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Kingston • 2010 Years Old • Male
I don’t want to go too far in to examining the recent trade involving Halak to the Blues, rather I’m curious as to what it means to the ‘big picture’ for Gauthier and company.

If we take a look, it seems that the Canadiens have a young hockey team.

Below is a list of players that played for the Habs this past season, and I am assuming they are the players projected to challenge for spots the next one. This is done with the assumption that Gauthier will choose to use their younger players to fill the line-up, rather than re-sign some older guys like Metropolit and Darche. At least he said something to that degree in his presser the other day.

I also should note that I am in the minority feeling that Andrei Kostitsyn will be a very big part of the Habs next season. He fits the exact need for a top line winger to play on the Gomez line. I’m not so sure he stays past next season though.

So, here is the list of young players that made appearances last season with the Habs (plus Lars Eller), and will be trying to earn a spot come training camp. Starred off are the players that will definitely be in the line-up, their current age is in brackets:

Benoit Pouliot (23) *
Brock Trotter (22)
Max Lapierre (25) *
Ryan White (22)
Ben Maxwell (22)
Tom Pyatt (23) *
Max Pacioretty (21)
David Desharnais (23)
Lars Eller (21)
Greg Stewart (24)
Sergei Kostitsyn (23)

PK Subban (21) *
Yannick Weber (21)
Mathieu Carle (22)
Shawn Belle (25)

That could make for a younger Habs team next year. It could look something like this.

A. Kostitsyn Gomez Gionta
Cammalleri Eller Trotter
Pouliot Lapierre Moen
White Maxwell Pyatt

Markov Subban
Gill Gorges
Hamrlik Spacek
O’Byrne Carle

There’s a large portion of the fanbase wanting to move either Hamrlik or Spacek, if that is possible (If) then a roster spot would be O’Byrne’s to lose to one of the younger guys listed. Making the D-core much younger even with O'Byrne in there. There is also the possibilty that Cedrick Desjardins (24) backs up Price (22) next season in goal.

If the RFA’s (Lapierre, Pouliot, Trotter, Carle, Pyatt) are resigned for 900k each and these players are on the roster, the total cap is 50.856 million before contracts for goaltenders are considered and retaining Plekanec if that happens. That seems very manageable. Lapierre may get a few extra bucks as he’s arbitration eligible.

If Plekanec leaves through free agency, I would suspect PG would be looking for a second line winger on July 1st or via trade, which would move Brock Trotter down the depth chart. I think he'll crack the line-up somewhere though.

This week’s trade was the first real chance to see Pierre Gauthier’s vision for this team. It appears he’s looking towards the future and not last spring.
Filed Under:   Eller   Price   Subban   Gauthier   Habs   Martin  
June 19, 2010 4:31 PM ET | Delete
Good piece.I still believe Gauthier can't be done just yet.We lack at least 1 legit top 6 forward and a physical presence on the 3rd and 4th lines.Or else,we'll get a weaker team than 2009-10,which is not good news if you are looking at the big picture going forward,like PG said.Still,I don't have the slightest idea what the guy's up to.Nobody saw the Jaro trade coming.....
June 20, 2010 12:16 AM ET | Delete
There's no way thats the lineup the habs are icing. The habs are either resigning Pleks or trading for Kovalchuk's rights.
June 20, 2010 1:57 AM ET | Delete
Come on. I know there will be moves to be made. That's a bare roster, but it is what it is. They have way more options than Plekanec or Kovalchuk.
June 20, 2010 10:04 AM ET | Delete
Great article. The habs could really get younger this year indeed. Gauthier is probably gonna make a move at the draft, he looks like he intends to be busy, and looks less passive than Gainey.Even if it wasn't the popular thing to do, he traded Halak anyway. One thing is for sure, he doesn't lack in the balls department.
June 20, 2010 8:38 PM ET | Delete
The core of the team is way older.
June 20, 2010 10:51 PM ET | Delete
The core is supposed to be older.. you draft or trade for good young players, then if they work out they can become part of your core and get paid for it. But they have to earn it, and we need good young guys who are still affordable to balance out those with more experience.
June 21, 2010 10:44 AM ET | Delete
Nobody saw the Halak trade coming?!?!?!?Really???
June 21, 2010 12:32 PM ET | Delete
The vet core is still considerably younger than the one they let go: Gomez 30, Gionta 31, Cammalleri 28, Markov 31, Moen 28, Gill 35, Gorges 25, Spacek 36. Compared to Koivu 35, Kovalev 37, Lang 39, Schneider 41, Bouillon 34, Brisebois 39, Dandenault 34, Metropolit 35. Plus Gill, Hamrlik have expiring contracts this year.
June 21, 2010 2:53 PM ET | Delete
habmanj: You knew PG was gonna get Eller/Schultz? That's what I thought.
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