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Well the dust has settled , and the once cloudy future of the Montreal Canadiens has become a bit clearer. With the clarity though comes a none to welcome sight . The Montreal Canadiens , after years of conservative spending , have for once spent to much .

With the handing out of several large contracts, the most notable being the 5 year 25 million dollar contract to Gionta and Mike Cammellari being signed as well to a 5 year 30 million dollar contract as well , the habs have narrowed themselves into a corner .

Not to say those were God-awful signings , true a tad expensive , but I admit something had to be done to change the make-up of the team . Those contracts even look good in a certain light. That light would be the one they are held up to when examining the Scott Gomez contract that had been brought over from the Rangers.

Yes the very same contract that countless fans (myself included) spent the last two years ridiculing. That charming ,7.3 million for the next 5 year contract . But I am not going to gripe(to much) . It is here , and most definitly here to stay .(Unless their are any takers?Will the real Glen Sather please stand up?)

But moving on , those contracts in addition to the signings of Hal Gill and Jaroslav Spacek (not really complaining about those two) have severely handicapped the Canadiens . Not just for this year , but for quite a few . As well with quite a few RFA's needing to be signed , most notably our potential second line centre , Thomas Plekanec who is heading to arbitration . We have very little to throw around for RFA signings and depth signigns . Lets take a look at the Habs so far for the 09-10 season.

Question marks next to RFA's

Gionta-Gomez-Cammellari
A.Kostistien-Plekanec(?)-S.Kostistien
Pacioretty-Lapierre-Latendresse(?)
Laroque-Metropolit-Dagostini(?)

Markov-Gorges
Halmrik-Spacek
Gill-O'Byrne(sigh)

Chipchura(?)
Stewart(?)

Price-Halak

Obviosuly these are not the exact lines that would be iced(Seeing as we will most likely not be able to sign all are RFA's .But even if they were , we are still severely lacking.

True we now have several players that can be a threat on the ice, but that is assuming two of them can gel as they once did , and the third can do much of the work with out a little someone named Iginla on his wing. I personally see them all doing well and putting up points , and even the second line chipping in if they can regain form .

With the postive being pointed out , those lines other then the first chipping in depend much on the signing of RFA's . As well even with them , the lineup is not exactly fierce and intimidating. In either skill or physical size. The average height being at about 5"11 and with resident tough guy George Laroque getting up there in age .

This is where the Scott Gomez contract is felt the most. Yes I am aware their are others , but his stands out . The Canadiens have again failed to address their need for a big centre , and the 7.3 million could of gone easily to finding one if not of fantastic skill , then at least of good value .

If it was just the Forwards that needed a few tweaks , I would believe that they could be adressed . But the D-corps to suffers to , from the deficincies of the forwards . Though skilled and possessing the right individuals for the roles, none of the players with the exception of Markov and Gorges truly stand out . A lack of physical presence was lost in Komisareks' defection to Toronto .It was partly addressed by the signing of Gill , but it most likely will be skates to large for Gill alone to fill . Leaving the Canadiens without a physical edge to their game , that can allow teams like the Leafs and Bruins to run rampant with them.

All said and done , Gainey made the moves of free agent spending that we asked for , but might of been a bit overzealous in his carrying out of it . I know i sound like a spoilt child demanding something , and then not liking it . But I think he could of done without one of those large contracts. In my opinion , the Gomez one in particular.

This team has good points , but many deficincies, that might cost us a trip to the playoffs. Then again , if it is just another manhandling by the Bruins, I hope we just skip that dance.

So I will end this off with "The Good and then the Bad"

Good
Gained a top line forward
Have become a fast team
Have the potential to become good if all components fit,

The Bad
Are stuck with several JFJ like contracts
Lack of Grit
No clear cut leader for the team
Lacking depth after 1st line

Up to you if you think the good outweighs the bad .Hopefully I can eat my words , and be proved wrong . But as of now , the bad looks a lot heavier then the good.
Filed Under:   Habs   Canadiens   Free Agency  
July 9, 2009 1:24 AM ET | Delete
As a Leaf fan, it's fun to see another team (especially a rival) with terrible contracts. That being said, I know that Gomez/Cammo/Gionta will give the Leafs some headaches but Gainey really dug the habs in a huge hole. As good as those players may be, they're NOT top talent in the NHL. Gomez isn't the same player he used to be. Gionta same as Gomez but worse. We'll see if Cammo can continue his point a game performance with tier-2 players. Good read though, finally a non-delusional Hab fan. lol
July 9, 2009 1:27 AM ET | Delete
Lol cant say I fault you , I had the JFJ years to laugh at you guys for . Time to take my medicine. But yes I agree with your analysis of our "1st line" .Much remains in the air as to how they will perform , and mor eimportantly how they will react to the heavy hand of the media if they don't perform .
July 9, 2009 11:58 AM ET | Delete
thank you, thank you, for taking the Gomez contract off our hands.OMG, thank you. Chris Higgins
July 9, 2009 12:57 PM ET | Delete
July 9, 2009 12:58 PM ET | Delete
good read.. I agree with pretty much everything.
July 9, 2009 3:07 PM ET | Delete
Gill is a pylon, but under Jacques Martin stye hockey he'll be Ok, Price will love JM style hockey, the Habs skilled forwards will not. Not sure that Cammaleri is suited to JM hockey. Gomez and Gionta may do Ok since they are used to the NJD defense first at all costs style, but they wont have Marty Brodeur to bail them out so we'll see. Expect a lot of 2-1 games and OT, that's the JM style, go out there and don't lose, and heaven forbid you should try to play anexiting game.
July 9, 2009 3:10 PM ET | Delete
I dont think Jacques will introduce the method he used so blatantly in Florida .Their it was defence first and always defence because he had no forwards . We at least have some , and I think he will implement the system that he used in Ottawa
July 9, 2009 7:00 PM ET | Delete
i dont like the chances of stanley cup glory during generation G (for Gomez and Gionta), now since we traded McDonough, not so sure about the next one as well :(
July 11, 2009 8:45 AM ET | Delete
He trapped in Ottawa and benched offensive stars if they wouldn't concern themselves with defence first... just ask Jason Spezza. For the record, Gomez and Gionta can play in a trap system... I'd be surprised if Cammalleri could do the same. But on the bright side, the Wild and Blackhawks can thank Martin for instilling some measure of defensive responsibility in Havlat and Hossa.
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