 1 dimensional defenceman.

    I’d venture a guess that 5 of those aformentioned players will not be wearing a Canadiens jersey come next season.

54 Comments
  1. #1 kazmojo says:
    May 18, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    Zednik: under contract, and won’t get much via trade. Proved his worth in the playoffs as a aggressive forechecker, and seemed to click with Tomas Plekanec. Might be good enough to keep on the third line.

    Bulis: a breakout year in some respects (remember the 4 goal game against Philly?), but still inconsistent. He’s a free agent, and I’d rather spend the $ on big ticket center or right wing. We have enough two-way forwards (Begin, Murray, Bonk, Zednik, Plekanec, etc) that we can afford to replace him.

    Sundstrom: A decent defensive forward. Also a free agent, and the same argument against resigning Bulis applies to him.

    Ribeiro: the absolute worst of this lot. He was supposed to replace Yanic Perreault as the second-line center, but go check out what Perreault did with Nashville this year. Think of what Kovalev could have done with a decent setup man.

    Simpson: added some depth, but fortunately we never had to use him in the playoffs. If we hadn’t lost Hainsey and Beauchemin on waivers to Columbus, he wouldn’t even be here.

    Streit: pre-Olympics, he was just terrible. Post-Olympics, he filled in ably for Markov during his injury (with some lapses). I think his only problem is confidence. Otherwise, this guy has talent both offensively and defensively, and should stay as their 7th.

    Aebischer: also has talent, but we have Yann Danis and Carey Price coming up, making Aebischer expendable. Plenty of teams would love a goalie who has proved he can play in the new NHL. Maybe trade for a big, playmaking center, and use the remaining cap space to sign a right winger — or vice versa?

  2. #2 Habs#1 says:
    May 18, 2006 at 5:44 pm

    The Rumor that Zednik and maybe Aebischer will be heading for Detroit for Robert Lang has become much more rampant and would be great for Montreal because he had unbelievable chemistry with Kovalev when they were in Pittsburgh together.

    Ribeiro needs to go no matter he Gainey does it. He’s to small, to little real skill, to flashy and hotdogish and he’s whiny and selfish so he hopefully won’t be back.

    Yes Bulis had 20 goals and he would make a great third line player but he’s to inconsistent to be on the second line and let’s not forget that 4 of them came in one fluke game.

    Sundstrom was a dissapointment this season and didn’t look very good in the playoffs so he won’t be back.

    Streit is developing into a quality depth defenceman and he will be retained but Simpson was just a rental and he shoudn’t be back.

    They need someone like Lang to centre the second line and a big talented winger to play on the other side who has heart, which means an actual canadian( I know it sounds very Don Cherry but it’s true.). Bring back Huet and bring your defence back intact if you can’t get Redden, Willie Mitchell, or ‘JovoCop’(Ed Jovanovski) because they have a young developing defence that includes a good futur stay at home stalwart in Komisarek and a furture supurstar in Markov.

    And to all you people who want Souray gone cut the guy some slack. Just like a whole bunch of other good players he took about half the season to get used to the new NHL and with the distraction his wife was causing him it’s no wonder he looked a bit distracted.

    Next season if all this happens the King of Kings of hockey go back on their throne!!!

  3. “King of Kings of hockey go back on their throne”, I like that. Trade everyone mentioned except for Mark Streit, he’s coming along and he’s great on the power play. Good 6 or 7 d-man.
    Very simple and it’s no secret 3 pieces are needed:

    * 2nd Line Centre – good fit: Lang, Arnot, Richards (or Savard, he maybe to small & injury pron)
    * 2nd Line Winger – Selanie, Bertuzzi, Sykora or Elias (Elias would be wicked)
    * MOST IMPORTANT #1 Legit D-Man – Jovo, Redden or Chara (I give 7+ for Jovo)

    Imagine:
    FORWARDS:
    1 – Higgins, Koivu, Ryder 2 – Elias, Arnot, Kovalev 3 – Begin, Bonk, Latendresse
    4 – Murray, Chipchura, Perezhogin
    DEFENSE:
    1 – Jovo and Souray
    2 – Markov and Komisarek
    3 – Bouillion and Dandenault (Extra’s – Streit and Rivet)

    Let’s do it Bob, let’s finish the puzzle. Go Habs Go, Go Habs Go!

  4. #4 Gumper says:
    May 18, 2006 at 11:12 pm

    Elias AND Arnott? I would think one or the other. Your second line’s worth about 15 million! There’s a ton of other reasonably priced talent out there to be had. Bo will make the right moves when it’s time. And… if we’re signing a defenceman, make it Redden. He’s the safest bet for the long term. Jovo’s spent. Chara,.. yeah, he’s a f#cken monster alright. I just don’t see him as a fit for the Habs, personally.

    I tend to agree with kazmojo’s assesment. Well put.

  5. #5 Alex Normandin says:
    May 19, 2006 at 6:38 pm

    I agree trade everyone if possible. However, I also agree that Zednik will not be gone. Maybe on a give away for high profile player, but even then because of salary cap that might not even happen. Anyhow, the reality is that the Bleu-Blanc-Rouges absolutely need three high profile players to improve their constant 8th give or take spot in the conference. 2 forwards 1 defence.
    Speaking of Arnott: well that would be interesting but we really need is a strong set-up man for Kovy and Lang would be good…no complaints.
    Redden however, u guys are dreaming….NEVER!If Ottawa losses him they’ll do anything to make sure he does not come to Montreal. Same division, Bob Gainey, and an array of young high potential players.

    Game Plan

    1. If anything montreal should get three high profile players.
    2. Nothing more, cuz we bring up the rookies starting next year(Chipchura, Kotsitsyn,maybe Latendress(had an average year but the fans love him…thats good for heart. Maybe even a a defenceman and of course Yann Danis. Not crazy about him but could be a Huet!
    3. remaining $$$$ to increase salary of this years Rookies and others such as: Perezogin,Plakanek(awsome), Huet, Ryder so on and so forth. The organization needs to make proof of respect for its players. This will also incite other players accross the NHL.
    I Gainy we Trust
    VIVE le TRICOLORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. #6 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 20, 2006 at 8:24 am

    A center a winger and a d-man and this team is very close.

  7. #7 pennywisdom says:
    May 20, 2006 at 2:55 pm

    Gotta keep Aebischer for now. I’m still not sold on Huet. The future looks good, but does anybody remember Steve Penney? If Huet still looks solid half-way through the year then Aebischer becomes expendable. He’s a good insurance policy for now. I think Gainey could swing something decent for Zednik come playoff time if a team is looking for scoring depth. If he can unload Theo he can do just about anything. We got a great shot at Arnott…Elias will never happen. I think the Sens will retain Redden before Chara, so we could make a move to sign him, but I’m not holding my breath. This team does not have a history of making a big splash in the free agent market. Besides, let’s continue to build from within. With so much young talent give them some ice time, let them develop. Five or six years from now we won’t be mentioning names like Arnott, Chara, or Elias. I’t will be Higgins, Latandresse, Chipchura and Kostitsyn.

  8. #8 sarah says:
    May 20, 2006 at 11:42 pm

    I just have one thing to say, Ribeiro is not so bad, and he is not the worst of the team !!!

  9. #9 anonymous says:
    May 22, 2006 at 5:46 pm

    Lets face it guys. THe Canadiens are going to be terrible next year and the years after it. We have no chance in the new NHL.

  10. #10 Phil says:
    May 22, 2006 at 6:25 pm

    Sarah you might be right there were problems on Montreal but I believe the team gained confidence with how our goaltending went. Still the team has a lot of upswing and hope.But as good as Ribeiro was the season before he didn’t show it this past season.It looked many times he was not offering his best effort.

  11. #11 ushabsfan says:
    May 23, 2006 at 1:17 pm

    Agree with pac serva that the team is very close… salary cap drafting and team construction has become its own sport interest in the US NFL. Some teams are very good at it and have it down to a science (New England Patriots), while other teams try to put it all together for one shot and if they blow it, spend several years stinking out the joint (Tennessee Titans). Better to be the former and have a legitimate shot at the whole thing most years – it’s hard to win a cup and the more often you’re in the playoffs, the more likely you are to go the whole way – the great Detroit teams of recent years had a bunch of stumbles before they finally put it together.

    In the salary cap NFL, successful teams don’t buy lots of high-priced superstars, do have a lot of versatile team first players (eg Pats have linebackers catching TD passes and Doug Flutie drop-kicking), and implement innovative schemes. Ultimately, the best asset is good management and coaching, which I think the Habs have in spades. We also have solid goaltending. We need more scoring and better defense.

    But I think we’re so close…

  12. #12 jfk0202 says:
    May 23, 2006 at 4:33 pm

    first of all Elias anit comeing to montreal he said the only candaian team he will play with is the leafs and montreal anit going to sign no one when it comes to free agents bob anit a good talker and i think hes the shitest GM in hockey so all you montreal fans dont get your hopes up go oliers go

  13. #13 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 23, 2006 at 4:44 pm

    Wow you have really great hockey sense jfk0202 please tell us more.Your responses really show how smart you are or is it your spelling.

  14. #14 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 23, 2006 at 4:45 pm

    anit lol lol

  15. #15 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 23, 2006 at 4:46 pm

    comeing lol lol

  16. #16 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 23, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    candaian lol lol

  17. #17 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 23, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    shitest lol lol

  18. #18 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 23, 2006 at 4:48 pm

    lol lol WOW

  19. #19 joey says:
    May 23, 2006 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Guys,

    Is Brad Richards really worth 7.9 million a year….

    Is this what is takes to get a free agent to Montreal????? If so, we might be in big trouble…. Gainey will not give that kind of money to anyone …

  20. #20 Jack says:
    May 23, 2006 at 7:59 pm

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the Rich Richards pact. Not too many teams would risk the farm on one or two players: remember, with that signing the Bolts have precious little space in their salary cap. It takes a team to win Cups, as all the semi-finalists are proving.
    Of course, a couple of key additions will strengthen the team greatly! You gotta spend money to play with the big boys — the Habs have salary cap space and we all trust that Gainey will spend wisely.
    For example: Chara will likely demand a similar amount, but I’d stay away from him. Selanne, though, will not be as rich, and he might fit in well.

  21. #21 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 23, 2006 at 9:36 pm

    Good point jack, i just find that it was a little to much for richards but i trust gainey will make the right moves.Yes we do have money to spend but lets try and add it to certain areas on the team instead of one player.Gainey will surprise us all just wait and see

  22. #22 lucky says:
    May 23, 2006 at 9:39 pm

    I think the Bolts have made a mistake with all this money for Brad Richards

    I do believe that Bob Gainey will make the proper choices for the HABS and he will build a winning team.

    Has anyone hear who the assitant coach will be???

  23. #23 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 23, 2006 at 9:40 pm

    Oh ya jack you are so right on how little cap space tampa has now,they dumped all their money into richards instead of position where they need it the most IN GOAL.Just look at this years playoffs,where would the four remaining teams be without their goaltending.

  24. #24 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 23, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    Sorry lucky i havent heard anything since the muller rumours

  25. #25 jeff says:
    May 24, 2006 at 1:32 am

    nobody knows how the #666 will be used to determine the AntiChrist. When he is revealed, then it will be understood well this date came to my mind june 6th 2006 in other ways june is the 6th month the sixth day and the year 2006 this = (666) and everyone knows what happend on sept 11th 2001 and that days was known as (911)day a call for help. and if they day happends there will be no more hockey

  26. Hey jeff thanks for that tid bit….When did they let you out…..ya know …the one with pads on the walls…No more hockey to be played after that woooooo:-)

  27. #27 jfk0202 says:
    May 24, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    Just so people know, not that it matters…but the jfk0202 post before was someone that created an acount with the same name as me. I am guessing it is the same guy that I was up in heat with a month ago who was taking peoples names. Anyway as for trades, we do have to give up a few free loaders/under achievers. I like most of them (ie Zednik, Bonk) but it is hard to keep them all here with all the yougn talent we ahve coming up. I think this year showed that our young guys are a bright future. I just don’t know what we can get for Ribeiro, Zednik, Sundstrom…I Would keep Bonk as a great 3rd/4th line defensive penalty killer that can score on the occasion too.

  28. #28 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 24, 2006 at 1:03 pm

    sure jfk0202 that was not you. i think it was see what happends when you somke to much drugs it gets to your head and spelling gramer.

  29. #29 Canadiens own the universe says:
    May 24, 2006 at 3:32 pm

    The canadiens dont need to improve. with the way they are playing, there is no one to stop them from winning the cup. Canadiens over San Jose in 6!!!!!!

  30. #30 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 24, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    me too someone using my name as well. Someone who has no girlfriend or life.Going under peoples handles

  31. #31 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 24, 2006 at 7:39 pm

    His parents are cousins and he has sex with his sister.Get a life and leave this blog loser

  32. #32 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 24, 2006 at 7:41 pm

    Just take a look at the spelling in the 28th post this guy is a real brain.

  33. #33 lucky says:
    May 24, 2006 at 10:14 pm

    Hey Pactum Serva do you listen to the Team 990 because they were claiming that the Bolts might move Lecavalier or St-Louis for some goaltending and clear some salary cap.
    I don’t know if it’s a rumor or not but I heard that last summer he(Lacavalier) was very close in signing with the HABS and he is not a fan of this coach so let’s wait and see what happens…..it would be nice.

  34. #34 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 24, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    Hey lucky.No i didnt hear that but do you know how much each other makes?It will be interesting to see how things unfold in tampa but i would rather have vinny than marty

  35. #35 joey says:
    May 25, 2006 at 12:35 am

    Lecavalier 6.0 mil
    St-Louis 5.2 mil

    Yeah Lecavalier is a much better clutch player than st. Louis. If the canadiens can get on of the two, it will be awesome.

  36. #36 joey says:
    May 25, 2006 at 1:02 am

    Martin St. Louis $31.0 mil for 6 years starts 2005
    Vincent Lacavalier $27.5 mil for 4 years starts 2005

    actually Lecavalier’s salary should be 6.875 per year. Last year he made 6 mil and this year he should be making 6.5 mil.

  37. #37 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 25, 2006 at 7:10 am

    thanks joey

  38. #38 shortcat1 says:
    May 25, 2006 at 9:29 pm

    ‘expandable’ players… woah… who’s gonna pump those guys up? What kind of valve are they going to use? or will it be a dietary expansion?

    ;-p

    Go Canadiens Go!!!!!!!!!

  39. #39 lucky says:
    May 30, 2006 at 9:35 pm

    Hey Pactum Serva how are you

    I have to ask you a question…did you think Saku is coming back?? something is telling me that he isn`t, I saw the pictures and his eye does not look so good.

  40. #40 PACTUM SERVA says:
    May 30, 2006 at 10:00 pm

    Well there was a article earlier in the week saying the healing was going slow but now the tsn home page is saying things are improving but i guess time will only tell.Lets hope for the best.In my opinion i think he will be ready for camp.Cancer couldnt beat him and i dont think this will either.Heart of a lion. cya lucky

  41. #41 habsalltheway says:
    May 31, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    get well soon koivu…

  42. #42 habs says:
    May 31, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    this is too kazmojo the first writer

    y wood u trade abeischer for a right winger
    were stacked on right wing (Ryder, Kovalev) what we need is a playmaking right handed centre and a big time scoring left wing that does score a goal almost every game, plus how do u know if huet will be the same next year, u dont. what if he chokes.

    oo and about the Bulis thing. u can let him go but u said he wasnt consitant. no1 on the habs is consistant

  43. #43 Phil says:
    May 31, 2006 at 7:59 pm

    Hi everyone the human eye is the one organ that heals the quickest.Scar tissue takes time and like a lot of things it takes time to get used to a different feeling. Something Koivu will get used to. He WILL be back!!
    Above all any team is built from the defence out….I would think Montreal will try for another defencemen.Someone to quaterback a power play.Lot of young talent still with the bulldogs for wingers. Another experienced centre would be a help.To bad we got rid of Yanic Perreault…with the new NHL??Didn’t have a bad season last year.

  44. #44 Habs suck says:
    June 2, 2006 at 11:10 am

    Habs will never improve until they play a full seaon and don’t lose to the #2 seed in the eastern conference.

  45. #45 PACTUM SERVA says:
    June 12, 2006 at 1:54 pm

    Trade Koivu, Kovalev, Souray, and Markov. Also get rid of Huet and Bouillon. In return acquire some young prospects and this team will be booming.

  46. #46 11#25#23# says:
    June 15, 2006 at 1:56 am

    I agree with everyone here the habs are definatly buyers heading into the next season. Im still pissed at management for not getting Teemu Selanne, the way he plays with koivu is just sick. they are team finlands #1 line, even Olli Jokinen would be a smart choice.
    To bad the habs dont really have anyone to give up as talanted as either of these two players.

    I would like to see the habs try to give up Aebischer and bulis or zednick in some sort of package deal.

    I would like to see ribero stick around one more year and put him back on a line with Dagenais, they tore it up in the Q for a couple of years and brought the memorial cup to gatinieu.Besides the habs could use his size up front.

    wait for chipchara thats the player the habs need right now.

  47. #47 SmileZ says:
    June 15, 2006 at 4:53 pm

    Hey guys,
    Being a Canadiens fan in Windsor, ON hasn’t been the easiest thing, however, it really gives me perspective when it comes to looking at what the other teams around me do and say (i.e.: Detroit & Toronto). What did Detroit really do to get so good? Sure, they signed some big name talent, but I think it was really their drafting. For a time Montreal drafted tiny little players with minimal results (with the exception of the best f*$@in’ Captain in the league!) and luckily for us Habs fans this is something that has changed in the past 4 – 5 years. O.K., so were on the right track so far. Now, I look at Toronto (ugh…) a team that has not raised a superstar (without trading him of course i.e.: J. Smith, A. McAuley, S. Sullivan) in ten years and has bought every piece of its team. Yet they made the playoffs every year despite having no really ‘team’ chemistry. So, we look at Montreal, get a real GM, done, GM shows us he is smart, done (Kovalev, trade Theo, sign ???), and now the time has come for the GM to build the Cup run for the next 3 years. With the previous 10 years before Gainey (or BG if you will) you feared the next Montreal move, now we look forward to it. Gainey keeps the core and brings in a Kovalev, its perfect! Thats what Toronto doesn’t do, which is fine by me. I relished in the anguish of all these ‘Regional’ fans who don’t know anything about their team yet claim they’re the best. But I digress, Gainey has pride with the Canadiens and isn’t padding his resume by working for G.Gillette. He is working on bringing home Cup #25 as we speak. I hear he is trying to land Lecavalier for Abby, Ribiero, and the ’06 1st round pick. If he can do that the cup us ours next year. It seems far fetched to me though, but its more than likely that he could lure Arnott to Montreal to center the second line (it works well for Arnott too because Montreal doesn’t really have a #1 line, we have 2 #1 lines). I really don’t know what Gainey will do for the wing, I don’t really see a problem with them as we have MANY young players with speed and potential coming up to learn from Kovalev. On defence Gainey needs a solid stay at home D-man for Komesarek to learn from, Rivet isn’t cutting it. In fact, I would trade Rivet to bring in a new D-man to fill that role (or possibly sign Witt?). Other than that our defence is solid! We just need one big punishing player to even it out (Markov-Souray, ???-Dandenault, Boullion-Streit) Is goaltending a problem now that Jose “the midget” Theodore is out? Nope, Huet is strong positionally and we have three good prospects coming up in Price, Danis, and Halak. Oh yeah, we also have a guy named Aibiescher. So, I would be so bold to say that we need 1 top 4 D-man, 1 2nd line Center, and a grinding winger who can pot 20 goals (maybe). I have seen the terrible times of the 90′s (post 93 or course) and I have seen these teams around me achieve consistent success, and let me tell y’all… Our time is soon! In Gainey we Trust! Let’s hope Toronto relocates to Las Vegas! Go HABS Go! Ole!
    SmileZ

  48. #48 Sean myers says:
    June 24, 2006 at 10:48 pm

    #9 anonymous….Obviously not a montreal fan….so go rant about some fag team like carolina or toronto….oh yeah montreal pwned toronto this season.

  49. #49 Sean myers says:
    June 24, 2006 at 10:58 pm

    Back again….Pactum Serva your an idiot…the only reason montreal won the first two games of the playoffs was koivu and huet….If we didnt have kovalev, where would our goals come from…Markov is gonna be one of the best defenseman in the league (and almost is)…..souray is gonna be back to his old self soon enough just wait and see….ALSO- No more fag trade rumours, like abby ribeiro and a first round pick for vinny???get real.

  50. #50 whotfru says:
    June 26, 2006 at 5:13 pm

    If we can nail a play making centreman and a power forward to play with Kovalev, this will leave more room for Koivu, Ryder and Higgins to score goals. With 2 very strong scoring lines, the habs can use Begin, Bulis& Sundstrom on the checking line. Then have the russians that I cant spell (pletenac, Kythcin ) with another player and we have a winning formula.
    Getting a Pronger would be nice on defence, but not realistic. One more strong D in our current mix would be all I ask for.
    Habs are poised for great things in 06/07.

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